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5 Card Draw Poker

5 card draw poker is a pretty easy game to learn, making it a popular home game. The first thing that a draw poker player will need to know is the value of each card. Card values can change in different games, but is considered to be of their same numerical value from 2, being the lowest card, up to 10 – the highest number in the deck. The alphabetically asigned cards are J (Jacks – which are lowest of the 4) and then Q (Queens), K (Kings) and finally the highest of all cards including numerical cards, the A (Ace – commonly referred to as bullets). All of these cards can have their value changed in different games and the Ace can be used often as the “1” card in a straight ex: A,2,3,4,5.

Ante – not just another pretty family face!

The ante is the way to get a pot so that there is a winner in each hand and you are not just playing cards – as value always makes things more exciting and tangeble doesn’t it? The ante is made by everyone at the table before the cards are dealt and is not to be confused with a “small blind” or “big blind,” where only one or two players make a contribution to the pot. After the ante is made by everyone, the play goes around the table and depending on how players are feeling about their hands, they may “raise” thier bets, match (or “call”) the previous player’s bet or possibly even raise again on the same bet depending on if it is a “no limit” variation. If a player raises upon your raise – for example – you may wish to; call, raise again or fold your hand onto the table. If you fold your hand you loose the chips that you have contributed to the pot from the beginning of that round and are out of that betting round until there is a winner, or you are out of chips.

In draw poker there are so many varitions it can get pretty crazy, but most times if there is an exchange of cards going on, the house rules will determine after how many rounds players are able to trade in their “crappy” cards for the “shiny new one” – which is simply not always the case! If a player likes what he sees and that shiny new card fits in along side with the others in his hand, he can “stay.”

Basic Five-Card Draw Game Play

Everyone needs to grab a beer and ante up (beer is optional), by putting their pre-determined amount in the middle of the table before the deal.

The dealer will hand out five cards to each player starting with the player to his left.

The player to the left of the dealer will either decide to place a bet or pass. If that player passes the player to his left becomes the next decision maker to either pass or make the first bet.

Have the player to the dealer’s left bet or pass. If he passes, play is deferred to the player on his left. The player on the left may then either bet or pass.

If everyone has decided not to make a bet and has passed, another ante must be thrown into the pot and the player to the dealer’s left deals a new hand.

This continues until someone decides that their hand is good enough or thier bluffing skills are even better. Once a bet is made the player to his left must decide to call, fold or raise that bet.

Each player is given the opportunity to trade some cards, for the same amount of cards, from the top of the shuffled deck.

Another round starts when each and every player has traded their cards or stayed.

Whoever has decided NOT to fold and is still in the game after all of the betting is done, shows his/her hand. Whover has the highest hand wins everything.**

**NOTE: in cases where a player is “all in” and has contributed all chips in his own purse in hopes to win some chips back, there is a possibility of a side pot. A side pot excludes the person who has already contributed everything that they have. For example: Marcello has 5 chips left and goes all in. Mike and Dustin each have 10 chips – wich cover Marcello’s all in EASILY, but both Mike and Dustin who are still in the game, are confident that THEY have it won, so they play a “side bet.” Dustin wins (as usual) and gets Marcello’s 5 chips as well as any added bets between Mike and Dustin. Clear as mud right?

In the sidebar on the right you can see all kinds of 5 card draw poker variations that you can learn. I’ve also listed them here below for your convenience! Have fun!

Snowmen & Hockey Sticks

Pregnant Threes

Wild Widow

Heinz 57


Kings and Little Ones

Honky Tonk

Stormy Weather

Three Legged Race


Six Back

Jacks and Back

Jacks Or Better