Rules of Five Card Draw

Five Card Draw is simplicity itself and does not take long to master and this may be one of the reasons why it has not grown in popularity like so many of it’s contemporary casino card games like Texas Holdem, Omaha and Seven Card Stud.

General Rules

Each player is dealt five cards, one at a time, face down, and the remaining cards, or deck, are placed on the side. Each player must arrange his or her cards in hand and be careful to keep them well concealed from the rest of the rivals around the table. Betting will then start and, in casinos, the player to the left of the big blind will generally open.

Once the first betting round is complete the game enters the second phase, the draw phase, and here each player will tell the dealer, and the rest of the table, how many cards he wants replaced. Each player then discards their unwanted cards, face down, and the dealer will deal exactly the correct number of cards to each player so that they all end up with the original number of cards dealt – five.

A second betting round, referred to as the ‘after draw’ betting round, is followed by the showdown and whoever has the best hand wins the pot.

Rules of the House

There are some rules decided by the house, or the group of players themselves, before play commences and one of the more popular and well-used ‘house rules’ is a player may not replace more than three cards unless he or she draws four cards whilst keeping the Ace or wild card. This rule is simply there to ensure the deck isn’t depleted in low stakes games where the vast majority of players are likely to stay for the draw.

In casinos, the above rule is not likely to apply but a rule that is enforced in the high stakes games is no player may draw five consecutive cards from the deck. Should any player deem it necessary to replace all the original cards dealt, he or she will be dealt four cards off the deck, the remaining players will all be given or dealt their draws, and only then will the fifth card be replaced from the deck. If there are no other players drawing, the dealer must burn a card before dealing the replacement cards.