Five Card Draw is a variation of poker comprised of two rounds of betting with a draw phase in-between them.
All players partake in paying the ante (as determined by venue) and are dealt five cards, all face down. The player to the immediate left of the dealer initiates the first round of betting, which then proceeds around the table in a clockwise fashion.
If more than one player remains after the first round of betting (i.e. they haven’t folded), the draw phase begins. During this phase each player specifies how many of their cards they wish to replace for fresh cards off the deck. Players may not replace more than 3 cards unless they hold an ace, in which case they may replace 4 cards.
After the draw phase there is a final round of betting, then everyone still in the game turns over their cards and the highest hand(s) are declared winner and are awarded their winnings from the pot.
At this point the hand is over. The dealer designation moves one player to the left, and all players are given the opportunity to Ante for the next hand. When a player has no cash left or cannot otherwise afford to pay Ante, they are declared bankrupt and are thereby out of the game. Hands proceed in this fashion until only one player remains.
At the end of each hand you’ll also have the ability to view your Old Hand – pressing this button simply reminds you of the cards you were initially dealt so that you can see how they changed during the Draw phase.
On the bottom-left of the screen you’ll also see 5 orange stars, one for each opponent currently active in the game.
As you defeat opponents their respective star will disappear. Keep in mind that for a defeat to count, you must be the reason that an opponent goes out of the game (in other words you must win on the specific hand that an opponent goes bankrupt). If you defeat every opponent thus clearing all the stars you will achieve a Perfect Game.
There are several variants of Five Card Draw available either through certain venues and/or using item combinations. The main variants are:
In this variation the scoring of hands is reversed, so the lowest hand wins instead of the highest. If cash still remains in the pot after awarding the lowest hand the second-lowest hand is awarded (if applicable) and so on.
There are several additional stipulations in Lowball. Aces appear only as high-cards, so they can’t be used to count as a value of 1.
Furthermore, straights and flushes will not count against you in singleplayer games, so the lowest possible hand is 2-3-4-5-6. However, straights and flushes WILL count against you in multiplayer, so there the lowest possible hand is 2-3-4-5-7 without the cards all being of the same suit.
Royal Five Card Draw uses 12 decks worth of only the 10 through Ace cards (10-J-Q-K-A only). The strategy for playing this variant is very different from other variants because the odds of certain hands appearing are greatly increased. The worst possible hand is a 10-10-J-Q-K not all of the same suit.
In Hi-Lo games the pot is split between the highest and the lowest hand. However in order to qualify for the low hand you must have an Ace-high or worse. Hi-Lo is currently only available in multiplayer.
In Jackpots nobody can open the betting unless they have a pair of jacks or better. If nobody bets at the end of the first round, everyone turns in their cards, antes again and receives a new hand. Jackpots is currently only available in multiplayer.