Draw Poker

Draw Poker is a type of poker in which each player is dealt a complete hand before the first betting round, and then develops the hand for later rounds by replacing cards.

Each player is dealt five cards, one at a time, all face down. The remaining deck is placed aside and protected by placing a marker on it. Players pick up their cards and hold them in their hands, being cautious to keep them covered from the other players view. The first betting round occurs starting with the player to the dealer's left. Should more than one player remain after this round, the draw phase begins.

Each player stipulates how many of his cards he wishes to replace and discards the same amount hand. The remaining deck is taken back and after a burn card (a card dealt from the top of a deck, placed aside and unused) is dealt. Each player is dealt the same number of cards he thrown away so that each player again has five cards. A second betting round occurs after the draw phase followed by a showdown if more than one player remains.

A common house rule in some places is that a player may not replace more than three cards unless he draws four cards whilst keeping an ace or wild card. This rule is only needed for low-limit social poker games where many players will stay for the draw. In more serious poker games, it is unnecessary and not used.

A rule that is used by many casinos is that a player is not allowed to draw five successive cards from the deck. Should a player want to replace all five of his cards, he is only given four of them in turn. The other players are given their draws and then the dealer returns to that player to give him his fifth replacement.

Another common house rule is that the bottom card of the deck is never given as a replacement card. This keeps away from the possibility of someone who might have seen the bottom card to use that that information. If the deck is depleted during the draw before all poker players have received their replacement cards, the last players can receive cards chosen randomly from the discarded cards.

The most common Draw Poker variant is Five Card Draw. Another variant commonly played is the Deuce to Seven Low.

Other variants are:

  • Gardena Jackpots ("Jacks to open" or simply "Jackpots")
  • California Lowball
  • California High/Low Split
  • High/Low with Declare
  • Double-Draw and Triple-Draw
  • Four-Before
  • Johnson (and "Jacks Back")
  • Q-Ball
  • Shotgun ("Roll 'em Out" and "Skinny Minnie")
  • Spit in the Ocean
  • Anaconda ("Pass the Trash")

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