Once upon a time draw poker was extremely popular, but nowadays it is rarely found in either casino’s or tournament play. This form of poker is any variation of the game in which players receive a full hand before the first round of betting. They then proceed to develop a hand by drawing, or in other words replacing, cards. The cards will be dealt face down and each player has the option to trade-in either one, two or three of their hand. If a player has been dealt an ace, it is then possible for them to actually trade-in their other 4 cards, although it would then be expected that the ace in question is turned face up, and in so doing offer information to opponents.
You do not of course have to trade-in any of your cards, if you have a cracking hand why would you? This action does however, alert other players and may encourage an uncertain player to fold, when they might have otherwise stopped in. So unless you’ve been fortunate to be dealt a top hand it is advisable to take at least 1 card, it very often will transform the look of your hand.
When folding never show your cards, it will give other players a huge advantage knowing what is not available and if you’ve folded a hand with maybe a pair, it will be useful information for them to use in subsequent games, with regards to your style of play. Each player will watch intently at how many cards are drawn, giving clues to the sort of hands they have. In many forms of draw poker a single joker – referred to as a ‘bug’ are included in the pack; this will represent any card and can help complete a straight, a flush or better,
If an individual player should run out of money mid-game, there is the option to go ‘all in’, sometimes referred to as a ‘tap out’. This allows a player to remain in the game, but should others stay involved then a separate pot is created and there is then another round of betting, before a winner emerges. If it happens to be the person who went ‘all in’ then they take the main pot, with the other pot going the way of the second highest hand.
The are many, many forms of draw poker which include: Gardena Jackpots, very popular in California between the 1930’s and the 1970’s; and Californian lowball which up until around 40 years ago, was the primary west coast game. Badugi – otherwise known as Padooki or Badougi – which was a 4 card variant, whereby all 4 need to be of different suits for a winning hand. Amongst the others are: Baduci is a split pot variation on Badugi, Kansas City, Billy Baxter, Four before, Johnsons, Jacks Back, Q-ball and High-Low declare, which necessitates a strange action by each player to hold different numbers of chips in a clenched fist – the same fist may become clenched again later for a different purpose, should they find themselves on a losing streak!