How to Play 5 Card Draw Poker

This section will inform you on gaming procedures, rules, and policies of Poker's game of Five Card Draw.


is abbreviation for Rules.

Game Summary

PLAYERS: The game is played by 2-5 players.

DECK: A standard 52-card deck is used.

BETTING STRUCTURES: Five Card Draw can be played as a Limit, Pot limit or No limit game.

BUTTON AND BLINDS: The game is played with a dealer button, a small blind and a big blind just like Texas Hold'em. The player to the left of the dealer posts a small blind and the player to the left of the small blind posts a big blind before the cards are dealt.

THE DEAL: Five cards face down are dealt to each player.

PLAY: After the deal, the first betting round starts. At the end of the first betting round, each player may discard and draw up to five cards. A second round of betting ensues, followed by the showdown.

SHOWDOWN: The winner of the hand is the player who holds the highest hand according to universal poker hand rankings.

Dealing the Game of Five Card Draw

Before the Deal:

  • Players will buy-in for the posted amount.
  • Selected players will post blinds.

The Dealer Button:

The dealer button is a graphical representation ("D") of which player is the "dealer." Although the dealer will be dealing the game, the player who has the button placed in front of his seat gets to play his cards as if he were the actual dealer. When the cards are dealt to players, they are dealt in a manner as if the player was actually dealing in a live environment.


Because there is a player "on the button" two players are now asked to post the big or small blinds. The purpose of the blinds is to put forced money into the pot that gives players an incentive to enter the hand. However, only two players will post the blinds.

The first blind is called the "small blind". This bet is usually half the minimum bet of the game, although in some games, the fraction is slightly different. So, in a $2-$4 limit game, the small blind will be $2.

The second blind is called the "big blind" and is always the same size as the game's minimum bet, e.g., in a $2-$4 limit game, the big blind is $4.


The player directly to the left of the button will have the "small blind." The player directly to the left of the small blind will have the "large blind" of the full amount or the lowest game limit.


During heads-up play, the player with the button will have the "small blind" and the player to his/her left will have the "big blind."

Opening Deal:

Now that there is a Button and small and big blinds, the game is ready to deal. The dealer always deals from the player closest to the dealer's left. Moving clockwise around the table, the game will "deal-in" each player. The players will be dealt five cards face down. A round of betting will occur starting with the player seated to the left of the big blind.

How many raises will be allowed per betting round in fixed limit games?


The general poker rule is a "cap" of three raises allowed per betting round with three or more players. However, if there is a "heads up" situation whereby only two players remain in the game, then raises are unlimited.

Betting on Opening Deal:


The player seated to the left of the big blind will always have the action on the opening deal. This player may not check, but rather can only fold, call, or raise.

The game will now advance to each player seated asking to fold, call, or raise until the big blind is reached for an action decision. If no one has raised by the time the play comes back around to the big blind, the big blind has the option to "check" his own BLIND wager or raise.

Once all players have completed the first round of wagering, they will proceed to discarding cards and drawing new cards.

Discarding Cards

After the first betting round each player is asked to discard and draw from zero to five cards. This is done by clicking the cards that the player wants to discard. These cards will be shaded and slightly raised to indicate that they have been selected. Once the player is satisfied with the selections made, cards are discarded and drawn by clicking the DISCARD button.

A player may chose not to discard any cards. This is done by clicking the STAND PAT button. Standing pat means no cards will be discarded and drawn.

When all players have discarded and drawn cards, the second betting round starts.

Second Betting Round

The second betting round starts with the first player seated to the left of the dealer button. The options available to this player are to fold, check or bet. Should the player fold or check, the next player in turn will have the same options as the first player. If the first player bets, the next player to act will have the option of folding, calling or raising. Before a player acts, the number of discarded cards for that player is displayed to everyone. The rules state that this information should be available until there has been action after the draw.

In Fixed limit games there is a maximum of four bets allowed in each betting round. A bet, a raise, a re-raise and a cap. A cap is the third raise in a betting round, after which no more betting is allowed. Pot limit and No limit games allow for an unlimited number of bets and raises.

After the second betting round is finished, the showdown follows.

Who shows first?


The determination of which players' cards will and must be shown first will lie with the player who had initiated the action or with the person who had initiated the last bet, raise or re-raise. This simply means that whoever had the last action must show his/her cards first.

Suppose a player wins by default?


A player who has a winning hand does not have to show his/her cards if his/her bet was not called.

Do players have to show their cards if they call a bet on the Last Betting Round?


Players are not required to show their cards if, and only if, they are not the player who had the last action.

Please note: Players may set their play to "Muck Losing Hands" in the Menu>Settings. Muck Losing Hands - checked - will mean that any losing hand will automatically muck. Muck Losing Hands - unchecked - will mean that the player will be presented with the choice to muck or show when applicable.

Who wins?

In the poker room, "cards speak." The winner will be decided based on the universal poker hand rankings.

Five Card Draw Blind Rules


All players must pay for their blinds in full before they are allowed to get the button. Therefore, the player who had posted the small blind in the prior hand will receive the button on the next deal of any game. However, during heads-up play, the button will alternate between the two players so that no player holds the button two hands in a row.

In the event that a player only has enough money to cover the big blind, that player WILL NOT participate in the hand. The player will be required to purchase more chips in order to play. For example, if the blinds are $0.25/0.50 and a player has exactly $0.50, that player may NOT play.

  • In the event there is a new player to the game, two options could then occur:
    1. If the new player is not seated in the big blind, then he/she may choose to "post" the big blind or "wait." If the player does post, then his/her wager is active. If the player chooses to "wait," he/she will have missed the blind. The missed blind must be reposted prior to the next hand.
    2. If the new player is seated in the big blind, then he/she is treated as such.

Missed Blinds Rules and Procedures:

  • Missed big blind. If a player misses the big blind for any reason, then that player may not play in any hands until the sum of all blinds are made up. The game will place an "MB" button in that seat to declare the missed big blind. The game will ask the next active player to the left to post the big blind for the hand. If the missed player returns to the game before the big blind comes back to his/her seat, the player is required to make up the sum of all blinds, "Post all." The small blind portion is dead and must be put into the pot before the hand is dealt. However, a player may avoid posting dead by waiting for the big blind to arrive at his/her seat naturally
  • Missed small blind. If a player misses the small blind for any reason, then that player may not play in any hands until the small blind is made up. The game will place an "MS" button in that seat to declare the missed small blind.