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Five-card draw poker

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Five-card draw poker

Five-card draw is a poker variant, historically the most played in Europe.

Game rules

Five-card draw poker can be played from three to eight players. Not to lead to excessive distortions on the strong hands probabilities, and retain enough animation for the game, the number of cards used normally depends on the number of players: 32 cards for four players, 40 to five, then it will increase with four cards per player, up to a full set of 52 cards to eight players. But these figures are indicative and may be adjusted, the main thing being that there to be enough cards for all.

Initially, the seats of the players are drawn at random.

Stakes and chips

The stake of a player is determined by his chips, the chip system balancing the chances between the richest and poorest players:

  • The buy-in is the value expressed in chips (typically 100 to 200) that a player can initially supply or replenish between two distributions. The value of a buy-in is the same for all players.

  • The stake is the total chips a player has in front of him and can build.

During the game, a player can only play with his stake (and it is forbidden to borrow his opponents). If the amount thereof is insufficient, it can add a rebuy, but only between games.

In the system of “cash games”, the restriction is lower, the number of chips of a rebuy is not limited, a player can rebuy as much as he wants. It is possible to fully avoid the restrictions on the chips, players being directly limited by their personal wealth.


The dealer can be permanent and will not take part in the party, or be one of the players.

If the dealer is a player, each player draws a card before the start of the game. Whoever draws the highest card deal the first; then will deal the other players in turn.

In five-card draw, the cards are shuffled at the beginning of the game, or when a new game starts. However, in casino or tournament variants, where the “hits” are more independent, the cards are shuffled between each round of betting.

Blind or Pot

There are two major variants of draw poker, the “pot” or “blind” game. In both cases, all or part of the players must make a forced bet, regardless of the game: it is the initial pot of the game.

In the pot game, the most common, each player puts up a pot fixed in advance, the same for all. This amount, set in the early game, is typically one to three chips.

In the blind game, the pot is made entirely by the first player left of the dealer: this blind is, same time, the initial pot, and an opening (there is no “word” in the parties to the blind). The blind player will speak last during the betting round.

The advantage of the one who speaks last is that it has the best view of the game. It can revive all bets of his opponents, and knows who opened or not. If everyone passes before him, the agreement is generally to play the pot, with the minimum bet the amount of the blind.

The blind games sometimes admit the possibility of the big blind: The player following the small blind, instead of opening, double the initial blind without looking at his cards and thus acquires the privilege to speak last. Just as the blind is an opening in blind, the big blind is a raise of the blind, that gives to the player that use it the privilege of the blind. Similarly, some conventional variants recognize the opportunity for each player to double blind of his opponent to the right (overblind, suroverblind …), still not looking at the cards.

In some agreements between the players, the first player after the dealer can buy the pot: it doubles the amount before looking at his cards, and buys the privilege to speak last for two betting rounds of the game.

It is common in the private games of draw poker, to periodically rotate a few rounds of “blind games” in the pot games”, or vice versa, so as to break the monotony of data by a recreational ride.

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