Five Card Draw

Five Card Draw is the game many people grew up playing around the kitchen table. In this game, your goal is to make the best five-card hand after one draw. Like Hold'em, it's a game that's easy to learn, but difficult to master.

What is Five Card Draw? Rules of the game.

Draw games are played with blinds and a button, just like flop games. Each player is dealt five hidden hole cards. The first player after the big blind has the option to fold, call, or raise. Action continues clockwise around the poker table until betting is complete for the round.

How to play Five Card Draw

Once the first round of betting is complete, there is a draw. Each player selects which (if any) cards they want to discard by clicking on them. By clicking a second time on a card that you have planned to discard, you remove it from the discard set. Discarding continues around the table clockwise. When it is your turn to discard, you press the button to confirm you wish to discard the selected cards.

After the first draw, there is another round of betting, beginning with the first active player to the left of the button. So, the sequence of action is:

  1. Five cards dealt to each player
  2. Betting round #1, beginning with first active player to the left of the big blind
  3. Draw
  4. Betting round #2, beginning with first active player to the left of the button
  5. Showdown (if necessary)

In draw games, it is possible for more cards to be needed than are remaining in the deck. In this case, the cards are reshuffled, and play continues using the new deck. For more information on reshuffling in draw games, please see Reshuffling the Deck.

How do you determine the winner in Five Card Draw?

The player with the best five-card hand wins the pot. After the pot is awarded to the best hand, a new game of Five Card Draw is ready to be played.

If two or more hands have the same value, the pot is equally split between them. There is no precedence of suit for the purposes of awarding the pot.

Where can I learn to play Five Card Draw online for free?

If you are unfamiliar with Five Card Draw poker, we recommend you try that poker game out first to get a feel for how it’s played. You are always welcome to play on free poker tables at PokerStars, and sharpen your skills before playing real money poker.

PokerStars also offers advice to help you learn about different poker games, plus free strategy tips. You can find this information in our How to Play section.

Finally, if you like to play other draw variants, we recommend you check out Triple Draw 2-7 Lowball or Single Draw 2-7 Lowball; both of which are very popular poker games as well. These games are a nice change of pace from the amazingly popular Texas Hold'em game, and they are also available in our poker tournaments selection.

As well as Five Card Draw, we also offer many other poker variants. See our Poker Games page to learn more.

Additional information

You have the chance to change up to five cards from your hand.

Five Card Draw uses the traditional ‘high’ poker rankings. In summary:

  • Royal Flush – ace, king, queen, jack and ten of an identical suit.
  • Straight Flush – five cards in numerical order, all identical suits.
  • Four of a Kind – four cards of the same rank, and one side card or ‘kicker’.
  • Full House – three cards of the same rank, and two of a different, matching rank.
  • Flush – five cards of the same suit.
  • Straight – five cards in sequence.
  • Three of a Kind – three cards of the same rank, and two unrelated side cards.
  • Two pair – two cards of a matching rank, another two cards of a different matching rank, and one side card.
  • One pair – two cards of a matching rank, and three unrelated side cards.
  • High card – any hand that does not qualify under a category listed above.

There are no set rules when it comes to developing an optimal Five Card Draw strategy. We encourage you to take a look at the How to Play section of our site for guidance on different poker games.

In Five Card Draw, each player gets five cards at the start of the game. However, in Five Card Stud, each player initially gets two cards and works their way up to five cards if they stay in the game. Additionally, in Five Card Draw, players have the chance to change cards with the view of creating a better hand. In contrast, Five Card Stud players have to play with the cards they are dealt.

There are two rounds of betting in Five Card Draw. The first round takes place after the initial five cards are dealt. After players have drawn cards, the final round of betting occurs.