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Draw Poker Rules

Page summary: A review of the rules and strategy to playing Draw Poker.

Draw Poker Rules - How to Play Draw Poker

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Draw Poker is a common format of poker that is most commonly played in 5 Card Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw or Badugi. These are just a few of the draw games offered currently. The concept of the draw allows players to bring a new aspect to the game and requires players to use drawing or standing pat as a part of their strategy.

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The rules of Draw Poker are pretty straightforward. Draw poker can be played with antes or blinds; however, it is usually played with antes. Each player puts in an ante and the cards are dealt. The amount of the cards depends on which draw game you're playing.

In Draw Poker, each player is dealt their cards face down. A round of betting begins with the player to the immediate left of the dealer. After the initial betting round, players are able to draw. The draw allows players to discard all of their cards, some of their cards or stand pat. Standing pat is the term used for drawing no cards.

The cycle of the betting round followed by a draw continues until the final draw. After the final draw, there is a final betting round and the players will go to a showdown if necessary. The amount of draws depends on which draw game you're playing. The winning hand is determined by the game you're playing as well. In 5 Card Draw, the highest hand is the winning hand. In 2-7 Triple Draw, the best hand is 2,3,4,5,7.


To draw a monster in your original five cards is very rare. These statistics will help you 5 Card Draw players.

  • No Pair - 1 in 2
  • One Pair - 1 in 2.4
  • Two Pair - 1 in 21
  • Three Of A Kind - 1 in 48
  • Straight - 1 in 250
  • Flush - 1 in 510
  • Full House - 1 in 700
  • Four Of A Kind - 1 in 4,200
  • Straight Flush - 1 in 72,200
  • Royal Flush - 1 in 650,000

If there are a lot of players still in the hand, you can bet a few players at least have a pair. Most people recommend that if you don't have a pair or better or at least a four card draw to a straight or flush, you should fold in 5 Card Draw. This also applies to other 5-card hand draw games where the highest hand wins.

If you happen to be in the position where you have four hole cards drawing to a straight or flush, you should know your odds to calculate when it's simply not worth it.

  • Chasing the fifth for a flush: 1 in 4.5
  • Straight with one end open: 1 in 11
  • Open-ended straight: 1 in 5
  • Gut-shot straight: 1 in 11
  • Straight flush open-ended: 1 in 23
  • Straight gut-shot flush: 1 in 46
  • Straight with one end open: 1 in 46

The odds are used to calculate whether it's worth it or not to stay in the hand. If you're chasing an open-ended straight, your odds are 1 in 5. So, if it costs you $10 to stay in for another draw, the pot should pay you at least $50 (5 x $10) in profit.

Draw poker is a popular format of poker and most of the statistics listed here pertain to 5 Card Draw. For 2-7 Triple Draw and Badugi players, the rules for the draw format are the same; however, the winning hand is dramatically different. In 2-7 Triple Draw, you want the best possible low hand without having a straight or flush. In Badugi, you get four cards and the best possible hand is A-2-3-4. Having one of each suit is called a Badugi. Remember to calculate your odds on the draw based on what hand you're trying to draw to. In all Draw Poker games, this is the key concept to winning.