While some people may think of poker as a casino game, many people began playing the game at a very early age. It is actually quite common to hear a modern poker pro discuss their early years of playing poker with their family members, even before they were old enough to understand the game’s complexities. Perhaps the most common poker game that is played around kitchen tables is Five Card Draw. Although Texas Hold’em is certainly now the most popular poker game in the world, Five Card Draw is a classic that many people played growing up in their basements with friends or family. Probably because it is the more simple poker variation, the game is also very popularly played in home games and even most novices have been exposed to it at one point or another.
The game is very simple to learn and doesn’t require a great deal of understanding beyond knowing how poker hands are ranked. The goal of Five Card Draw is to create the best five card poker hand, and can be played using either antes or blinds. Each player is dealt five cards face down and there is a round of betting. If more than one player remains after the initial betting round, there is then a “draw” in which players are allowed to exchange a number of cards (the number allowed is determined by the house rules) for new cards, attempting to make the best poker hand. After the draw, when every player again has five cards in their hand, a second and final betting round takes place before the showdown, when any remaining players compare their hands to determine a winner. The pot is pushed to the appropriate player and the next hand is dealt.
An interesting aspect of Five Card Draw is that players have less information on their opponents’ holdings than in Flop or Stud games where several cards are exposed. The only information that is available in Five Card Draw must be deducted by an opponent’s betting tendencies or by how many cards they draw. Therefore, it is not an uncommon move to bluff an opponent who has shown weakness by drawing many cards. To learn the complete rules and basic strategy of Five Card Draw, click on the appropriate links on this site.
While the history of poker games has been disputed among historians, it is believed that Five Card Draw may have been one of the first modern poker variations to ever be played. Previously, poker was only played with 20 cards and there were no drawing rounds (as there were not sufficient cards in the deck). When poker spread to the western United States during the Gold Rush, a 52 card deck was used and drawing rounds were added, making the game more exciting and unpredictable. It’s no surprise that in movies and books written about the “old west,” the characters can commonly be found playing Five Card Draw in a dusty saloon. From 5 Card Draw evolved many other games, including the hugely popular 7 Card Stud which was easily the most widely played poker game in the world until the fairly recent emergence of Texas Hold’em into the mainstream.
Five Card Draw has rarely been played as a cash game in casinos over the past few decades, although it has been making a comeback in recent years, thanks to the growing popularity of Mixed Game events. The game is also now offered in most major online card rooms, such as PokerStars, at several different stakes. If you would like to learn the rules of Five Card Draw, as well as some basic strategy, check out the appropriate articles on this site before playing the game for real money. Then, test your new knowledge at PokerStars.com by buying into one of their micro stakes games where your monetary risk is low but you can gain all the experience and confidence you need to move up through the ranks in no time. If you are interested in playing in mixed events, learning how to play Draw Poker is essential to success.
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