Draw poker is generally known as the original poker game. Draw Poker hands are made up of only five cards.
One of the oldest and most classic poker games that you could ever play is 5-card draw. In fact, it probably wouldn't be right for you to call yourself a poker player if you have never played this game before. Although it is extremely old and so many people know about it; not many people really know how to strategize and win at 5-card draw. The absolute most important aspect of this game is before you draw your cards. That is where all of the real action happens and it will be the difference between winning big pots and losing big pots.
There are several different things to think about when you first get your five cards. Some of them do not have anything to do with what you are holding in your hand, although that is also very important. The very first thing you should think about is the position that you are in. If you are in bad position you have to be willing to fold certain hands that you may normally play. If you are in good position you might want to take a little bit more of a chance.
The other thing you might want to think about is your opponents. Are your opponents aggressive, weak or in between? If only one or two of them are weak, where are they sitting? These are all things that you should think about before you start thinking about your hand. These different things will affect your decision and moves that you make during that pre-draw period.
Lastly and most importantly is your hand. You have to look at the strength of your hand at this point and the odds of catching a hand that you may be trying to catch. Obviously if you already have a very strong hand then none of the above circumstances will matter too much. Still, when it comes down to betting you will need to think about those things to decide what to bet. If you are playing with aggressive players you will play the hand differently then if you are playing against tight players.
Once you have figured out the value of your hand based on position, opponents and of course the hand itself; you must decide what to do. This is the part that begins to take some thought. As long as you know those three things, you should be able to make a solid decision.
If you have garbage, marginal or drawing hands in early position you should just fold. If you are going to win 5-card draw you have to be able to fold. You will be folding a lot more then you will be drawing if you are playing the right way. The only way you should play these types of hands is if you are in good position and you think you may be able to outplay your opponents or that you have the best hand. If you are in early position you will have no way to figure that out.
If you have a pat hand or a winning hand then your position doesn't matter. At that point you will have to decide what the best decision is going to be for you to make the most amount of money. This is where your opponent's tendencies really come into play. You want to try and figure out what your opponents are going to do so you can make the right decision. Whichever one is going to make you the most money is the best possible decision.
Being in good position is when you can afford to take chances with marginal hands and drawing hands. If there is enough money in the pot and your odds are right there is no reason not to play when you are in good position. If you have a garbage hand, then you should still obviously fold it. There is no reason to try and draw to make something out of nothing.
Remember that everything you do in the pre-draw phase of the hand is going to reflect what happens after you draw. If you have a very good hand you want to set yourself up to make the most possible money when the hand is finished and over with. If you are trying to win off a prayer then you shouldn't be in the hand. Folding is one of the most important aspects of a good 5-card draw strategy.