Draw Poker; Gateway to All the Rest
Draw Poker is perhaps the simplest form of Poker to master, and it is familiar to home Poker players and casino enthusiasts alike. Because Video Poker is based on Five-Card Draw, this is also the form of the game that slots fans find easiest to get into. So Draw Poker is a useful conduit to help slots fans explore the dozens of Poker variations on offer, as well as card and table games in general.
The Basics of Five-Card Draw Poker
Instead of the ante familiar to home Poker games, Five-Card Draw in a casino instead uses blind bets to make sure there is always something in the pot before the deal. Once the blind bet is placed, players are dealt cards in turn until they have five each. All cards are dealt face down, and the players must pick them up and assess their hands, before the first round of betting starts.
If in this first betting round more than one player is prepared to bet on the hand they were dealt, play moves on to the draw phase. Clockwise in turn from the dealer, each player says how many cards they want to discard, and the dealer deals them the same number of replacement cards. The dealer removes the discards.
After re-assessing their hands, players embark on another round of betting. This continues until all hands are either folded or all bets called, at which point the showdown happens. The Poker combos in the various hands are identified and ranked, and the highest one wins the pot. In the event of two hands being absolutely equal, as in identical two pairs with identical side cards, for example, the pot is split between the winners.
Drawing Option Tests Knowledge of the Odds
There are many different versions of Draw Poker available online; some of which pit players against the dealer only, some of which only involve other players. These can be computer-generated, or real players logged on from all over the world. Live interaction with dealers and other players via Skype is also an option.
For those getting to know Poker, and who want to learn how to assess the odds of drawing certain cards under certain circumstances, Five-Card Draw and other Draw Poker options are a great format on which to improve their technical skills.
Learn the Art of Bluffing Too
Apart from the mathematical aptitude to work out odds, the other secret to success at Poker is psychological. Players need to be able to fool their opponents, and also read other players well enough to know when they are bluffing. Draw Poker is a useful training ground in this regard, too.
For example, it’s pretty obvious that a player drawing three cards has a pair, or else they are trying for a very unlikely straight or flush. A pair can very easily become three of a kind or two pair on a three-card draw, though, so players must bear that in mind in their own betting. Likewise, if they are holding, say, a pair and an Ace, it might pay to draw only two cards, and let other players think they have three of a kind at least.