5 Card Draw Basic Rules
5 card draw or Five-card draw, also known as Cantrell draw, is a style of poker that’s considered the simplest among all poker variations. It actually forms the basis for video poker. Among classic poker games, Five-card Draw is a standout. Before Texas Hold’em took over, it was the big thing in betting circles. It’s somewhat similar but with an interesting twist. People usually play it at home rather than in casinos or tournaments. While a few online places offer it, it’s not as popular as games like seven-card stud and Texas Hold’em.
How Does Betting Work in 5 Card Draw?
Five-card draw can be played in three betting structures: fixed limit, pot limit, and no limit.
Fixed-limit betting has a set amount that players can bet or raise. For example, a game with a $1/$2 limit means that players can bet or raise $1 or $2.
Pot limit betting allows players to bet any amount up to the size of the pot. For example, if the pot size is $10, a player, in this case, can bet a maximum of $10.
No-limit betting as the name suggests, allows players to bet any amount, including all of their chips.
The betting in five-card draw starts with the player to the left of the big blind. After the first round of betting, players have the option to discard up to five cards and replace them with new cards. The second round of betting begins after the cards have been replaced.
The showdown occurs if there are two or more players remaining after the second round of betting. At this point, all players reveal their hands and the player with the highest-ranked hand wins the pot.
5 Card Draw Basic Rules
5 Card Draw rules are easy to understand. You use a regular deck of 52 cards, and it’s a high poker game. This means hand rankings are like Hold’em. A royal flush is the best, and a high card is the weakest.
Here’s how the game works:
- Everyone gets 5 cards face down. Starting from the dealer’s left, each player gets 1 card.
- After everyone has 5 cards, there’s the first round of betting. Then comes the draw part.
- During the draw, players with cards left can exchange up to 5 cards from their hand.
- Players pick which cards to change, and the dealer gives new ones. Or players can keep their cards.
- After the draw, there’s more betting. When all bets are done, players show their hands.
- The player who is able to make the best hand wins the pot. If some hands are the same, the players share the pot. Suits don’t matter. If hands are equal, the player with the highest side card (also known as the kicker) wins.
So, How Do You Play 5 Card Draw Poker?
Here are the basic steps on how to play 5 card draw poker:
- The dealer shuffles the deck and deals 5 cards face down to each player.
- There is a round of betting. The player to the left of the dealer bets first, and players must either call, raise, or fold.
- After the betting round, players can discard any number of cards and draw new cards from the deck. Players can draw up to 5 new cards, but they must draw the same number of cards that they discarded.
- There is another round of betting.
- The players reveal their hands, and the player having the best hand wins the pot.
5 Card Draw Poker Strategies
- Play tight. Only play the strongest hands, such as pairs of aces or kings. As your position improves, you can widen your range a bit, but it’s still important to play tight.
- The position is important. The closer you are to the button, the more information you have about the other players’ hands, and the more hands you can profitably play.
- Raise when you enter the pot. This will discourage other players from calling and make it more likely that you’ll win the pot with your strong hand.
- Always raise with two pair or three-of-a-kind. These are very strong hands that you want to get all the money in the pot with.
- Be careful about playing hands that are drawing to a straight or flush. The odds of hitting these hands are not good, and you’re likely to lose money in the long run.
Here are some additional tips:
- Pay attention to your opponents’ betting patterns. This will help you in determining the strength of their hands.
- Don’t be afraid to bluff. Bluffing can be a very effective way to win pots, but it should be used sparingly.
- Learn to read the board. This means being able to assess the strength of your hand based on the cards that have been dealt.
- Be patient. The 5-card draw is a game of patience, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t win every hand.
Stripped Deck Variant of Five-Card Draw
Five-card draw can be played with a stripped deck, which is a deck of cards that only contains the ranks from ace to seven. This variant is also known as “ace-to-seven” or “seven-to-ace” and can be played by up to 5 players.
When 4 or fewer players play this game, a normal 32-card deck is used. With 5 players, the 6’s are added to make a 36-card deck. What this implies is that the stripped deck contains only 8-9 different card ranks, compared to 13 in a standard deck. This affects the probability of a player being able to make specific hands, so here, a flush ranks above a full house but below four of a kind.
The stripped deck variant is not commonly played in terrestrial casinos, but it is gaining popularity in online poker rooms. This is because it is a simpler game to learn and play, and it offers lower house edges than other variants of five-card draw.
The Mathematics of Five-Card Draw
Five-card draw is a poker game where players are dealt five cards face down. They then have the option to discard up to five of those cards and replace them with new cards. The player with the best hand at the end wins the pot.
The odds of getting each hand in Five-card draw are as follows:
- Royal flush: This is the best possible hand in poker, and it consists of the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suit. The odds of getting a royal flush are less than 0.001%.
- Straight flush: This is a hand that consists of five cards in sequence of the same suit. The odds of getting a straight flush are less than 0.002%.
- Four of a kind: This hand consists of 4 cards of the same rank. The odds of getting four of a kind are 0.02%.
- Full house: This hand consists of 3 cards of one rank & two cards of another rank. The odds of getting a full house are 0.14%.
- Flush: This is a hand that consists of five cards of the same suit, but not in sequence. The odds of getting a flush are 0.20%.
- Straight: This is a hand that consists of five cards in sequence, but not of the same suit. The odds of getting a straight are 0.39%.
- Three of a kind: This hand comprises of 3 cards of the same rank. The odds of getting three of a kind are 2.11%.
- Two pair: This hand consists of two cards of one rank & two cards of another rank. The odds of getting two pair are 4.75%.
- One pair: This hand has 2 cards of the same rank. The odds of getting one pair are 42.30%.
- No pair / High card: This is a hand that does not contain any pairs. The odds of getting no pair are 50.10%.
Here Are the Odds of Getting Each Hand in Five-Card Draw in A Tabular Form:
|Straight flush (not including royal flush)||<0.002%|
|Four of a kind||0.02%|
|Flush (excluding royal flush and straight flush)||0.20%|
|Straight (excluding royal flush and straight flush)||0.39%|
|Three of a kind||2.11%|
|No pair / High card||50.10%|
5 Card Draw Basic Rules FAQs
How many rounds are in a 5 card draw?
There are two rounds in a 5-card draw game.
- Pre-draw betting round: This is the first round of betting, and it takes place after the players have been dealt their initial five cards. Players can either call the big blind, raise the bet, or fold.
- Draw: After the pre-draw betting round, players have the option to discard some or all of their cards. Players discard their cards by placing them face down in front of them. The dealer then replaces the discarded cards with new ones.
- Post-draw betting round: This is the second and final round of betting, and it takes place after the players have received their new cards. Players can either call the previous bet, raise the bet, or fold.
What Is the Highest Hand in 5 Card Draw?
The highest hand in 5-card draw is the royal flush. It is a hand that consists of the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the same suit. The odds of getting a royal flush are less than 0.001%.
How Does 5 Card Draw End?
5-card draw ends with a showdown. This is when all the players who remain in the hand reveal their cards and the player with the best hand wins the pot.
The showdown takes place after the second round of betting.