Five-Card Draw is the most famous poker game. It is often the first poker variant learned by most players, especially so in many European countries. Although it is very common in home games through out the world, it is now rare in poker rooms and online dittos (although they are picking up speed at the present). The lowball variations are interesting and are more commonly played in casinos, but the straightforward high game is still available in the new gaming world online. Two to eight players can play.
With time a lot of variants of the game has come up, different “house rules” are the norm in different places around the world. Common to all is that there are two rounds of betting, one before and one after the draw. The draw means that each player gets the opportunity to replace cards in their hand, throw them away and get new ones. There are no community cards, all cards are concealed. Which means that all a player has to go on to decide the strength of their own hand is the opponents’ betting pattern and the number of cards they choose to draw. Here is how one variant is played:
1. A small and a big blind is posted. (Play with ante is at least as common.)
2. Each player is dealt five cards.
3. The first round of betting is carried out. The player after the big blind is first to act. (Some variants states that a player must have a pair of jacks or better to open the betting.)
4. The draw round is carried out. Each player is given the opportunity of changing one to five cards, or to not change any cards at all. (Some variants puts a cap on the number of cards that can be drawn.)
5. After the draw, the second and final round of betting is carried out. The player to the left of the dealer is first to act. (Some variants stipulate that the player that opened the pot before is first to act.)
6. Now the game goes to showdown, and the player with the best high hand wins.