About Five Card Draw Poker


About Five Card Draw Poker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (wikipedia.org)

Five-card draw is a poker variant that is the simplest and often the first variant learned by most players. It is common in home games but rare in casino and tournament play. The variant is also offered by some online venues, although it is not as popular as other variants such as Texas hold ‘em.

Gameplay

In casino play the first betting round begins with the player to the left of the big blind, and subsequent rounds begin with the player to the dealer’s left. Home games typically use an ante; the first betting round begins with the player to the dealer’s left, and the second round begins with the player who opened the first round.

Play begins with each player being dealt five cards, one at a time, all face down. 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.

If more than one player remains after the first round, the “draw” phase begins. Each player specifies how many of their cards they wish to replace and discards them. The deck is retrieved, and each player is dealt in turn from the deck the same number of cards they discarded so that each player again has five cards.

A second “after the draw” betting round occurs beginning with the player to the dealer’s left or else beginning with the player who opened the first round (the latter is common when antes are used instead of blinds). This is followed by a showdown if more than one player remains, in which the player with the best hand wins the pot.

About the draw

The five-card draw variants are often considered as the most difficult to master psychologically, due to the fact than no cards are open and that bluffs (or semibluffs) occurs already at the draw of new cards. Players must pay attention to how many cards other players change, but shall not take too much for granted in this phase. When changing cards psychology is a main factor. For instance is it not advisable to always draw three new cards when holding a pair, although mathematically this is the best way to improve the rank of the hand. Reason is that the other players quite easy can “read” the hand. Better might sometimes be to only draw two or one new card, trying to “scare” other players that the hand is better than it really is.

The opposite can also be used. In a game where a player has three of a kind, sitting “late” and several other players has drawn new cards, it might be a good idea to just by one card. Other players may then underestimate such a hand, believing the player has two pairs or lacks a card for a straight or flush (which seldom works). In games with a full 52 card deck and four player or more, two pairs are very often the winning hand.

It’s also imperative to vary both the way to draw the numbers of new cards in equal situations and how to bet both before and after the draw. If a player is “easy to read” he very seldom will win large pots even when holding a very good hand.

The most common error is to “throw good money after bad” and make calls at high stakes only to avoid being bluffed. Very few true bluffs really work in the long run, the “bluffer” usually does have some kind of strength, but only plays the hand as if it were higher than it really is. (Especially when a typical “caller” is discovered at the table). For instance playing a pair of aces as if it were a straight, flush or full house. Such a play is “insured” against all lower pairs, but far to often player with a lower pair calls at expensive times only to make sure he or she is not bluffed.

However cheap calls do not apply to throwing good money away, especially when calling (but not raising) a player unknown. It may be worth a minor amount of money just to see a hand in the long run.

It’s debatable however a player sometimes benefits in the longer run by sometimes being discovered with a total bluff. For instance declaring pleased with a rubbish hand and then try a not to high bet with the pure purpose to be discovered. It might give such a player a benefit when he or she later really gets a really good hand. The backside is that after such a discovered bluff the bluffer must wait a very long time before he can he or she can manage to “trap” other players.

House Rules

A common “house rule” in some places is that a player may not replace more than three cards, unless they draw four cards while keeping an ace (or wild card). This rule is useful for low-stakes social games where many players will stay for the draw, and will help avoid depletion of the deck. In more serious games such as those played in casinos it is unnecessary and generally not used. However, a rule used by many casinos is that a player is not allowed to draw five consecutive cards from the deck. In this case, if a player wishes to replace all five of their cards, that player is given four of them in turn, the other players are given their draws, and then the dealer returns to that player to give the fifth replacement card; if no other player draws it is necessary to deal a burn card first.

Another common house rule is that the bottom card of the deck is never given as a replacement, to avoid the possibility of someone who might have seen it during the deal using that information. If the deck is depleted during the draw before all players have received their replacements, the last players can receive cards chosen randomly from among those discarded by previous players. For example, if the last player to draw wants three replacements but there are only two cards remaining in the deck, the dealer gives the player the one top card he can give, then shuffles together the bottom card of the deck, the burn card, and the earlier players’ discards (but not the player’s own discards), and finally deals two more replacements to the last player.

Sample deal

The sample deal is being played by four players as shown to the right with Alice dealing.

All four players ante $1. Alice deals five cards to each player and places the deck aside. Bob opens the betting round by betting $5. Carol folds, David calls, and Alice calls, closing the betting round. Bob now declares that he wishes to replace three of his cards, so he removes those three cards from his hand and discards them. Alice retrieves the deck, deals a burn card, then deals three cards directly to Bob, who puts them in his hand. David discards one card, and Alice deals one card to him from the deck. Alice now discards three of her own cards, and replaces them with three from the top of the deck (Note: in a player-dealt casino game there is often a rule that the dealer must discard before picking up the deck, but this is a home game so we won’t worry about such details). Now a second betting round begins. Bob checks, David checks, Alice bets $10, Bob folds, David raises $16, and Alice calls, ending the second betting round. David shows a flush, and Alice shows two pair, so David takes the pot.

Stripped deck variant

Five-card draw is sometimes played with a stripped deck. This variant is commonly known as “seven-to-ace” or “ace-to-seven” (abbreviated as A-7 or 7-A). It can be played by up to five players. When four or fewer players play, a normal 32-card deck without jokers, with ranks ranging from ace to seven, is used. With five players, the sixes are added to make a 36-card deck. The deck thus contains only eight or nine different card ranks, compared to 13 in a standard deck. This affects the probabilities of making specific hands, so a flush ranks above a full house and below four of a kind. Many smaller online poker rooms, such as Boss Media, spread the variant, although it is unheard of in land casinos.

Courtesy of wikipedia.org

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