5-card draw, commonly referred to as “draw” is most popular in home games. Draw was somewhat popular in the 70’s and 80’s, but has since lost some popularity after the explosion of Texas Hold’em swept across the world over the last 2 decades. You don’t see the game played in too many large tournaments, (though it is out there) and some online poker rooms don’t even offer the game. It is however a fun variation of poker well worth playing once you understand the strategies you need to perfect to play well.
The game is set up with blinds, a big blind and a small blind, which rotate clockwise around the table each hand. The small blind is half the BB and positioned to the left of the dealer button, the BB is set to the left of the SB. These are mandatory bets that must be placed before any card is dealt.
Once the blinds have been laid, each player is dealt 5 cards face down. A round of betting takes place in which each player, starting from the player to the left of the BB and rotating clockwise around the table may either call the BB or raise the bet. After all betting has been completed, each player remaining in the pot is given the opportunity to turn in any number of cards from their hand and draw the same number of new cards from the deck. Another round of betting takes place, this time starting from the player on the SB. Each player may now either check, bet, or if a bet has already been established, call, fold, or raise the bet.
The object is to make the best possible poker hand. Once all bets have been established after the drawing round, the players remaining in the pot go to showdown. They turn up their cards, and the player with the best poker hand wins the pot.