How To Play Five Card Draw

Men and women playing cards in cabin
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Learn how to play the original game of poker: five card draw.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Players ante up (place a small bet in the pot).
  2. Starting with the player to the dealer's left, the dealer deals each player five cards, face down.
  3. Everyone picks up their cards from the table and checks out what they’ve got.
  4. There’s a round of betting, starting with the player to the dealer’s left.

    Need more help on betting rules and terms? Read Betting Basics.
  1. When the betting is done, those who are still in the hand get to trade in one, two, or three cards from their hand for new ones. If a player has an ace, he/she can trade in the other four cards in his/her hand but usually must show the ace.

    Note: You don’t have to trade any cards – if you already have a good hand, you’ll want to “stand pat” and keep the cards you were first dealt. 
  2. After everyone receives their new cards, there’s another round of betting, starting to the dealer's left.
  3. After the betting is completed, players show their hands and the best hand wins the pot.

    (Not sure what hands beat what? Here's a list of hand rankings.)

What You Need:

  • Deck of Cards
  • 2-8 Players
  • Chips