The Rules of Draw Poker
Poker is the basic form of Poker and the place to start when introducing new
players to the game. It's fairly uncommon these days in the casinos, but it is
the form from which all other Poker games are derived.
essence of Draw Poker is that the player builds a hand from 5 cards. After the
initial round of betting the player may discard some or all of their cards and
receive replacements. The players cards should never be revealed until the final
Showdown, and are only then if absolutely necessary (more on that later). During
the game, all cards are dealt and discarded face down.
are two main things to learn when it comes to Draw Poker. The first is Poker's
5-card hands and their ranking. The second is the course of play including when
and how to bet.
poker hand is made from the best arrangement of five cards and are ranked as
follows, highest first:
are no wild cards in Draw Poker. All suits are ranked equally.
Course of Play
round of Poker begins with determining the Dealer. The Deal usually rotates
around the table from the right: if you've just dealt then the person on your
left deals next.
assigned, the Dealer receives the deck and shuffles. Each player pays the
"ante" which is a small, flat fee you pay to purchase the right to
play that round. If you don't ante it means you are "sitting out".
These monies and all others in the game go into the center of the table in a
pile called "the pot". Once the antes are in, the Dealer deals one
card at a time, face down, to each player around the table, beginning on the
Dealer's left. Then the second card is dealt to each player, and so on until
each player has 5 cards, all face down.
Bet or Fold
pick up their cards and assess their hand. The player to the Dealer's left opens
the betting round by either placing a Bet, indicating a Pass by placing no bet,
or Folding by discarding their hand.
next player to the left now has the opportunity to Bet. Or they can Fold. If the
previous players Passed then they can Pass too or place a Bet of their own. If
other players have Bet and they wish to stay in the round they must Call by
matching any outstanding bets. They can then Raise by placing a bet of their
betting then moves to the next player on the left, then the next, and so on back
to and including the Dealer.
the Dealer has placed their bet, the other players must Call any outstanding
bets or Fold. Generally speaking, no Raises are permitted once the betting has
passed around to the Dealer.
may now Discard any or all of their cards based on their hopes of building a
better hand. Cards are discarded face down and collected by the Dealer.
Dealer now deals each player, starting on the left, their replacement cards,
before the Player on the Dealer's left begins the betting and the betting
proceeds around the table.
the Dealer gets the final Raise. Then everyone else must Call or Fold. Finally,
the remaining players are ready for the Showdown.
at any time there is only one player left in the game they take the pot. This
player is encouraged to keep their cards hidden and muck them to the Dealer.
the final betting round, and all the necessary Calls, the players still in the
game have reached the Showdown. The player's hands are revealed. The best hand
wins and the winner takes the pot.
there are tied winning hands then the rank of the individual cards determines
the winner. For instance Full House of Aces over Jacks beats a Full House of
Kings over Jacks. If it's still a tie and there are no kickers (spare cards not
used to build the final hand) then the pot is split.
the rank of the individual cards doesn't determine the winner, then the kicker(s)
of higher rank determines the winner. If it's still a tie, the pot is split.
there are no "name" hands (all players have No Pair), then the highest
ranking single card is declared the winning hand. If it comes to a dead tie (no
clear winner, all cards same rank) then the pot is split.
is never used to determine a winner in Poker.
hands and betting are the basic rules, there is much, much more to being a
successful Poker player. Poker is not about having the highest ranking hand,
it's about winning the biggest pots. How you do that, short of cheating, is your
business and that is what makes Poker the beloved game that it is.
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