5 Card Draw
The History of Five Card Draw Poker
The exact origin of five card draw poker is debatable. However, it is clear that it goes way back, with a history stretching all the way back to the middle ages.
Although it might be hard to believe, Texas Hold ‘em was not always the most popular poker game played internationally. Up until the early 20th century, five card draw poker ruled the roost as the most commonly played variation of poker.
While the game may have lost out on some popularity with the rise of internet gaming and online Texas Hold ‘Em poker, there is no doubt that five card draw poker remains one of the most pure and unadulterated forms of poker that you can play today.
It is said that classic five card poker began in various places across Europe and Asia, although its definitive birthplace continues to trigger debate. It was only in the 19th century that five card draw poker found its feet, establishing dominance in the casino world with its importation into The United States.
For many people, five card draw poker goes hand in hand with the Wild West and the old frontier, due to its early popularity with migrating gold miners.
In the early days of the game, there was only one betting round, which occurred after players were each dealt five cards face down by a dealer. This primitive version of five card draw poker would have been played with an old-fashioned 20-card deck.
Although exciting, this basic poker game allowed little scope for strategy and limited the potential for different hands that could be produced at the showdown.
Based more on chance and luck than any level of playing skill, this early incarnation of the game is a world away from the game of five card draw poker that is known and loved by poker players today.
It was not until the early 1800s that the ‘full’ deck of cards was first introduced into the game, as well as the important use of a card draw to spice up play.
Five Card Draw Poker Rules
In a game of five card draw poker, the objective of the players is to construct the most valuable five card poker hand possible from a combination of cards issues by the dealer.
While this objective is typical in poker game variations, the main thing that makes five card draw poker unique is the fact that players must construct their hand using only one card draw.
Basically, this means that a game of five card draw poker will only feature two betting rounds, with players holding a full and final hand once the second round of betting has commenced.
Five card draw poker players can succeed at the poker table by constructing the most valuable hand in the showdown or knocking their opponents out of the game with bets and bluffs.
According to their perceived hand strength or the bets of other players, a player may choose to either call, bet, raise or fold in each round.
If no players have made a wager, successive players may decide to check their hand, which essentially means refusing to bet and waiting it out.
Five Card Draw Poker Strategy
Even though five card draw poker is a simple poker game, there is potential for strategy and tactical play.
Because five card draw poker only has two rounds of betting, it is essential that players know how to act quick off the draw. Speedy game progression forces players to act quickly and with appropriate aggression, which should be tailored to best suit any given hand or situation.
Potential five card draw poker strategies are endless, but every player should be aware of some of the basics before taking to the table or playing five card draw for real money.
Because five card draw poker players do not use community cards or visible hole cards, the best way to figure out the potential strength of your opponent’s hand is to analyse their behaviour and betting patterns.
Learning how to read other players is a key skill that should be incorporated into any five card draw poker strategy. By checking the actions of other players, you should be able to pick up on their ‘tells’ (subconscious giveaways that can be used to gauge the strength of their hand).
If you already know how to play poker games like Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha, you are in luck.
The value of hands and hand ranking system is exactly the same as that used in most poker games, so you shouldn’t have to spend any time memorizing hand values to know your worth at the five card draw poker table.
If you are a poker beginner or you’d like to refresh your memory, here is a basic guide to hand values in five card draw poker.
The following hands are listed in descending order:
- Royal Flush – 10, Jack, Queen, King & Ace of the same suit (Most Valuable)
- Straight Flush – Five cards in sequence and of the same suit
- Four of a Kind – four of the same card
- Full House – one pair and one three of a kind
- Flush – any five cards of the same suit
- Straight – five cards in sequence of any suit
- Three of a Kind – three of the same card
- Two Pair – two pairs of cards
- One Pair – two of the same card
- High Card – The most valuable card in one’s hand (Least Valuable)
Five Card Draw Popularity
Although five card draw poker is no longer as popular as it once was, there is no doubt that the game still packs a punch.
Although the game is still played casually all over the world, five card draw poker is very well suited to online real-money play, including on mobile and in a live casino setting.
High-quality five card draw games can be enjoyed on a wide range of online betting platforms including online casinos and dedicated poker sites.
The speedy pace of the game combined with the simple and accessible rules and setup enables inexperienced five card draw poker players to feel right at home from the very start.
As a primitive and fast-paced ancestor of the most popular form of poker, Texas Hold ‘Em, five card draw poker could not be easier to get the hang of. This is one of the key reasons that its popularity has endured with so many poker players over so many years.
Similar Poker Games
Five card draw poker is often considered the original ‘draw’ poker game, with the card draw in question enabling players to discard or swap unwanted cards, thus strengthening their hand.
There are now countless draw poker game variations, and five card draw players can find all kinds of similar alternatives that can be played once they have gotten to grips with the basics of five card.
Similar poker games include 2-7 triple draw, 2-7 single draw and Badugi.
As well as draw poker variations, five card draw poker has plenty in common with Texas Hold ‘Em and other poker games in which the player must construct the best five card hand that they can.
Another similarity lies in the fact that both games are flop-based, with five card draw games employing the use of blinds to get the betting action started. Just like Texas Hold ‘Em, the small and big blinds must be made by the two players at the immediate left of the dealer.
Other poker games which share similar elements include Omaha, Courchevel, Seven Card Stud, Razz and Triple Stud.