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The Rules of Draw Poker

The Rules of Draw Poker are simple. Each player is dealt their entire hand (usually five cards, although sometimes more) and must make the best five card hand possible. After one round of betting, they are allowed to discard as many of the cards in their hand as they wish. Afterward, players bet again and whoever remains shows their hand. The best hand wins the pot.

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Betting Systems in Draw Poker

Most Draw Poker uses a No-Limit betting system, especially in casinos. Players being able to bet as much as they have at any point during the hand leads to very aggressive play, and results in Draw Poker players having to get a strong read on their opponents. Bluffs are common, but they lead to a players ruin just as often as they do glory.

No-Limit is not the only way to play Draw Poker, however. Some people to play Fixed-Limit, where a cap is placed on the maximum size of the bet. This style of play allows for more players to get involved in the game. It is most common in home games, and will rarely be played in casinos.

Variants of Draw Poker

There are a near infinite number of Draw Poker variation, but here are a few of the more common themes and varieties.

  • 5-Card Draw – The most common and popular type of Draw Poker. Sometimes played as 7-Card draw instead, which leads to higher hands.

  • California Lowball – A low-card game where check-raising is discouraged. 5-4-3-2-A (AKA: a wheel) is considered the best hand, as straights and flushes are not counted as high cards.

  • Anaconda – A casual game where players don’t muck their cards, but rather pass them to the left. Much of the strategy involves trying to create a hand out of cards you would expect to be thrown aside by others.

Learn Through Experience

The best way to learning the rules of Draw Poker is to play! Using websites like Carbon Poker or PokerStars, a player can gain insight and understanding into how the game is played. With play money tables and simple it is easy for first time players to get in on the action with little risk.


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