In five-card draw, each player is dealt five cards and then has the opportunity to improve their hand through one draw. The best five-card poker hand wins the pot. A variation of five-card draw is "Jacks or Better" in which players must have at least a pair of jacks in order to open the betting, while other variations include the use of the joker as a partially wild card. For more information on these variations, read Robert's Rules of Poker.
This is a basic description of Five-Card Draw. For more general poker rules, read Robert's Rules of Poker, which also includes more specific Five-Card Draw rules.
- Post Blinds - Forced bets from the two players to the left of the dealer
- Deal - Five cards face down to each player
- First Betting Round
- Final Betting Round
Before each hand is dealt, the two players to the left of the dealer will post the blinds. The player immediately to the left of the dealer will post the small blind, which is typically, but not always, half the size of the big blind.
Each player is dealt five cards face down.
First Betting Round
After blinds are posted and cards are dealt, the player to the left of the big blind may choose to call, fold or raise. Each player follows in turn moving clockwise around the table until all players have folded or have called the last bet.
The player to the left of the dealer declares how many cards he or she would like to draw and discards the same number into the muck. The next player to the left does the same until each player has discarded and drawn.
Final Betting Round
After the third betting round is complete, the dealer burns a card then deals a fourth door card to each player. The player with the best poker hand showing has the first option to check or bet. Play proceeds clockwise around the table until the betting round is complete.
River and Final Betting Round
The second betting round begins with the first player to the immediate left of the dealer, who may choose to bet, check or fold. The betting increment is typically doubles in the final betting round, which continues until all players in the hand have checked, folded, or called the last bet.
Once all bets have been settled, the last player to make a bet must show his or her hand. Players who called must show their hand if it beats the final bettor, but if they do not hold a winning hand, they have the option of mucking without showing.