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Five Card Draw

Five card draw was the poker player's game of choice before Texas Hold'em took the poker world by storm. The idea is to make the best five-card hand after one 'draw' – or substitution of cards that the player wants to discard.

In 5-Card Draw, a marker called 'the button' or 'the dealer button' indicates which player is the nominal dealer for the current game. Being a draw game it is played with blinds, with the player immediately to the left of the dealer posting the small blind, and the player next left posting the big blind. Each hand starts with players being dealt five hole cards. The first player to act, sitting on the left of the big blind, has the option of folding, calling or raising. This applies to each player in turn in a clockwise direction around the table until all players have acted. In Limit games, the raise is limited to one small bet. In Pot Limit the maximum raise is the pot (the amount currently in the pot, plus his call), whereas in No Limit the maximum raise can be any amount of chips.

With this first round of betting complete, there then follows a draw. Each player selects from his hand the cards he wishes to discard (if any) by clicking on them. If player does not want to discard any of his five hole cards, he can click the stand pat button. In this case, none of his hole cards will be changed. You can change your mind by clicking on the card a second time.

As in the betting round, this continues in a clockwise direction around the table. When the action reaches you, simply press the button to confirm you wish to discard the cards you have selected. After all players remaining in the hand have completed their draws there is another round of betting, starting with the first player to the left of the button who has not folded their hand.

After the second betting round has been completed, the winner of the pot is determined in two ways: the player left after everyone else folds; or the player with the best hand. If more than one player has the same valued winning hand the pot is split equally between them with the suit of each hand having no bearing.

To recap, each hand progresses like this:

  • Five cards are dealt to each player.
  • The first round of betting begins with the player to the left of the big blind.
  • Players swap, or 'draw' cards (if required).
  • The second round of betting follows, beginning with the player to the left of the button.
  • Showdown (if necessary).

In draw games, it is possible for more cards to be needed than are remaining in the deck. In this case, the cards are reshuffled, and play continues using the new deck. Five Card Draw is available in Fixed Limit, Pot Limit and No Limit variations at PokerStars.it.

Limit 5-Card Draw

Betting in Limit 5-Card Draw is in pre-determined, structured amounts. All bets and raises are of the same amount as the big blind. 

Pot Limit 5-Card Draw

The minimum bet in Pot Limit 5-Card Draw is the same as the size of the big blind, but players can always bet up to the size of the pot.

Minimum raise: The raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. Maximum raise: The size of the pot, which is defined as the total of the active pot plus all bets on the table plus the amount the active player must first call before raising.

In Pot Limit 5-Card Draw, there is no 'cap' on the number of raises allowed.

No Limit 5-Card Draw

The minimum bet in No Limit 5-Card Draw is the same as the size of the big blind, but players can always bet as much more as they want, up to all of their chips.

Minimum raise: In No Limit 5-Card Draw, the raise amount must be at least as much as the previous bet or raise in the same round. Maximum raise: The size of your stack (your chips on the table).

In No Limit 5-Card Draw, there is no 'cap' on the number of raises allowed.