Draw Poker Rules

The Theme

The basic premise behind Draw Poker is that all cards are dealt face-down to players, who have the option to change a certain number of the cards dealt to them for new cards from the deck. For many, this is the first style of poker learned, typically from Five Card Draw. In Five Card Draw, five cards are dealt to each player and in sequence, each has the option to exchange for new cards from the deck. Players are obviously trying to improve the state of their hand by discarding those cards that add the least value.

The typical structure of a Draw Poker game is that cards are dealt to each player, followed by a betting round. Those players that get through the betting round are allowed a draw of cards from the deck. The draw is followed by another betting round, and then, showdown. Some players are accustomed to a draw before the first betting round. It is however preferable to have a betting round before the draw so that players must first pay the price to get to the draw.

The dealer calling the game will typically determine how many cards each player is allowed to draw. When making this decision, the dealer needs to ensure that there are enough cards in the deck to allow each player their maximum draw.

The dealer may call more than one draw. For example, five card draw with two draws of two cards. This would mean that players are going to have two opportunities to exchange as many as two cards with new ones from the deck. An additional draw round means an additional betting round. In this case, there would be three betting rounds: one before the first draw, one in between the two draws, and the last after the second draw.

The number of cards that a player takes on the draw should also be used as one predictor of the player’s hand. A player taking one card, for example, likely has two pairs, or four cards to a straight or flush.

The features that follow can be added to any Draw Poker game, including regular old Five Card Draw. Each is a variant on the game, thus creating a new game. Through experience, you will find which features (if any) best suit the games most often played at your table.

Roll Your Own

Draw Poker games are popular with wild cards, determined in advance by the dealer. This variant allows players to determine what card they want to have wild in their hand. Obviously, if they have two or three cards that match, they will determine that that card is wild in their hand. Or, one low card and a pair of Aces becomes three Aces.

Pay For Your Draw

This is a feature that can be used to build the pot of any Draw Poker game. The dealer attaches a ‘price’ to drawing a card. For example, the dealer determines that it costs one dollar for each card that a player wants to draw. A player drawing three cards would have to put three dollars into the pot on top of the amount accumulated from betting.

Leg Poker

This feature is more like two games in one. Most commonly played as double-legged poker, this variation requires that a player win the game twice before he can collect the pot. The game plays as it normally would, except that when a player wins with the best hand, that player does not yet collect the pot. Instead, that players has earned a leg towards winning the pot. The pot remains in the center of the table, and the same game is dealt again, complete with betting rounds. The first player to win two legs wins the giant pot. A Three-Legged Race is triple-legged poker, where a player must win three legs before claiming the pot.