The rules of 5-Card Closed (5-Draw) Poker

What is 5-Draw Closed Poker?

5-Draw poker is the oldest form of poker. Chances are you already know the basics. In order to refresh your memory and perhaps to tweak your knowledge of this variant, here are the rules to follow for a game of 5-Draw. 5-Draw Poker is certainly the simplest poker variant. It is therefore a good entrance door for beginners. However, the share of chance and luck is much greater than in a Hold'em game for example. Even if you are an excellent 5-Draw Poker player, the advantage you will have over your opponents will not be as marked as if you were an excellent Courchevel player. 5-Draw Poker is a variation for playing with family and people of all ages because of its simplicity

The goal of the game

The goal of 5-Draw Poker is to make the best possible combination of 5 cards. Unlike many other variants of poker, there will only be private cards and no community cards

The setting up

You can play 5-Draw Poker with antes or blinds. Although most poker games are played with blinds, this variant will most often be played with antes. Remember that an ante is a small bet (smaller than the blinds) that all players must put down before receiving their cards. Once all players have paid their ante, they will receive five private cards one after the other

If you prefer to play with the blinds option, the operation will be the same as in any poker game where blinds are in effect. The player to the left of the dealer will be the small blind and the player to the left of the small blind will be the big blind. The small blind will be determined by the limit at which players agree to play. The small blind will represent 50% of the value of the big blind. The big blind will often be the equivalent of 1/100 of the maximum amount allowed at the table. For example, in a game where the blinds would be 1€/2€, the maximum starting mat allowed on the table would be 200€ (100 * 2€)

The distribution of hands

After you've heard about the blinds or antes, it's time to deal the cards to each player. The dealer will deal the first card to the player to his left and the distribution will be clockwise. Cards will be dealt one at a time until all players have 5 cards in hand

The first betting round

When each player has received their five cards, a betting round takes place. Players will also be able to check if no bets have been placed before them. If a bet is placed and a player is not satisfied with his hand, he may decide to fold it without having to pay the call bet. However, he will lose his blind or ante that he could have placed in the pool previously. After the betting period, each player may discard one or more cards from their hand to draw a new one. If a player is satisfied with his hand, he may also not change any of it. We will then say that it is a "stand pat" or "stand pat". The dealer will give the players their new cards, depending on whether they change 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. When all players have received their cards, a second round of betting will take place

The second round of bids

All players have their final hand at this stage. A new round of bidding will take place clockwise. All players will be able to bet, raise, checker or folder depending on the action in the hand. Once the bidding period is over and all remaining players in the hand have equalized their bets, it will be time for the cull

The showdown

It is customary for the player who made the most aggressive action in the last betting period to show his hand first. The other players can then, clockwise, decide to throw away their losing hand without showing it to the other players or show a stronger hand. The player with the best combination of five cards will win the jackpot. If two players have the same hand, they will split the jackpot equally


The 5-Card Draw version is a hi/high version, meaning that players will try to make the best possible (highest) hand. But it is also possible to play the lo/low or Lowball version in which the players will try to make not the highest but the lowest hand. The unfolding of the hand will remain the same with the difference that the rank of the hands will be reversed. Note that the nuts (the best possible hand) in lowball is the wheel, 5-4-3-2-A.

Basic Strategic Considerations

As mentioned above, this poker variant gives much more room for chance and less room for strategy. But there are still some main lines to follow. For example, in the first round of betting, if the stakes and raises are high, never play your hand if you intend to change all your cards. If the stakes and raises are high and you want to take part, you should already have a solid, ready-made hand or a hand that only requires a simple draw (1 card to change only). As a general rule, you should never change more than 2 cards. Unless you have a free spin, if you have 3 or more cards in your hand to change, you should simply discard your hand and move on to the next round. The odds of receiving 3 cards that will connect with your two cards in hand will be very low. In short, unless you have a free turn, change no more than 1 or 2 cards or give up your hand