Draw Poker Game Description
Draw is played by a maximum of eight players. Draw is a poker game in which each player receives five cards dealt face down. There are two betting rounds. Those players who stay in on the first round have a chance to change or improve their five-card hands by replacing none, some, or all of their cards. After players receive replacements (in an exchange known as the draw), there is a second round of betting, followed by a showdown. At that point, the highest hand among active players (those remaining in contention for the pot) wins the pot. The game is usually offered in a Fixed Limit betting or Pot Limit format.
Poker Game Betting
The betting starts after five cards are dealt to each player. At this point, there is a round of betting. After all bets have been equalized, active players draw to their hands. A second round of betting follows, and then the showdown. (See Winning Hands.)
Check-and-raise is allowed in all Draw games on the second round. On the first round, a player, on his turn, must either bet or fold. The maximum allowable wager is always indicated on the Bet prompt and the lowest allowable wager is the default in the Bet window.
Fixed-Limit Games - The dealer enforces the bet limits, which are determined by the stakes offered at the particular table. For example, at a $4-$8 table, the limit on any bet is $4 on the first two betting rounds and $8 on the final two betting rounds. There is a bet and three raises allowed in each individual round. Each bet or raise is at the limit for that round. Thus, the first player to bet in the first round of betting has the choice of folding or betting $4. If someone has made a bet, the next player has the choice of folding, calling the $4, or raising $4 (making the total bet at that point $8). If there has been a raise, the next player has the choice of folding, calling the $8, or raising $4 (making the total bet at that point $12).
Posting to Enter a Game
New players can enter a game in the big blind position to avoid paying the new player post, which is equivalent to the big blind. A new player can choose to post the equivalent of the big blind to enter the game at any time except when he is between the button and the big blind position. A returning player who has missed the big blind or small blind can choose to post the missed blinds and reenter the game, as long as he is not between the button and the big blind position. A seated player who has missed the blinds or a player just sitting down can always choose to wait for the blind, that is, sit out until the blind gets to him.
Other Important Points
Buy-In - The minimum buy-in is generally 10 times the small bet.
Draw Dealing To start a hand, the cards are dealt in a clockwise direction from the dealer button. All new players to the game must either post the equivalent of the big blind or wait for their turn in the big blind. (Also see "Posting to Enter a Game" above.) This prevents players from gaining an advantage by avoiding the blinds and jumping in and out of games. Each time the cards are dealt, a new betting round begins. A hand starts when the first card is dealt and ends when a winner is declared.
Dealer Button - The yellow disk (labeled with a D) that moves from player to player at the beginning of each hand is called the dealer button. It identifies the current dealer position—as if that player were actually dealing the cards. The player at this location is said to be on the button. After each completed hand, the dealer button moves one player to the left.
The Draw cards are dealt in a specific order and betting also takes place in a specific order. The order is as follows:
Blinds - The small blind is a forced bet made by the player to the immediate left of the dealer button (when you are viewing the table from behind the button). The big blind is a forced bet made by the player to the immediate left of the small blind.
Small Blind - In a Draw game, the small blind is a bet equal in size to one half the game's minimum bet, rounded down to the nearest unit. (For example, in a $4-$8 game, the small blind is $2. Exception: In a $.05-$.10 game, the small blind is $.03.)
Big Blind - In a Draw game, the big blind is a bet equal in size to the game's minimum bet. (For example, in a $4-$8 game, the big blind is $4.)
Missed Blinds - Players are required to post the small blind and the big blind once per round or their equivalent upon reentry to the game if the blinds are missed. The software will prompt you if you have missed one or both blinds to put in the correct amount. You can also wait for the blind to get to your position. This is called coming in on the blind. (The term also applies to when you first sit down.)
First Round - After the players in the blind positions put their blinds into the pot, the dealer deals five cards to each player, at which time each player can see his own cards but not those of his opponents. On the first round only, the betting starts with the player to the left of the big blind, who has one of three choices, call, raise, or fold. On the first round only, a player cannot check (make no bet) and still retain his hand. On the first round only, the player in the small blind position acts after the button. The player in the big blind position acts after the small blind.
Raise/Call/Check/Fold - Once a betting round has started you must act on one of these options.
Option - The player who has the big blind is given the option to raise, check, call, or fold when it is his turn. If no one has raised, the big blind has the option of checking (that is, not increasing the bet) or raising (the prompt says Bet).
Discard - After the first round of betting, active players are offered the opportunity to draw to their hands. That is, they can discard to change or improve their five-card hands by replacing none, some, or all of their cards.
Second Round - On the second round, the betting starts with the first active player to the left of the button, who has one of three choices: check, bet, or fold. Until there is a bet, each succeeding active player has the same choices. Once a bet is made, each succeeding player then has in turn one of three choices: call, raise, or fold.
Showdown - At the showdown, if more than one active player remains, the dealer awards the pot to the holder of the highest hand. If two hands are the same, pot is split accordingly.
In the event insufficient cards remain to complete the hand, the mucked and discarded cards are shuffled and used to complete the hand.
For example, in a full game with eight players, 40 cards are dealt, leaving 12 undealt cards in the deck. Two of the eight players fold their hands. The first player to act draws five cards, leaving seven undealt cards in the deck. The second player draws four cards, leaving only three undealt cards in the deck. The third player wants to draw four cards. He receives the remaining three cards in the deck.
At this point, the cards folded by the two players in the initial round (10 cards) and the cards discarded by the first and second players (nine cards) are shuffled, and the third player receives one more card from the reshuffled deck. None of the four cards that the third active player discarded are reshuffled, so there is no chance that those discards will reappear in the same hand. Eighteen cards now remain in this deck to be dealt to other players requiring cards, who, similarly, will not get back any of their own discards.
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