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Online poker strategy to play 5 card draw poker

The 5 Card Draw is apparently the one poker online game that everyone usually starts with.  It is one of the simplest and classic variations of poker that has appeared in a number of movies, TV shows, etc. One of the best things about this variant is that it is easy to learn and does not include any complex strategic decisions. This makes it ideal for novices. 

5 Card Draw online game is more about how you play your hand and less about the cards you get. It is a draw variant of poker. In other words, players have the option to replace their cards by drawing new ones. There are no community cards to share, no complex betting calculation, simply straightforward bets, one round of draws and the best 5-card combination hand wins at showdown. 

Luckily, if you have played any other type of poker, you will find this game easy to learn. However, for the complete newbie player, there will be some learning curve to expect. Though it is the easiest form of poker game to learn, it still requires a complete understanding of the game in order to become a successful player. Let’s see some of the rules and poker strategies for beginners that will help you have better outcomes and increase your win rate when playing the game on the internet

How to play poker 5 card draw: Hand rankings

As a rookie player, the first step is to get familiar with the hand rankings. This is the only way to determine whether or not you have a winning hand. And the 5 card poker online is no exception. Let’s begin by looking at the order of cards.

The hand ranking in 5 draw cards games is similar to most other poker games. As a result, it follows very common rules. The poker hand rankings range from weak to strong, just like in Texas Holdem. A royal flush is the powerful hand, and the worst hand you can have is a high card.


Gameplay of 5 Card Draw

When playing five card draw poker in virtual casinos, the action begins with a small blind and a big blind. The blinds are being put forward before cards are dealt to each player. After this, every player is given 5 cards. The player sitting next to the left of the big blind begins their betting action. Once the cards are dealt to each player, a round of betting starts. The players have the option to either call, raise, or fold the bet. Once the betting round ends, the players who are still actively involved in a hand will now take part in the draw phase. They have an option to replace (called the draw) cards anywhere between 0 and 5 from the deck of unused cards in order to improve their hand. If the player likes the first five cards already dealt and doesn’t wish to pick any, in which case they “stand pat”.

After each player has drawn their cards, a final round of betting begins from the active players to the left of the dealer button. Once the betting round ends, the player with the highest-ranking hand wins the pot. If two or more players have identical cards, the pot will equally split among them. In the draw poker game, the suits are irrelevant and are not used to break ties. Instead, if the two players have the same hand, then the highest side card (kicker) determines the winner. 

For instance, Player A has K-K-8-8-A at showdown, and Player B comes up with K-K-8-8-6. Since both players have a pair of Kings and 8’s, the side card will be used. And player A wins the pot because Ace (A) beats the 6.

5 Card Draw poker strategy

Learning how to play 5 card poker takes only a few minutes. But, it takes much longer to gain mastery and to become a pro. Though this draw poker variant has the benefit of not being too difficult as other poker variations, it still requires a basic understanding of the game strategies in order to succeed. Additionally, some extra tips can also help you improve your poker skills and play successfully.  

Selecting your starting hand in 5 draw cards:

Knowing how to choose your starting hand is a technique that can be applied to all other poker variants. Your odds of winning are generally determined by how you select your hands. It is vital for you to recognize which hands to keep and which ones to discard. Here are some quick 5 Card Draw pro poker tips that will help you choose your starting hands:

  1. Irrespective of your table position, you should always play hands like two pairs or better.
  2. From all positions, always raise with hands like Aces and Kings. Of course, you should not open Aces and Kings if you have seen any of your opponents Pat Flush.  
  3. As you get closer to the button position, you must start adding high pairs like Queens, Jacks, 10s and 9s. Make sure you have a solid kicker to back it up for a showdown.
  4. Regardless of your table position, you must always raise if you are fortunate enough to get two pairs or three-of-a-kind. Straights and draws are hands to avoid since they bleed away your bankroll.

It is crucial for inexperienced players to know that hands like four-to-a-straight or four-to-a-flush usually look much better than they really are. As you get one new card on the draw, you will be about a 4:1 underdog to hit your hand. So, you won’t have the correct pot odds to make your flush or straight quite often. 

As a beginner player, you must stick to the premium hand as that is the best approach to gain mastery in a 5 card poker game. As you gain more expertise and a better understanding of the game, you will be able to include additional hands. Also, you will be able to recognize and avoid numerous challenging situations. 

Decision making in 5 Card Draw round

Poker games like Texas Holdem and PLO have a flop, turn, and river – these are the five community cards dealt that players can use to improve their starting hand. But in 5 Card Draw, you only get one opportunity to discard certain cards and acquire new ones. Therefore, how do you decide which cards to keep and which to discard? Well, there are few situations in this game where you will be unsure what the best course of action is. The following tips will help you in making decisions in particular situations.

  1. a) If you have two pair, discard the unpaired one.
  2. b) Discard all three remaining cards if you have only a pair.
  3. c) When you have three-of-a-kind, discard the other two cards. 
  4. d) Don’t draw when you have three cards to a flush or a straight.


When you initially begin playing the game, your first few attempts will most likely be as per the books. As time goes by, you will see that this isn’t always the best decision to go for. This is where the bluff comes in. You must have probably heard of it, but just to be safe, let’s revise. Bluffing is when a player puts a large amount of money into the pot while holding a weak hand. You may think why anybody would do that but hold your breath. Your moves will become predictable if you stick to the basic 5 card draw poker strategy. Thus, your opponents may soon figure out what kind of hand you have and take action accordingly. 

If you bluff occasionally, you may lead your opponents to overlay many preferable hands over yours. But, don’t bluff too much because you won’t always get away with it. It is also a great idea to alter the way you bet and draw once in a while. Play around with both your luck and cards to keep your opponents from figuring out your online poker strategy

Position in 5 Card Draw

Your position in a five card poker draw plays a vital role. The best position to be in is the button position. This is because you get to act last. The closer you are sitting to the button, the more hands you can play. This gives you a significant benefit, as you will be able to observe the decisions of your opponents. Try to play more hands from the late position than from the early position. If you have a monster hand, play freely, no matter what the position is. If not, play tight from the early position and loosen up as your position improves.  

Though this is an old game, it still remains the pillar of poker as we know it. As the game is not available in most land-based casinos, there are numerous digital casinos that offer to play this game. With easy five card poker rules and basic structure, it is the best poker variation for newbies to start with. It will introduce you to some of the terminology and actions that are required in poker before you head over to learn some of the popular poker games like Texas Holdem. The more you play and the more experience you gain, the better you will become. To know more about poker variants, download the poker app for free.


Ranjeet Kumar

Ranjeet Kumar, a Growth Hacker, SEO, SMO, Blogger and Digital Marketing Consultant with over 7+ years of IT experience. Loves to share marketing tips & strategies among online marketers.

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