What Are The Rules Of A Draw Poker Game?

Draw is a simple game that is popular in home games, but not as popular in casino settings. The setup is simple: Players are dealt five cards and have the option to turn some cards in to draw for a better hand.

While simple in gameplay, draw is the version that requires the most reading of an opponent: you can’t see any of their cards, so it all comes down to reading tells and betting patterns to deduce their hand.

Betting Structure

Draw is usually a blinds game: the player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind (usually half the minimum bet) and the next player posts the big blind (usually the minimum bet). Draw is also usually a no-limit game, but this varies. The number of draws determines the number of betting rounds: in Triple Draw, the most popular variant, players have three chances to exchange cards, with a round of betting after each deal.

Dealing a Hand

Players post their blinds. The dealer starts by dealing five cards face down to each player. Action begins with the player to the left of the big blind: they can call, raise, or fold. The action goes around, with the small blind having the option to call, raise, or fold, and the big blind having the option to check if there hasn’t been a raise.

Players now have the option to exchange cards: beginning with the player to the left of the dealer, they can exchange cards in their hand with cards from the deck. In most versions, players can only exchange up to three cards, but they have the option to exchange four if they show the card they are keeping is an Ace. A player exchanging no cards is said to be standing pat.

This structure repeats: round of betting, a round of drawing. Usually, there are three rounds of drawing, with one last round of betting after the third draw.

If a player bets and no one calls, the bettor wins the pot. If a player bets and gets called, the bettor shows their hand. Players to their left take turns either showing their hand or mucking, and the best five-card hand wins.


The main variant of draw poker is called Deuce-to-7 Lowball. Players play for the best low hand using 2-to-7 rules; the lowest hand wins, with straights and flushes counting and Aces always playing high.