Five Card Draw Rules

Not to be confused with Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Draw is a poker variant that closely resembles Five Card Draw. The only difference is that each player is dealt seven cards rather than five cards.

Also, if need be take a look at our Rules of Five Card Draw if you’re unsure of how the game is played. One good thing about the game of Five Card Draw, is that from a rules and format standpoint, it is a pretty basic game. There are really only two or three times that you really have to make a decision in any given hand. 5 Card Draw Rules. We'll start by explaining the rules of Five Card Draw, then we'll explain the differences between Fixed and Pot limit later on down the page, as well as recommending the best 5 Card Draw poker sites. Shuffle Up and Deal. Like I mentioned before, the game starts with two forced bets, called 'blinds'.

Seven Card Draw is a relatively obscure variation but it’s still occasionally found in home games. Seven Card Draw was designed to address one of the biggest complaints players have of Five Card Draw: the game doesn’t have enough big hands.

In Seven Card Draw, the players may choose any five of their seven cards to create the best five card hand possible. In this version of draw poker, you’ll see strong hands more often and generate more betting action.

Five Card Draw Rules

Antes and Blinds

Seven Card Draw can either be played with antes or blinds. In the ante system, each player must place a small bet at the beginning of every hand. This bet is usually equal in size to 10% of the small betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, the antes would be $1.00.

  1. 5 Card Draw is a really entertaining and fun card game. It’s a delight for beginners because the rules seem pretty straight forward. While other games like Texas Hold’em can intimidate a newbie, 5 Card Draw is extremely approachable.
  2. Five Card Draw is one of most basic forms of poker, and it's the kind of poker you're used to seeing in movies and on TV. Because the game has been around for such a long time, and has been played in countless home games and card rooms across the nation, there are a couple different variations on the traditional rules.

Other times, players can use the same blind system that Texas Hold'em uses. In the blinds system, the player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, which is equal in size to half the minimum bet. The player to the left of the small blind posts the big blind, which is equal in size to one minimum bet.

In a $10/$20 game, the small blind would be $5 and the big blind would be $10.


If a full time dealer is used in the game, a small button is used to represent the dealer’s position at the table. The dealer’s button moves one seat to the left at the beginning of each hand. The purpose of this is to denote position and to ensure each player pays the blinds once per orbit.

At the beginning of each hand, the dealer deals the cards face down, one at a time, beginning with the player to the left of the dealer and going clockwise around the table until each player has seven cards.

First Betting Round

After all the cards have been dealt, the players now have a round of betting. This round begins with the player to the immediate left of the dealer. This player may call, fold, or raise. All bets in this betting round are placed in increments of the low betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, each bet and raise would be placed in increments of $10.

The action then continues clockwise around the table with each player having the same choices. If any player raises, the other players must at least match that raise to stay in the hand. The action continues clockwise until all the bets have been matched.


After the first betting round, the players may now discard up to four cards and receive new cards in exchange. Players may also “stand pat” and not draw any cards if they so choose.

Second Betting Round

The second betting round begins with the first remaining player to the left of the dealer. This time all bets are placed in increments of the high betting limit. In a $10/$20 game, all bets would now be placed in $20 increments.

The first player may bet, check, or fold and then the betting continues clockwise around the table. Once again, if any player bets or raises, each of the other players must either match that amount or fold their hands.


Any players remaining after the last betting round now show their hands. The player with the best five card poker hand, using any combination of the seven cards in his hand, wins the pot. If there is only one player left after the last betting round, that player may take the pot without showing his hand.

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5 card draw, the poker game you likely learned sitting at the kitchen table with your grandparents, is in the midst of a resurgence.

Astonishingly easy to learn and play, 5 Card Draw has very simple rules and a short learning curve meaning you can start learning the game and playing the game at a high level very quickly.

No community cards to share, no complicated betting calculations .. just straight-forward bets, one round of draws and the best 5-card hand wins at showdown.

5 Card Draw

5 Card Draw is still a popular choice for poker home games but you can also find it at a variety of online poker sites to to play for real money. If you've never played 5-card draw before or if you're a little hazy on how the 5-card draw rules work, here's a quick refresher.

How to Play 5 Card Draw

5-Card Draw Rules - Blinds or Antes?

A hand of 5 Card Draw begins with the player to the left of the dealer putting in (usually) half of the big bet at the table, called the small blind. The player to his or her left then puts in a full bet, called a big blind.

In a poker home game these blinds can be set however you like with pretty common stakes being from 5c/10c to $1/$2. Online, most real-money 5-Card Draw poker games are played at the very microstakes with blinds of 1c/2c or 2c/5c.


You will rarely find 5-Card Draw tournaments so most 5-Card Draw rules will focus on cash-games exclusively.

Another common way to start a game of 5-Card Draw - especially in home games - is to just have a set 'ante' that everyone must pay before the start of the hand.

Players can also set the rules for how the bets can progress. You can either play:

  • Fixed Limit (bets are restricted to increments of the big blind)
  • Pot-Limit (maximum bet at any time is the size of the current pot)
  • No-Limit (any amount of chips can be bet at any time

Related Poker Rules Help:

5 Card Draw Rules - The Deal

Once the ante or blinds are paid players may then receive their cards for the hand.

Each player then receives 5 cards all dealt face down. As mentioned there are no community cards in 5 Card Draw so all cards are dealt to each player individually.

The objective in 5-Card Draw is simply to make the best 5-card poker hand or, of course, have your opponent fold to a bet. Once you have your 5 cards you can arrange them in your hand accordingly to what set poker hand you already have or by which cards you're planning to get rid of.

In a poker home game, once an entire round of 5-Card Draw plays out the deal then passes on to the next player to the left. In a casino or online the dealer obviously doesn't change but a dealer button moves around the table to the left in sequence after each hand.

5 Card Draw Rules - The First Betting Round

Once all of the cards have been dealt to each play, play proceeds clockwise beginning with the player to the left of the big blind (in a blinds game) or the player to the left of the dealer (ante game).

Each player then has the option to either call, raise or fold. If the player in front of you folds, you have the option to fold, call the amount of the big blind (called 'limping in' or raise the bet.

If the player in front of you bets you can match that bet ('call') or raise.

Once the action has gone all the way around the table and returns to the small blind, the small blind can either fold, 'complete' the bet to the full amount of the big blind or match/raise any previous bets.

The big blind has the option to check (if no one has bet more than the original blind amount) or raise, or call, raise or fold if there has been a raise already.

Related Poker Rules Help:

Rules of 5 Card Draw - The Draw

Once all of the bets have been matched in the first round of betting, the draw round begins.

Starting to the left of the dealer (who is in the position known as 'the button') players now discard as many cards as they wish. The dealer then deals however many replacement cards requested.

Players can discard none ('stand pat'), 1, 2, 3, 4 or all 5 of their cards.

Five Card Stud Draw Rules

Rules of 5 Card Draw - The Final Betting Round

Once all players have discarded their desired number of cards and received replacements for their discards, there is another round of betting beginning with the player to the left of the dealer (or the next closest player still in the hand).

Each player has the same betting actions as in the first round. When all players have called all bets or folded, there is a showdown (cards are revealed) between any remaining hands and the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot.

If you need a refresher on the Poker Hand Rankings, check our hand rankings below:

  • Royal Flush (A, K, Q, J, 10 all of same suit)
  • Straight Flush. (5 cards in sequence all in same suit - eg 7h-8h-9h-Th-Jh)
  • Four of a Kind. (All four cards of same rank)
  • Full House. (3 cards of one rank alongside 2 cards of another - eg. 6h-6s-6d-8d-8c)
  • Flush (All 5 cards or one suit, any rank)
  • Straight (A sequence of 5 cards of rank, any suit - eg, 2h-3d-4c-5s-6c)
  • Three of a kind (3 cards or any one rank, two unmatched cards)
  • Two pair (Two different pairs plus one unmatched card)
  • One pair (One pair of equal rank, 3 unmatched cards)
  • High Card (all unmatched cards ranked by the highest single card)

5 Card Draw Rules - Game Variations

Five Card Draw Game Rules

5-Card Draw - Antes

As mentioned above, in some 5 card draw variations players all ante instead of putting up blinds. In these games a player is usually required to have at least a pair of jacks in his hand before he can bet at the pot.

If all players decline to bet players muck their cards, re-ante and receive a new deal.

Free 5 Card Draw

5-Card Draw - Maximum Discard of 3 Cards

In some 5-card draw home games players opt to cap the amount of cards you can draw at 3. That means that you must keep at least 2 of the first 5 cards you are dealt.

5-Card Draw - Multiple Draws

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In some 5-card draw rules you can have a second round of drawing after the second round of betting.

Play 5-Card Draw online, free!

For poker beginners who want to learn how to play 5-Card Draw, your best option is to try the free 5-Card Draw poker games at PokerStars. PokerStars offers the most game variety of any online poker site and gives you the opportunity to learn how to play in its lay-money games.

You will still need to register an official account at PokerStars (and be of legal age) but you aren't required to make any kind of deposit or financial investment to play. Simple look for the 'Instant Play' or 'Play Money' games tab in the lobby.

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