How To Play: Five Card Draw | Learn Tips On How To Bet/Play and Win

How to Play 5 Card Draw

Five card draw is one of those games that has seemingly been around forever. It is one of the easiest games to follow and has been played in the homes of just about every poker play out there.

Indeed, the game is simple enough for kids and families to play together. But do not let your kids bet their cereal boxes against each other just so they can win a game. Developing a strategy is key to long term five card draw success.

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Five Popular Tips For Five Card Draw Betting

Five card draw is a classic addictive card game. The rules are simple, whether you are a new or experienced poker player. As long as you can understand the card ranks and drawing system. The top five popular tips for five-card draw betting are:

  1. Too many hands
  2. What To Look For
  3. Reading Hands
  4. Position To Bluff
  5. Showdowns

Too Many Hands

When playing five card draw, you are going to naturally want to make your hands better. When dealt those first five cards, it is very tempting to discard nearly all of your cards to get new ones if your hand is junk. 

Most likely, you should fold in this situation. Playing too many hands, when you know you have a bad one, is something you are going to want to watch. 

The only scenario where you might stay in is if your opponents are starting to fold their hands before any more bets are being placed. So if it is between you and one other person and they are not betting heavy, you could take your chances.

What To Look For

One of your best hands in five card draw is a three of a kind. This is because it is the easier option to get that hand as far as odds go compared to flushes or straights. 

If you are dealt a pair, it will make things easier. However, your odds of winning the pot are much better if you can make three of a kind. 

So, in theory, this is a golden rule of thumb that you need to follow on your drawing strategy:

  • If you have a pair in your hand, then draw three cards.
  • Draw two cards when you have three of a kind. 
  • Draw one card when you have two pair.

Reading Hands

Being able to tell what your opponents have is a great way to bet against them. For example, if you see your opponent discard all five of their cards, then there is no way that they could possibly play a great hand on the next dealing.

If you see your opponent discard one card, they could already have a good hand. Yet, odds are they did not get the card they need to complete their flush or straight. You need to pay attention to how they bet after these hands too.

Position To Bluff

If you are familiar with any poker game, even one like Texas Hold ’em, you know that position is key to anything you do. Bluffing is one of those keys that relies on good position and your poker face. 

If you are dealt a pair of fours, and you are the first player to either raise or bet, then this is not a good idea to start bluffing it up. You should keep it modest at first, especially where your position is, and let the table fight over the bad bets. If everyone starts to fold and you are nearly the last one able to bet, then you can start bluffing. 


Since there are going to be a lot of cards being dealt each hand, odds are that not everyone is going to have a good hand. Plus, your opponents will try to limp their way into the pot. If it is between you and one other player, you should try to value bet your pair but only if it is Jacks or better. 

This way, the weaker pairs will be beaten. Then, if you happen to lose to a three of a kind, then you know what you are up against with an opponent and how they bet. 

If you happen to be against multiple opponents in a showdown, you need a good hand. You are going to want at least a pair of kings or better to value bet. This way, you will know that you can beat any lower pair. This way you get to see how the rest of your opponents try to bluff.

How To Bet Five Card Draw FAQ

Can I practice five card draw online for free?

You can run a simple search online to find the best free five card draw games to practice your strategy. If you find one check out reviews of the website to make sure it is legit and you do not have to offer secure information.

Should I go for the straight or flush?

This all depends on where your position is, what cards are dealt to you, and how many of your opponents are left in the game. Drawing to straights or flushes late in a hand is bad news since you rarely have the right odds.

I have a good hand, but do I want to keep my cards?

It is perfectly okay to stand pat or not discard any of your cards to exchange. However, if you are dealt a flush, straight, or something better, then you are giving away your hand, so to speak, since the table will think you have a good hand.

Should I keep my ace?

For this example, if you are dealt K, K, 4, 7, A, you should discard the ace as well as the 7 and 4. Odds are, you will likely complete the three of a kind versus getting another ace.

About Cole Paganelli
Cole Paganelli author profile

Cole is really big into Major League Baseball, but really - the big four Pro US sports are his passion. Cole grew up a Yankees fan, but married a Red Sox fan. It's tough around the house during those big games, but his hatred for the Red Sox has waned a little. Cole has a goal of seeing every Major League Baseball Stadium before the end of 2022!

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