Five Card Draw is probably the most time proven and played game of poker. Simple and concise, it gets the job done while staying fun all the while. Although not often player in casino or tournament play, Five Card Draw is still the most popular poker style used at informal meetings. Like all games of poker, Five Card Draw begins by all players putting in their ante prior to being dealt their cards to ensure there is a pot to be won. From there, each player is dealt five cards face-down by the dealer.
From here, the players look at their cards and then are allowed to begin the first betting round starting with the player to the left of the dealer. Then, each player can choose to discard and replace up to four of the five cards in their hand. The dealer burns, or discards, the top card of the deck prior to dealing out the replacement cards to the players in clockwise order.
After this draw phase, another round of betting ensues again beginning with the player to the left of the dealer. Following this final betting round, if more than one player remains a showdown occurs. The highest hand wins and receives the winnings from the pot.
A variation of Five Card Draw is known as Five Card Stud. Most of the rules remain the same except the draw phase of the game is removed. Whatever five cards each player is dealt they must keep and they are not allowed to replace them with new cards.
Texas Hold Em
In Texas Hold Em, the dealer begins by shuffling the 52 card deck. In casino and professional play, the dealer doesn’t play. Instead, a dealer button (a round disc) moves clockwise around the table after each hand and it indicates which player would be the dealer if the dealer position changed with each hand.
After this, the blind bets are made by the first two players to the left of the dealer (from here on dealer refers to who the dealer button is on). This is done prior to any cards are dealt to ensure that there is a winnings pot for every hand. Generally, the first blind bet is half of the minimum bet and the second blind bet is the full minimum bet. Once these are done, each player receives two cards face down known as the hole cards.
From there, a round of betting takes place beginning with the player to the left of the two players who have already posted the blinds. Players can raise, call, or fold when their turn comes. After the first round of betting, the dealer then burns, or discards, the top card of the deck and then puts the next three cards face up on the table. These cards are the community cards and they are shared by all players in the game.
Texas Hold Em Strategy
This process continues and another round of betting takes place where each player has the opportunity to raise, call, or fold on their turn. The top card is once again burned and another card is placed face-up on the table for a total of four community cards. This is repeated once more with another round of betting, the top card being burned, and another card being placed face-up with the other community cards.
At this point there should be five community cards on the table. Another round of betting then takes place. After the final betting round, all players who remain in the game reveal their hands. The player who made the initial bet or the player who made the last raise shows their hand first. Players can form the best five card combination using their own two hole cards and the five community cards. The player with the best hand wins.
There also exists Texas Hold Em Hi/Lo in which the low hand wins the pot rather than the traditional high hand.