5 Card Draw Poker

How to play 5 card draw poker and the history of it from cowboy days and where to play online

5 Card Draw Poker

This is where every game you know originated.

We go back to where it all started. It wasn't Hold'em which featured in the Old West classic The Cincinatti Kid or the Mel Gibson film Maverick. And the phrase Dead Man's Hand was coined when Wild Bill Hickok was killed clutching a hand in a dusty saloon in 1876. So while Texas Hold'em is the top choice these days, it's worth revisiting the 5 card draw poker game which started many a bar room fight, and paved the way for what we all love.

Poker Hand Now, you might not be able to convince a group of friends to pop round for this at home, with only two betting rounds and none being dealt face up, but this has been revived by several big name sites. So you can always have a dabble online.

The format is simple. Five are dealt to each player face down. Following a round of betting, those still in get the chance to remove and re-take as many or as few of those as they choose, although some house rules limit the changes.

There is then a second round of betting, where players have the option to check, bet/call or fold. The showdown then follows, with the highest ranked hand taking the pot.

What's the difference?

5CardDrawPoker The similarities to Hold'em are few. For instance everyone places a forced ante instead of blinds, and as already mentioned there are only two betting rounds instead of four. Sometimes it is played with a 53 deck, with the addition of a Joker as wild, and it can be played under limit (which is more common) and no limit rules. As with other limit games like Stud, the initial bet and raises are set at the lower limit in the first round of betting and go up to the higher in the second round. And there is usually a cap of three raises per round.

There are two formats commonly played: High, which is as described above and Jacks or Better, where to open the betting someone must have a pair of Jacks or better to start. If no-one has, the dealer button moves to the left, everyone antes again and they are re-dealt until someone does.

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5 CardDraw Poker Importantly, legal openers must be proved and if someone opens falsely their hand will be declared dead and their bet will remain in the pot. The number allowed for changes must be announced to all players and quite often there is a limit. Some allow three or four, but you could have five, although the fifth would come after everyone has been given their change. In a four-card limit, a rule whereby you can only take four if you have an Ace (and expose it) is often applied. But every site and game varies, so if you play at home decide which rules you're going to play and make sure everyone knows at the outset. Likewise, when playing online read the site's rules section thoroughly so you know the exact variation before you start.

In terms of strategy, the only real way to read the strength or weakness of opponents' hands is by the number they take. It's based on instinct and patience and it's well worth reading Herbert O'Yardley's autobiographical book The Education of a Player to get a detailed analysis of what to stay on and when to bet, fold and raise.









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