Draw poker games are quite a bit different than the games you’re probably used to playing online. The most obvious difference is a complete lack of community cards that all players share in other games. In draw games, every player gets his or her own cards and must make a hand from those cards only.
This, in turn, leads to another defining feature of draw poker games: you have access to less information. When you have community cards to look at, you can significantly narrow down the range of possible hands that your opponents may have. Putting someone on a specific range of hands in draw poker is a real chore. You can watch how many cards they discard and try to pick up clues from their betting patterns, but it’s more of an art than a science.
If this sounds like your type of game, the best draw poker sites have just what you need. It can be tough to find places to play draw online, but they are out there.
Draw Poker is a popular variation of poker played primarily at casinos and online draw poker sites. Although it is no longer as popular as other versions of the game, Draw Poker still receives a lot of attention from both players and casino owners. The best draw poker sites are listed below:
How To Play Draw Poker Games
Draw poker is a very simple game to pick up and learn. In fact, many poker beginners will often learn how to play by playing draw poker first. Most draw poker sites offer Five Card Draw as the default choice for draw poker players. Five Card Draw is played with two to eight players. Each player is allowed to be the dealer. In the case of casino play, the dealer is simply a title.
When playing Five Card Draw at home, most players will use an ante system. However, at casinos and most draw poker sites, a blind is also required. The player to the left of the dealer will pay the small blind, and the player to the left of the small blind will pay the big blind. Once all players have paid in, each player will be dealt five cards face down. These are the player’s hole cards and may only be seen by the player they belong to.
Play will begin directly to the left of the player who paid the big blind with the cards dealt. Each player will go around the table and choose to either fold, call or raise. However, at this point, it may be foolish for a player to fold as he or she has the opportunity to receive new cards in the next round. Once betting has been completed, there is a draw round.
In the draw round, players are given the opportunity to replace the cards in their hands. When playing at home, most house rules limit the player to drawing only three cards. At most casinos and draw poker sites, however, players can draw as many as five cards at a time. The purpose of the draw is to get rid of any cards that are of no use to the player and form the best five-card hand possible. Alternately, players may also choose not to draw any cards if they are satisfied with the hand they have been dealt.
Many casinos and draw poker sites will have rules about players who replace all of their cards and will not allow players to draw five cards in a row. Instead, players will be given four cards at once, and they will get the fifth card once everyone else has been dealt.
Once the draw round is complete, a second betting round will begin. This time, play will begin with the first active player to the left of the dealer. Once more, players have the opportunity to call, raise or fold. Once all bets have been assessed, play moves into the showdown.
During the showdown, each player reveals his or her five-card hand. The player with the best hand gets the pot. In the case of two players with identically scoring hands, the pot will be divided equally. At most draw poker sites, the suit of the card is not a factor in scoring.
Of the different types of draw games out there, 5 Card Draw is the one most of us are familiar with. This is the basic game you may have played for pennies back when you were young. You get five cards, discard as many as you want, draw new cards randomly, and then hope to showdown with the best hand.
What makes 5 Card Draw fun is the fact that your strong hands are so easily concealed. If one or more of your opponents has something decent, your monster hands will be paid off quite frequently. On the flip side, that is also what makes 5 Card Draw frustrating at times. It is really tough to pin an opponent on a specific hand effectively. Sometimes you have to pay to find out.
Draw Poker Game Variations
Although Five Card Draw is the most popular version of the game played at casinos and draw poker sites, there are many variations of Draw Poker to consider. Triple Draw A-5 is another way to play draw poker. In Triple Draw A-5, players draw cards in three different draw rounds to make the lowest hand possible, with Ace through five being the best possible hand. In Triple Draw A-5, flushes and straights do not count against a player, and the Ace is considered a low card.
Another variation that is popular at draw poker sites is Triple Draw 2-7. Much like Triple Draw A-5, the point is to make a low hand; however, flushes and straights do count against the player, and the Ace is considered a high card. Therefore, the best hand possible would be a hand containing two, three, four, five, and seven in varying suits. There is another version called 2-7 Lowball, which is the same game except that players may only draw once.
What About 2-7 Triple Draw?
2-7 Triple Draw is a relatively new game compared to 5 Card Draw, but it has a considerably larger player base online and in high stakes cash games at certain brick-and-mortar card rooms. If you ever railbird the high stakes games online, you will often see known professionals doing battle over a good game of Triple Draw.
Your goal in this game is to get the worst possible hand by traditional poker rankings. In 2-7, you don’t want a Royal Flush, straight or flush. You want the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel hands. The worse the hand, the better. For example, the best possible hand in Triple Draw consists of 2-3-4-5-7 (with no flush). That hand beats all others because it has all the lowest cards, no pairs, no straights, and isn’t a flush.
Some people call 2-7 Triple Draw an action junkie’s game because of the game’s fast-paced nature. You get three chances to improve your hand by discarding cards and then drawing new cards from the deck to replace the ones you don’t like. Hand values change wildly from one street to the next, and that encourages action.
You won’t have too much trouble finding a few 2-7 Triple Draw poker sites because almost anyone that offers 5 Card Draw also hosts Triple Draw tables. You can scroll back up a bit, and you’ll see my recommendations. There are not many places to play this game online, but there are a few solid options. I’m looking for the two main things when deciding which sites to recommend are a positive reputation and high traffic numbers.
Reputation is important for obvious reasons – you want to get paid when you win. There’s no point in progressing any further than that if a particulate site has a questionable history or is otherwise unable to offer timely payouts.
High traffic is also a prerequisite because draw games aren’t as popular as Texas Holdem, Omaha, and 7 Card Stud. To have any hopes at all of finding action, you need to be at a large, well-populated poker site. Those two factors account for the majority of my logic in choosing the aforementioned sites.