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Official 5 Card Draw (Poker) Rules

Five-card draw is a simple and popular poker variant known for its focus on building a strong hand and strategic betting. Here's a breakdown of the rules:


  • Win the pot at the showdown by having the best five-card poker hand (using your five dealt cards) or by forcing all other players to fold during the betting rounds.


1. Five Card Draw is typically played with a standard 52-card deck.

2. Determine the dealer. This can be done by drawing cards, with the highest card becoming the dealer, or by any other agreed-upon method.

3. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals each player five cards face-down.


A hand of Five-Card Draw is played in a series of betting rounds and card exchanges:

  • Dealing: Each player is dealt five cards face down. These are your hole cards.

  • Betting Round 1 (Optional): There can be an optional pre-flop betting round where players can fold, call (match the current highest bet), or raise (increase the bet amount). This isn't common in all variations of Five-Card Draw.

  • Discarding: After the first betting round (or if there wasn't one), each player chooses how many cards they want to discard (from 0 to 4) from their hand face down. You can discard all five cards if you want.

  • Drawing: Starting from the dealer and moving clockwise, players draw cards equal to the number they discarded to replace their unwanted cards and hopefully improve their hand. The cards are dealt face down from the deck. If there are not enough cards left in the deck to meet everyone's draw needs, the remaining cards are dealt out one at a time.

  • Betting Round 2: After everyone has drawn their replacements, another round of betting begins. Players can again fold, call, or raise based on their new hand and how the betting went before the draw.

  • Showdown (Optional): If more than one player remains after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. Players reveal their cards, and the player with the best five-card poker hand wins the pot.

Hand Rankings: The hand rankings in Five Card Draw are standard poker hand rankings: a. Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit. b. Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit. c. Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank. d. Full House: Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. e. Flush: Five cards of the same suit, not in sequence. f. Straight: Five consecutive cards of different suits. g. Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank. h. Two Pair: Two cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. i. One Pair: Two cards of the same rank. j. High Card: If no other hand is made, the highest card in your hand.

Winning the Game

  • The player with the highest-ranking five-card poker hand wins the pot. If multiple players have the same hand ranking, the pot is split amongst them.

  • A player can also win the pot before the showdown if all other players fold during the betting rounds.


The ranking of poker hands in Five-Card Draw is the same as standard poker: Royal Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Two Pair, One Pair, and High Card.

  • There can be variations in the betting structure. Some games have a fixed amount for betting throughout, while others allow for pot-limit betting (betting up to the size of the current pot) or no-limit betting (any bet amount).

  • Five-Card Draw is a game that requires strategic thinking about your hand, understanding pot odds, and making calculated decisions when discarding and betting.

These are the basic rules of Five Card Draw. It's a straightforward and enjoyable poker variant that's perfect for casual games among friends or family.

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