A Quick Overview of 5 Card Draw
Grandpa was playing poker long before it was ever considered cool, before home games popped up in stylish dinner parties and trendy nightclubs across America, and long before Chris Moneymaker and Phil Hellmuth were ever taking down pots of several thousand dollars on the travel channel. Back then, you could almost say poker was a different game; sure, Texas Hold’em was around, but when grandpa came home from the Army and handed my grandmother an envelope full of cash, he’d won it playing Five Card Draw.
It was the game of Cool Hand Luke and Streetcar Named Desire, and it was the game my grandpa played in the barracks overseas, in the back rooms of dark bars filled with smoke. Five Card Draw may not be as slick or exciting, or able to lend itself to reality television quite as well as Hold’em, but frankly my dear, if you don’t know Draw, you haven’t really played poker.
Me and my grandpa are suckers for poker and never miss an opportunity to try out something new in gambling as there are many other forms that have to be explored in this field like Poker Online Indonesia, blackjack and many others but for now we are content with the likes of five card draw and Texas Hold ‘em.
It begins like any other game; five or six guys sit around a table and puff on cigars, but this is where the game changes. The dealer doles out five cards to each of the players, who then look at their five-card hand, and try to make the best of it. In turn, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player decides how many cards to “draw”. They can choose anywhere between 0-5 cards to give back to the dealer, but if they choose to get 4, the fifth card must be an Ace, and they have to show the ace to the rest of the players. Each player then looks at his hand again, hoping that it got a little better, and betting commences.
It sounds simple enough, but there’s a reason that people tend to shy away from the game. It takes skill. Whereas in Hold’em, much of the action is based on the betting, here, it’s more reliant on the cards, and the decision about which cards to keep and which ones to throw away can be a tricky one.
Consider the hand containing the 7, 8, 9 of spades, the Jack of diamonds, and the Jack of hearts. On one hand, You have the option of giving up a Jack for a shot at a straight if you draw a 10. On the other hand, you have a guaranteed pair already, and certainly don’t want to break that up. What do you do?
The best way to go here is to play the odds. More often than not, the winning hand in Five Card Draw is just a high pair, and sometimes even just an Ace by itself. The best thing to do here is probably to throw away that 7,8,9, even though that straight would have been nice. It’s possible that you might even get another Jack on the draw, making you even closer to raking in the pot.
Other than that, you can bluff and bet just like you would in any other poker game, and be happy in the knowledge that you’re playing a classic. So sit back with a can of beer and a fat cigar, if that’s what you’re into, and let smoke fill the air just like in a classic movie. All you’ve got to know is when to hold’em, and when to fold’em, and you too can be as cool as Cool Hand Luke.