Five Card Draw
Five-card draw (also known as a Cantrell draw) is a poker variant that is considered the simplest variant of poker, and is the basis for video poker. As a result, it is often the first variant learned by new players. It is commonly played in home games but rarely played in casino and tournament play. Five Card Draw is one of the oldest forms of poker and was by far the best known internationally until the sudden rise in popularity of Texas Hold'em at the end of the 20th century.
How to Play Five Card Draw
Five Card Draw will usually be played 6-handed. Because of the draw nature of the game, anything more than 6 and you risk not having enough cards in the deck to cover everyone’s draw.
The hand will start in one of two ways depending on the betting structure being used. In Five Card Draw you will sometimes (typically in home games) see it played where everyone posts an ante, but the more popular way and the way that you will see it played online is that there will be a small blind and a big blind.
After the shuffle and cut, the dealer deals the cards face down clockwise one at a time until each player has five cards. Players may look at their cards, and there is a betting round begun by the player to dealer's left.
The remaining deck is placed aside, often protected by placing a chip or other marker on it.
Players pick up the cards and hold them in their hands, being careful to keep them concealed from the other players, then a round of betting occurs, starting with the player on the direct left of the big blind.
Once this round of betting has completed it is now time for the players to draw.
If more than one player remains in the game after the first betting round, active players have one opportunity to improve their hands by discarding some cards and obtaining replacements.
Beginning with the nearest active player to dealer's left, each active player announces the number of cards to be replaced, discards that number of cards face down, and is dealt an equal number of cards face down by the dealer.
A player can discard from zero to three cards. The dealer should wait until the player has discarded the number of cards stated before starting to deal replacements. Discarding no cards at all and thus keeping one's original hand is known as standing pat.
Naturally, it is in the players' interest to wait for their turns and not give away information in advance about how many cards they intend to draw.
Once the drawing round is completed, there is another round of betting.
After the second betting round, if the pot has not already been won, players show their cards in clockwise order, beginning with the last player who took aggressive action (bet or raised) in the second betting round.
If everyone checked in the second betting round, the player who opened the betting in the first betting round shows first.
Five Card Draw Hand Rankings
The game’s poker hand rankings are exactly the same as those in games like Texas Holdem.
Pre-Draw Odds of Getting Each Hand
Sometimes known as Stripped Deck Poker, this version of Five Card Draw is popular in Southern Europe. The 32-card deck consists of cards from Ace (high) to Seven (low) in each suit. The main differences from normal Five Card Draw are as follows:
Because a flush is harder to make than with a 52-card pack, it ranks above a full house and below four of a kind.
When used as a low card, Ace is adjacent to Seven, so A-7-8-9-10 is a low straight (or straight flush).
There is a ranking of suits, usually hearts (highest), diamonds, clubs, spades (lowest). When hands are otherwise equal, the suit of the highest card in the combination is compared. For example when two players have equal pairs with equal kickers, the pair containing the heart will win (the suits of the kickers don't count).
The maximum number of players is five: usually there are four players or fewer.