5 Card Draw Poker Strategy

Tips and Strategies for Playing 5 Card Draw Poker

5 Card Draw is the game where a majority of everyone learned how to play poker and was quite popular in western TV shows, movies and at home poker games. But in the last few years, it has taken a back seat to more popular poker games such as Hold’em, Omaha, and even Stud.

Recently however, many online poker rooms have been including more mixed and draw poker games including 5 Card Draw. This is really a good thing, especially for beginners, as 5 Card Draw is the purest form of poker mainly because all the elements that are used in poker such as starting hands, playing position along with pot odds are utilized so much more in 5 Card Draw than in other poker games. And for those of you that are not familiar with these subjects, 5 Card Draw can be a rather difficult game to make money from.

Having said that, provided below are some 5 Card Draw tips and strategies that players can benefit from when playing their next cash game.

Top 5 Card Poker Tips and Strategies

What players will want to try to do when making decisions in five-card draw is keep the basic fundamentals of starting hands, position, and odds in the back of their mind at all times.

To begin with, players will want to be sure to start with very good starting hands which will also be based on what position they are in. For example, a player that is sitting in early position say under the gun or one seat to the left of the player UTG will want to play hands that have premium pairs such as Kings and Aces with a slight mix of Queens and Jacks to mix it up. When playing from early position players will also want to raise the pot to try to chase others out who may have only drawing hands. Players will want to be sure to stay with these kinds of hands since being out of position on the drawing round is such a huge disadvantage. Even with an opponent calling, a player in early position will not know if their opponent has a pat hand or how many cards they will need to draw to a better hand.

Players in middle position can open up a bit and add more of the pairs into the mix if a player in early position has not raised the pot. Pairs like AA-1010 are good to play and should be raised and in late position, pairs as lows as 88 can be played and raised as long as no one has raised before you. Late position players can even play drawing hands such as flushes and straights as well as long as there are callers before you to make sure you have the correct odds to do so.

Other pairs can arguably be played, but the point of having a pair is to try to draw out to trips or better. In the scenario that you miss the trips when drawing, a player will want to have a strong pair to play if they go to showdown. So the bottom line is that small pairs really should not be played all that often, if at all, and if played it should be done for as cheap as possible.

After the first betting round, position will play a huge factor. For example, if a player in early position only takes one card, an opponent can deduce that the early player has either 2 pair, or a draw to a flush or straight. If a player in late position only has 1 pair, draws 3 cards, and misses their 3 of a kind, they now know that they are probably beat by the early position player since they more than likely have a made hand. This will not always be the case as it will depend on how tight or loose the players are at the table. But this should demonstrate the importance of position; players can use this information to save money on the final betting round.

Lastly, is how a player uses odds to determine if they should play draws or not. There is a rule of thumb in 5 Card Draw in regards to playing gut-shot straight draws – Don’t! The possibility of hitting a gut-shot draw is about 11 to 1 and more often than not, players will just not have the correct implied odds to call a bet to chase the types of hands.

On the other hand, 4 cards to a flush will give a player 4 to 1 odds on average and open ended straight draws will a bit higher at about 5 to 1. As long as the pot odds are offering higher than these odds at the time you need to make a call, it is mathematically correct to chase your draws. Hands like this should only be played in late position so that you can see what your opponents may be drawing to gauge the strength of your hand should you catch your outs or miss them.

Final Tip for Playing 5 Card Draw Poker Online

There really are not many special secret special plays such as check raises or bluffs in 5 Card Draw. The strategies that a player needs to implement into their game are straightforward and are simply the fundamentals that are required in any poker game such as starting hands, position, and pot odds. Since the use of these fundamentals are amplified so much more in 5 Card Draw verses other poker games, once players have a firm grasp of these concepts they will do well not only in five card draw but in any poker game they wish to play.