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5 Card Draw Poker Online: an Expert Guide

Posted by Chris Spencer on
Last updated:

Often considered the simplest game variation, five-card draw poker is a great online variation, especially for beginners and those who enjoy quick games.

Our expert five-card draw poker guide will cover:

  • Where US players can play 5 card draw poker online
  • Five-card draw poker rules
  • Five-card draw hand rankings
  • Proven strategies
  • A glossary of key terms and FAQs

Best Online Five Card Draw Poker Sites

Here are the best online casinos, recommended by our team of experts, for US players who want to play five-card draw poker online:

How to Play Five Card Draw Poker Online

Chances are if you’ve played poker in the past, you’ll be able to pick up five card draw in no time.

Simply put, each player’s goal is to make the best possible poker hand by exchanging cards in their hands for ones from the deck. Hand rankings are very similar to other popular poker variations.

Read on for each step of a hand of five-card draw poker.

Deal, Ante & Blinds

In five-card draw poker, one of the players will be given the responsibility of acting as the dealer. This player will be referred to as the dealer or “on the button”.

In online games, this player will typically have a chip marked “dealer” placed near their cards. The cards will be dealt automatically, and the dealer button is only relevant for placement on the table.

Five-card draw can be played with blinds or antes.

Ante:

When playing with antes, each player is required to bet the same amount before any cards are dealt. This amount is known as the ante.

Blinds:

When playing with blinds, the two players to the left of the dealer are required to place bets before any cards are dealt. The player closest to the dealer will place the small blind (e.g. $5) and the next player to the left will place the big blind (e.g. $10).

Once the blinds or antes are settled, each player will be dealt 5 cards, one at a time, face down.

Pre-Draw Betting Round

After cards have been dealt, there is an initial round of betting.

Like in other poker variations, players can choose to either bet, raise, check, call, or fold, depending on the circumstance.

Fold:

To fold is to turn in all cards and forfeit the round, along with any bets the player has made

Check:

To check is to choose to remain in the game, but not bet. You can think of this as placing a $0 bet.

Bet:

To bet is to place a wager into the pot. All players will need to match this amount if they want to remain in the game.

Call:

To call is to match another player’s bet. If another player has bet, and you wish to remain in the hand, you will need to call.

Raise:

To raise is to match and increase another player’s bet. If you raise another player’s bet, all player’s must match this new amount if they want to remain in the game.

Once each player has had a chance to bet, and all players have either folded or committed the same amount to the pot, the game enters the draw phase.

Draw Phase

In the draw phase, players have a chance to improve their hand by trading cards from their hand for the equivalent amount from the deck.

Moving clockwise around the table, each player will have a chance to draw. When it is their turn, the player must choose how many cards they wish to discard. Note, should a player wish to keep all of their cards, they can ‘stand pat’ and choose not to draw.

Once the player has discarded, the dealer will deal that same amount of cards back to the player, ensuring they still have 5 cards in their hand.

Post-Draw Betting Round

Once all players have exchanged cards, there is an additional round of betting. During this round, players have all the same bet types available as they did in the pre-draw betting round – fold, check, bet, call, or raise.

Like in the pre-draw betting round, once all players have either folded or placed equal wagers, the betting round ends. Assuming there is more than one active player remaining, the game moves into the showdown phase.

Showdown

Like in other poker variations, once betting is complete, remaining players must “show down” – reveal their cards for the table to see.

Five-card draw poker is no exception – once active players have finished betting and drawing, their cards will be turned face-up, and the best poker hand takes the pot.

Read on for a list of five-card draw poker hand rankings.

Five Card Draw Poker Hand Rankings

The best poker hands in five-card draw are very similar to most popular poker games. They are ranked best to worst in the chart below.

Royal Flush

Royal Flush

Five sequential cards of the same suit, 10 through Ace

royal flush

Straight Flush

Straight Flush

Five sequential cards of the same suit

straight flush

Four of Kind

Four of Kind

Four cards of the same value

four of a kind

Full House

Full House

Three cards of the same value and two different cards of the same value

full house

Flush

Flush

Five cards of the same suit

flush

Straight

Straight

Five sequential cards

straight

Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind

Three cards of the same value (other two cards are irrelevant)

cards-three-of-kind

Two Pair

Two Pair

Two cards of the same value and two different cards of the same value (the fifth card is irrelevant)

cards-two-pair

One Pair

One Pair

Two cards of the same value (the other three cards are irrelevant)

cards-one-pair

High Card

High Card

None of the above; defer to the highest-value card in the hand

five playing cards, all different

Five Card Draw Poker Strategies

Green outline raise symbol

Don’t be Afraid to Raise

Calculated aggressiveness is important in poker. If you have a strong hand, raising can cause other players to fold and increase the pot size.

three green playing cards

3-or-More Card Rule

The amount of cards you’ll need to draw is a good metric for when you should fold or bet. Especially if you didn’t have to post a blind, if you have to draw 3 or more cards, you should consider folding.

a hand holding two playing cards

Use Checking to Play for Free

If you’re on the fence about your hand, and might fold if there’s action, if there are no bets before you, just ‘check’. This will keep you in the game longer and give you a chance of making it to the draw/showdown phase for free.

Five Card Draw Poker Glossary

Five Card Draw Poker FAQs

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