Poker intimidates a lot of players because they’re a lot of variations and rules to follow. If you’re an amateur, one of the easiest poker options is a five-card draw. It’s often recommended that you start with learning how to play 5 card poker before moving to more advanced iterations, such as Texas hold’em.
Since many casinos still offer 5 card draw and there are a lot of tournaments available, it’s a great game to learn to play.
How to Play 5 Card Draw
If you want to learn how to play fives, just remember one thing: you need the strongest five card hand. There are different variations of hands that you can get in 5 card poker, and they’re as follows:
- High card: A general high card
- One pair: A pair of the same card
- Two pair: Two pairs, such as two 4s and two 8s
- Three-of-a-kind: Three of the same card
- Straight: Five straight numbers in a row, such as A, K, Q, J and 10
- Flush: All cards contain the same suit
- Full house: Three of a kind and one pair
- Four-of-a-kind: Four of the same card
- Straight flush: A straight with all cards being of the same suit
- Royal flush: A straight flush with the cards being A, K, Q, J and 10
Poker also has five of a kind for some variations where Jokers are used to indicate a wild card. If players have the same hand, such as one pair, the person with the higher pair wins the game. The 5 card draw rules are rather simple and make it a great beginner’s game to play.
How Five Card Poker is Setup at the Table
If you go to the casino or play online, you’re likely to come across four rounds of betting that make up draw poker. Initially, the dealer will place all five cards on the table face-down for each player.
You’ll have the option of:
- Sticking to keep all of the cards in your hand
- Drawing to replace any number of cards in your hand
The four rounds are broken down into the following:
- Opening where all of the players are dealt their five cards
- Draw or hold round where you replace cards or decide to stick
- After draw where all players that have drawn new cards receive them
- Showdown where players put their hands on the table and a winner is determined
That’s it. The game is simple, yet it is one that is fun to play and worth learning how to play, too. One of the key strategies is to know when to draw cards. Let’s assume that you have a three-of-a-kind.
You’re holding a great hand already, so you would want to hold onto these three cards and draw two more in the hopes of a four of a kind or a full house.
Of course, you may be dealing with just a high card hand and ask to replace all of your cards or choose to hold on to high cards in hopes of getting a pair or two pair of a high card. Otherwise, as you’ve seen, 5 card poker rules are pretty simple.
How Betting and the Pot Work
Every casino has their own rules, called the “house rules” when playing. The rules may vary, but a common scenario is that players all contribute money to the pot to start the game. Let’s assume four players are playing and each has to place an ante bet of £2.
The pot sits at £8 now and then all of the cards are dealt.
Players will, before holding or drawing, be able to place their bet. Let’s assume two players placed a bet of £2 each and held. In this case, the pot is now at £12. The betting round lasts until the last player in the ground has bet, raised or folded.
Now, once everyone has had their new cards dealt, the final betting round begins which is the after draw round. Players can choose to call and raise, or they can fold. If you have a full house, you might raise £20, or you can bluff and raise £20 with the hopes of others folding.
In either case, let’s assume the final betting round led to £50 more in bets being made.
The winner of the five card draw would receive £62 as the pot.
Changing Up as a Strategy
A “poker face” isn’t just a catchy line in a song. You may have a poker face when bluffing to try and force the other players at the table to fold their cards. Let’s assume that you have one pair of kings.
You have a playable hand, but it’s certainly not the strongest hand.
If you make a large bet in the second round, people may think that you have an unbeatable hand and fold leaving you as the winner. It’s a strategy that a lot of people follow as a psychological component of the game.
But if you follow this strategy with every game you play, people will recognize your approach and continue betting causing you to lose a lot of money in the process. Overcoming this requires you to vary your approach.
Take notes on all players, and know when to bluff and when to fold.
If you sit down at the table with the same players, they will begin to learn your strategy. Diversifying your strategy is the absolute best way of continuing to win at poker. Over time, you’ll learn which cards to swap out and a strategy to follow to win.
You can also use your base knowledge of draw poker to begin learning how to play other games.
Poker is one of the world’s most popular card games. You can learn to play poker using apps on your phone or games on your computer. You can also just log into an online casino and start a low stakes game and learn the hard way through trial and error and losing money.