Draw Poker

Draw Poker is any form of poker in which players are dealt a complete hand before the first round of betting.

In draw poker, players are dealt five or more cards, depending on the variant. For example, in seven-card draw, seven cards will be dealt.

All of these cards are hidden. Players are then allowed to replace one or more of their cards a certain number of times to make the best five-card poker hand available to them.

Five-Card Draw

Casino play:

The player to the left of the big blind starts the first betting round, with ensuing rounds starting with the player to the dealer’s left.

Home games:

Private games generally use an ante. The first betting round begins with the player to the left of the dealer, while the second round begins with the player who opened the first round.

Game Play

Each player is dealt five cards, face down. The remaining deck is placed aside. Players keep their cards hidden and a round of betting occurs.

If more than one player remains after the first round, the "draw" phase begins. Each player chooses cards to replace and discards them. Each player is dealt however many cards they discarded from the remaining deck until all players again have five cards in their hand.

A second "after the draw" betting round starts with the player to the dealer’s left or with the player who opened the first round. If more than one player remains, there is a showdown in which the player with the best hand wins the pot.

This is the first type of poker learned by many players and is very common in home games, although its popularity in casino and tournament play has declined. Two to eight players can play.

Lowball Draw Variants

  • Double or Triple Draw: Two or three drawing rounds, played limit (or occasionally pot-limit), with either A-5 or 2-7 ranking. Triple draw lowball has gained popularity, and the 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) featured a deuce-to-seven triple-draw lowball event. The 2007 WSOP featured two of these events.
  • California Lowball: A-5 ranking, usually with limit betting; one joker in the deck.
  • Kansas City Lowball: 2-7 ranking, usually played no-limit.