5 Card Draw Poker Rules!

Name: 5 Card Draw Poker Rules

Recommended ages: 8 and older

Number of players: 2 - 8

Average playing time: Following the usual 5 Card Draw Poker rules, it can be several hours


Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, but to play the game properly you need to know the rules. Five card draw poker rules are the easiest versions of poker rules to learn to play, and is very popular among beginners playing at home. More advanced players and casino gamblers usually progress onto Texas Hold’Em and other variations, but once you have the basic rules, it is easy to pick up any version of the game.

How to Play

Five card draw poker is a card game for up to eight players, and played with a standard deck of cards. Some variations of the game remove some cards when fewer players are playing, but beginners usually play these. The 5 card draw poker rules are the same for all these versions, and are mostly similar to other games of poker.

First you need some poker chips (though anything can work - matchsticks, popcorn, etc). You divide the chips evenly and then decide on the "Ante", or how much each person puts in at the beginning of each hand.

The dealer then deals out five cards face down to each player before the first round of betting. The players look at their cards and then the betting starts. The first to bet is the person to the left of the dealer.


The first person can do 1 of 3 things.

  • Check – which means they do not put any money in.
  • Open (raise) – which means they put money in, you have to say how much you are raising too, ex “raise $5.”
  • Fold – you can always say I’m not going to win and just fold. In which case the dealer takes your cards and puts them on the bottom of the deck.

Everyone else can do 1 of 4 things.

  • Check – if everyone checks you all get to draw new cards for free. If someone doesn’t check you can’t check.
  • Call – if someone bets money you at least have to call them. If they bet $2 you at least have to put $2 if you want to see the next cards.
  • Raise – You can raise as much as you want. If someone puts in $2 you can always say raise $3.
  • Fold – if you don’t want to call you can always fold. In which case the dealer takes your cards and puts them on the bottom of the deck.

Once the first round of betting is over, the players tell the dealer how many cards they want to change out. You can ask for five entirely new cards, but some people make a rule that you can only ask for four and have to keep one of your original cards.

Once the new cards are handed out, another round of betting happens. This follows the same steps as above, but after this round of betting, everyone lays out their cards to see who wins. The winner takes all the chips and another hand is started.

Each player can continue to play until they run out of chips, or money, to bet. The aim is to walk away with a profit, but many players play poker just for fun using tokens, matchsticks or some other substitute for money.

Winning the Game

Like most card games, in 5 card draw poker rules the highest card is the Ace, followed by King, Queen, Jack and then the numerical cards in descending order. Several different hands of cards exist including:

  • Straight Flush – five cards of the same suit in sequence
  • Four of a Kind – four of the same rank card
  • Full House – three of one card and a pair of another
  • Flush – five cards of the same suit
  • Straight – five cards in sequence
  • Three of a Kind – three of the same card
  • Two Pairs – two set of two of the same card
  • Pair – two of the same card
  • Nothing – highest single card

If two players have the same hand, then the one with the highest value cards will win. The order of winning hands is the most important aspect of poker to learn and is probably one of the most important 5 card draw poker rules.

Keeping track of the hands is usually the hardest part for a new player. I've created a downloadable pdf with these poker hands that you can find by clicking on this link. Each sheet has four lists so you can print them off and hand them out before the game begins.


Part of the skill of poker is gambling on your cards and trying to convince the other players that your cards are better, or worse, than they actually are. A player with a bad hand might only swap one card to bluff the other players that they have a better hand, or a player with a good hand might look disappointed with their cards. This is one of the most important parts of the game, and can be difficult for beginners to pick up but practice certainly helps.

Players place bets during each hand after all of the cards have been dealt. Players can either choose to stake a bet on their cards or fold until the next hand. This is one of the most important areas of the game to learn as proper management of your bank can keep you playing longer when you are losing and make you more money when you are winning.

Final Thoughts

Five-card draw poker is a popular card game that beginners often play when they start to learn how to play poker. An important aspects of the game to learn is the 5 card draw poker rules. A proper understanding of the rules makes the game of poker much more enjoyable to play.

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