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Improving Your Five Card Draw Poker Hand

In five card draw poker, you get the chance to change some of your cards, and receive new cards instead. This option is not available for all the online poker games, and is unique to only a few games, including five card draw.

Changing your cards is an advantage of five card draw poker, but in order to benefit from it, you need to know when you are supposed to change your cards, to which hands you need to aspire to, and how many cards you should change. All of these factors are strange for the beginner player, and sometimes they are unfamiliar even to advanced player of five card draw, and should be reviewed carefully.

Less improvement for better hands - In five card draw poker, the better the hand you are dealt, the lower the chance you have of you hand improving after the draw. For example, if you get three of a kind, you have a lower chance of improving your hand than if you receive a pair, and consequently you shouldn't draw as many cards, as in for the pair.

Keeping a kicker - Some five card draw poker players decide to keep a high card, such as an ace, even though it isn't part of a certain pair or hand. For example, if you receive a hand of J, J, 5, 7, A, you should consider keeping the ace for the draw.

Following are odds for improving your five card draw poker hand, in various occasions.

  • If your hand contains a one pair, your odds of hand improvement, after drawing 3 cards, is 2.4 to 1 against you. This means that for every 24 games, in 10 of them you will improve your hand.
  • The odds of improving your five card draw poker hand, drawing 2 cards, with a hand containing a one pair with an ace, is 2.8 to 1 against you.
  • If your hand has two pairs, you can improve it to a full house with odds of 10 to 1. This means every 10 games you'll get 1 full house.
  • If you draw three of a kind, and want to improve it by drawing two cards, your odds are 9 to 1 against you.
  • If you have a partial double ended straight missing one card on either side, and you draw one card, your odds are 5 to 1 against you for reaching the straight. If the straight has a gap in the middle or has a single end, the chances drop to 10 to 1 in the five card draw game.

Following five card draw poker rules, you sometimes have to play against the odds when drawing online poker cards. This is because you have nothing to lose for drawing new cards, and can only improve your poker hand ranking.

John Tucker - Editorial Manager

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