How To Play 5 Card Draw Poker

5 card draw poker is the most popular form of poker played in home games across the country. It is a game played between 2 to 10 people with a standard 52-card deck, which has four suits and thirteen numerical values, twos through aces. The objective of the game is to show the best hand after all rounds of betting have completed, using the standard poker hand ranking chart. For reference, the chart is located below, from weakest hand to strongest.

Standard Poker Ranking Chart

  • High card: The highest card you have in your hand. In the event two high cards tie, the next highest card is considered to break the tie.
  • 1 pair: Two cards of the same numerical rank.
  • 2 pair: Two sets of two cards of the same numerical rank.
  • 3 of a kind: Any three cards of the same numerical rank.
  • Straight: Any five consecutive cards, where Aces are counted as either high or low (you can make a straight with A2345 and TJQKA).
  • Flush: Five cards that share the same suit.
  • Full House: 3 of a kind and a pair.
  • Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit.
  • Royal Flush: Five consecutive cards of the same suit from Ten to Ace.

How to play:

  1. All players wager a predetermined ante. The ante is a forced bet made before cards are dealt and is used as an incentive for players to enter the pot.

  • Five cards are dealt face down to each player in a clockwise direction, starting from the immediate left of the dealer.
  • Starting with the player to the immediate left of the dealer, players may bet any amount of chips. If a bet is made before action reaches a player, that player may choose to call (match) the bet, raise the bet (bet more chips), or fold (discard their hand).
  • After all players have acted in the betting round, the player closest to the dealer chooses and discards up to three cards. If that player reveals an ace, he or she is allowed to discard the four other cards in his or her hand. That player is then dealt cards equal to the number of discarded cards. The round of discarding and redrawing continues clockwise until all players have acted.
  • A round of betting occurs, starting with the player closest to the dealer.
  • All players remaining after the final round of betting reveal their hands, starting with the player who last bet and continuing clockwise. The player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot.
  • The dealer position rotates one position clockwise, and the next hand is dealt.
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