If you are you a seasoned Texas Hold’em player who fancies trying something a little different, consider playing a spot of Five Card Draw Poker.
You’ve no doubt seen it in films and TV shows where people are raising their house or car keys. Luckily in online five card draw poker you can only bet with the money you have on the table!
Below I will set out the rules and some basic strategy tips for five card draw (also known as 5CD or FCD) Limit 7-A.
You get dealt five cards face down and then choose how many cards you wish to discard and replace (called drawing) thereby making a new five card poker hand.
The cards you discard from your hand are sent face down to the muck and the new cards you draw are dealt to you face down from the top of the deck. you can choose to discard one, two, three four, all five, or none of your starting hand cards.
There is a betting round before drawing and a betting round after drawing. The best five card poker hand at the showdown out of the five players wins. That’s it, nice and easy. Great opportunities to bluff as well!
I’m going to list a few basic strategies for FCD that have helped me turn a very nice profit, even on low limit games. If you follow these tips and get good at reading the other players then you can make a killing at it. There are many variants on the game but I am going to discuss the version of five card draw which is called “7-A”, and I will explain exactly what this is.
The deck is stripped of all cards except 7,8,9,T,J,Q,K,A – However, there is a random occurring of a 6, but I will deal with this later. As you can probably guess most hands that get dealt will be reasonable as you’re playing with the top half of the deck.
There is always a maximum of five players round each table and so it is a very good game for reading the other players as you only have 4 opponents to concentrate gathering information on.
There are 3 notable events that take play in 7-A five card draw poker:
Apart from that, normal poker hand rankings rules apply.
I would suggest that you would want to be entering into the pot with no less than a pair of Queens with an Ace, for example QQA76. Clearly you can play looser and get in with a pair of Jacks with a Queen kicker but I don’t think you will be winning the pot more times than you will be losing the pot.
Position is equally as important in five card draw as it is in normal Texas Hold’em. When on the button you have the option of seeing how many cards everyone else draws before you have to decide.
Open ended straight draws are ok to enter into the pot if there are a few other limpers giving you value but I personally wouldn’t want to draw for a gutshot unless I’m on the big blind anc can enter a cheap pot.
I would raise with a good two pair AAXX and trips or above. Obviously reraise with any monster hands such as a made full-house, straight, flush or higher.
Let’s look at some examples to give you an idea of a typical situation.
QQA76 – Hold the QQA and draw 2 – This has the benefit of making it look like you could have trips if you raised or called a raise pre-draw, plus it also gives you 5 outs to hit (2×Q + 3×A)
777AK – Hold the A and draw 1 – this disguises that you have trips, making your opponents think you are on a draw or that you have 2 pair. If you hit one of you 4 outs (1×7 + 3×A) then you seriously improve.
KKQQ7 – Hold KKQQ and draw 1 hoping to hit either a K or Q. A full house is a strong hand in five card draw poker.
If you are dealt a straight, flush or better obviously hold the lot and draw no cards, which is also called “standing pat”.
Quads – Should you be lucky enough to be dealt 7777A hold the 7777 and draw 1 so that again it is disguised. Your opponents will be wary of you if you stand pat, but are more likely to give you action if they think you are drawing to one card.
Depending on how your opponents play I would want at least 2 pair in my hand to be calling raises before I draw any cards. If you hold an open ended straight flush draw, you are getting implied odds if you hit your hand because likely your opponent will not lay theirs down.
These are general rules of thumb and clearly people do indeed bluff (as can you). Depending on the number of cards your opponent draws determines what you should do.
|No. Of Cards Drawn||Likely To Be Holding||You Should|
|Draw 1||Either on a draw for straight or flush, or they have 2 pair.||Be wary. Refer to your player notes for what they could be holding. Bet into them, but be prepared to fold if they check-raise.|
|Draw 2||Most likely have trips or pair with Ace kicker. Watch what they turn over and make notes if they draw with QQA||Put them on trips if they raised pre-draw, put them on a pair if they checked/flat called.|
|Draw 3||Can currently only have a pair at best at the moment.||Watch if they come out betting on the next round as they most likely held a high pair and have now hit trips.|
|Draw 4||Currently have not a lot at all and are on a wing and a prayer.||Bet into them on the next round as they will likely not make a playable hand.|
|Draw 5||Very unlikely that they would have called the initial bet, however the big blind may do this.||Obviously they currently have nothing and could get any random hand – bet into them knowing you will only lose once in a blue moon.|
|Draw 0||This means that they either have:
||Fold unless you strongly feel they are bluffing, or you hold a monster yourself.|
As you can see from the above table you can learn a lot about a players hand even though you get to see none of their cards. It is therefore possible to outline a few sneaky tactics to get the other players to fold, giving you the pot.
If for example there are 2 other players in the hand and they both draw 3 cards we can tell from the table above that they hold pre-draw at best one pair. Should you be on the button you should raise and elect to draw 2 with your QQA (or any high pair with top kicker). Your opponents should and will put you on trips. If they both check to you after the draw then you can go ahead and bet out. Your opponents would have bet out if they hit anything better than the pair they had pre draw. If they are drawing 2 cards and bet early, then you can get away from the hand and fold.
If you have been fairly quiet for a while it could well be time to implement the button steal. This doesn’t have to be done on the button as such, but the method is to raise pre-draw with the intention that you will Stand Pat no matter what you have. It’s a blatant bluff that works best in the cut-off position. Most people will draw their cards and then fold to your bet in the subsequent round. I personally like to try this method also if I have a decent 2 pair so that I have a backup and still win even if I get looked up.
The other beauty about this button steal is that if you do get looked up or even if they just start to see you raising more then they are less likely to believe you and therefore when you do finally get dealt your monster hand you will definately get some callers!
So there you have it. Try it for yourself and give five card draw a chance.
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