If you want to try out the original game of poker, then five card draw is the variant you want to learn how to play. It’s an easy game to learn and you can see the way the action flows below.
The goal is to form the best possible hand of 5 cards, following one draw. There are two betting rounds that you can go through before you can take the pot. The game uses the standard deck of cards, with all 52 being used. Between 2 and 8 players can play this game.
The game begins with the ante being placed, the small wager that each player have to place in the pot. Next, the dealer gives all the players five cards, with the face pointing down. The first player to get cards is the one to the left of the dealer.
The players can see what cards they got, but they have no idea what the others received. At this point, you know what your starting point is, so the initial betting round begins and everyone can call, raise or flop.
The players that don’t give up will get a chance to exchange some of the cards they own for new ones, though they don’t know what they’re getting just yet. They can keep the cards they have if they want, without exchanging any of them. If they do exchange cards, they can do so with up to three of their original cards. For example, if you got a full house you will want to keep all the cards, while for three of a kind you will want to change the other two cards.
Once the new cards are dealt to the players that wanted them, the second betting round will begin, once again from the player placed to the immediate left of the dealer (or the closest one to him that isn’t out of the game).
As soon as the betting is done, those that are still in the game will show the hands they formed and the one with the highest ranking combination wins and takes the pot.
The hands that are used here are the standard ones from any 5 card game:
• Royal Straight Flush – best possible combination, with five cards (10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace) that have an identical suit.
• Straight Flush – second best combination in poker, where five cards are in order and have the same suit (cards from 3 to 7 for examples).
• Four of a Kind – you get four identical cards (same symbol on them, different suits obviously)
• Full House – this is a combination of a pair with three of a kind (two Kings with three Aces would be a good one to have)
• Flush – when you have five cards that come with an identical suit but are not in order you have a flush (when all the cards are either hearts, spades, etc).
• Straight – when the five cards are one after the other, but don’t have an identical suit (cards from 6 to 10 for example, different suits).
• Three of a kind – you get three cards that are identical, plus two that are different from each other (8-8-8-5-10 for example).
• Two Pair – easy enough, these are two pairs of identical symbols and a fifth unrelated symbol (6-6-9-9-5 for example)
• One Pair – you get just one pair of identical cards plus three unrelated ones (an example would be 8-8-5-7-Jack)
• High Card – you don’t have any pairs or better, you just have the highest value card at the table (an Ace or King, if the other players have only lower value cards and nobody has at least a pair).