Home Page
What's New
Home Poker Guide
Tournament Guide
Internet Poker
Etiquette & Rules
High-Low Poker
Draw Poker Games
Hold' em Games
Omaha Games
Stud Poker Games
Wild Card Games
Other Games
Poker Resources
Articles & Reviews
About HPE
Contact HPE
Links

DRAW POKER GAME VARIATIONS


Dealer's Choice Poker Games: Draw Poker Game Variations

 


HomePokerEdge.com has "table tested" most of these dealers choice poker game variations and we think you will find them interesting, challenging and fun additions to your home poker game. In addition to explaining how to play each game, we provide valuable playing tips and insider information on how to play and win for many of these poker game variations.

The games described on this page are based on draw poker. The descriptions and instructions we provide assume you are already familiar with how to play the basic poker games. If you ever want to know more about these or any of the games on HomePokerEdge.com, please let us know via our Contact HPE page. Ask a question or share your own playing experiences. We enjoy hearing from our readers and will provide a personal response.

Most of the games described throughout HomePokerEdge.com may be played as high-low split. Playing high-low split poker games introduces many additional factors that must be considered. See our High-Low Poker guide for playing tips, hand odds or probabilities and much more information you will need to play high-low spilt poker games.

Got a favorite dealers choice poker game variation that's not included in our collection? Send it in and we might add it.


Jacks or Lowball

cooltextbutton-new.png

5 Card Draw poker. Played for high with a pair or jacks or better required to open. Clockwise from the left of the dealer all players have the opportunity to open or pass. If a player opens the game continues as standard 5 Card Draw poker with the highest hand winning the entire pot. However, if all players pass the game converts to Ace to Five Lowball Draw poker. Starting again from the left of the dealer, all players now have to opportunity to open or pass. There is no minimum low hand needed to open; any hand may do so. Lowest hand wins the entire pot.


Forty-Two Draw Poker

 

A variation of draw poker with the addition of 2 common board cards. Each player is dealt 4 hole cards. Two cards are placed face down on the board. After a round of betting 1 of the board cards is turned face up, another betting round and the second is turned up, followed by a round of betting. Players may then discard and draw up to 2 cards to their hole cards. Players make their hand by using any 5 of the 6 cards available to them (4 hole cards and 2 board cards). With only 4 hole cards and a maximum draw of 2 cards, "42" will usually accomodate up to 8 players.
Click here for playing tips for 42 draw poker.


Fifty-Two Draw Poker

 

A variation of 5 card draw poker with the addition of 2 common board cards. Each player is dealt 5 hole cards. Two cards are placed face down on the table. After a round of betting 1 of the cards is turned face up, another betting round and the second is turned up. Players may discard and draw up to 3 cards to their hole cards. Players must use all 5 hole cards OR 3 hole cards and both board cards to make their hand. (4 and 1 is not permitted.) With 5 hole cards and a draw of up to 3 cards, "52" is not recommended for more than 7 players. Playing with more than 7 players will typically result in running out of cards. Should that happen, collect and re-shuffle discards and use them.
Click here for playing tips for 52 draw poker.


Dog Leg

 

A combination of 5 card draw and 5 card stud. Start the game by dealing and playing 5 card draw in the normal manner with the usual 2 betting rounds (before and after the draw). After the draw the game turns into a variation of 5 card stud. Each player arranges their cards in any order they wish and places them in a pile face down on the table in front of them. Once that is done, the order of the cards may not be changed and players may no longer look at their unrevealed cards. Each player initially reveals their first two cards, but thereafter cards 3, 4 and 5 are revealed one card at a time There is a round of betting between each reveal.
Click here for playing tips for Dog Leg poker.


Jacks-Back Draw Poker

 

5 card draw played as high-low split. There are minimum hand qualifying requirements for both the high and low. The minimum hand needed to win high is a pair of jacks. The low hand must be jack high or lower (i.e. 5 unpaired cards with no card higher than a jack). Lowest possible hand is 5432A and straights and flushes do not disqualify the low hand, so a low straight or flush could scoop the entire pot. If there is a qualifying hand in only one direction, but not the other, the single qualifying hand wins the entire pot. If none of the players has any qualifying hand, the game is re-played, but only with those players who stayed in the previous hand to the end.


Pick' em Draw Poker

 

Deal 2 cards face down to each player followed by a round of betting. Now, deal piles with 3 cards in each pile on the table equal to the number of players plus one. Each pile is to have 2 cards face down and 1 card face up, with the face up card on the top. Starting with the player to the dealer's left each player selects 1 of the piles, which now gives them a 5 card hand. The one remaining group of cards is mucked. After a round of betting, each player may discard and draw up to 2 cards.


5 Card Draw with Open Discard

 

5 card draw poker played as high-low split. Played exactly like traditional 5 card draw, except that each player must reveal to the other players the cards that they are discarding when they make their draw. This will provide information regarding whether a player is going for the high hand or the low hand. It also gives players information regarding the chances of drawing to their hand.


Ace to Five Lowball

 

Five Card Draw poker played as low only. The best hand is 5432A. Only the ranks of the cards are important as straights and flushes are ignored. Also known as California Lowball.


Deuce to Seven Lowball

 

Version of 5 card draw poker for low only. Straights and flushes disqualify the low hand. Aces are counted as a high card only. The best low hand is 75432. Also known as Kansas City Lowball.


3 Card Lowball with Triple Draw

 

This game is played as low only. Lowest hand being 32A. Deal 3 cards to each player. There are 3 opportunities to draw cards with a betting round between each. Players may discard and draw up to 3 cards in each round. Re-shuffle and use discards if necessary.


5 Card Lowball with Triple Draw

 

This game is played for low only. The lowest hand is 5432A. Deal 5 cards to each player. Three opportunities for each player to discard and draw up to 4 cards in each. Betting rounds before the first draw and after each draw. Prior to each draw, shuffle the discards in with other cards remaining in the deck.


Last One Standing

 

A cross between draw poker and 5 card stud that is played as high hand only. All cards are dealt face up thoughout the game. Start by dealing each player 3 cards. After 3rd up card is dealt the highest 3-card hand starts a betting round. Deal 4th card with the highest 4 card hand starting another betting round. Deal the 5th card with the highest 5 card hand starting another betting round.

Starting with the player to the left of the high hand, each player (except the high hand) must now discard and draw up to 5 cards. Each player slides the cards they wish to discard forward, but still face up. The dealer replaces those cards also face up. If a player's new hand is not better than his original hand he's out of the game. The high hand must stand as is.

Any discarded and folded cards are shuffled back into the deck.

The high hand starts another betting round, then each remaining player again must draw new cards. This process is repeated until all but one person has been knocked out of the game for not bettering their hand with their draw.

"Improving" or not improving a drawing hand can be incremental. For example, a player holds KQJT2, discards the deuce and draws one card. Any card of 3 or better will improve this hand. (i.e. KQJT3 is an improvement over KQJT2.) Another example: A player has AAKKQ and discards the Q. Only another A or K will improve this hand. Drawing any other card will not improve it.


3 Card Drop (Long Version)

 

A three card poker game. Each player is dealt 3 down cards. There is an initial ante, but no further betting. There is no draw; there are no common cards. Best 3 card hand wins with this ranking: high card, pair, flush, straight, trips, straight flush. (Why is straight ranked higher than flush? See the probabilities of 3 card poker.) After receiving and looking at cards each player must decide if they wish to drop out or stay in game. This is done by all players simultaneously declaring in or drop by means of chips: no chip in hand = drop. One chip in hand = play. Here is what happens after declaration:

When only 1 player declares in that player wins the entire pot and the game is over.

If all players drop out there is no winner. All players ante again and the game is replayed.

If more than 1 player declares in the game there is a showdown. The highest hand wins the pot. However, the game does not end. Each loser must now fund a new pot by paying in an amount of chips equal to the pot that was just won. Additionally, each player must re-ante. A new hand is dealt to compete for this new pot.

The key elements to 3 card drop is that the game can not end until only one player declares "in" and that the game keeps repeating and the pot keeps increasing until that happens. There is the potential to create huge pots and win or lose sums well beyond your normal limits or expectations and comfort level. There is also the potential create a lot of tension and ill-will between players when a losing player must pay an unusually large sum into a pot. This is not a game for the faint of heart. You can limit the pots by reducing the additional antes to a fraction of the initial ante, stopping re-antes altogether after a few rounds and by exempting a loser from also having to make a re-ante. You may also wish to place a maximum cap on the amount losers must pay.

Click here for playing tips for 3 Card Drop (all versions).


3 Card Drop (Short Version)

 

This version of 3 card drop will result in a quicker game, smaller pots and reduced likelihood that it will cost the loser(s) a lot of money. As in the long version, when only 1 player declares "in" they win the entire pot and when no one declares in the players re-ante and play again. However, when more than 1 player declares in the winner takes the pot plus each loser must match the pot and pay it to the winner. The game then ends.


3 Card Drop with Ghost Hand

 

Play exactly like 3 card drop, but deal an additional hand to a "ghost" player. The "ghost" hand is only revealed when just one player declares "in". When that occurs, the "ghost" hand is exposed. The "in" player's hand must beat the ghost hand in order to win to pot. If it does not, that player must pay the pot and the game continues.


3 Card Drop with Draw

 

Played exactly like 3 Card Drop, but each player may draw up to 2 cards before the declaration. A round of betting occurs before drawing cards.


Outhouse

 

Outhouse has 2 pots. One is refered to as the "main pot" which builds throughout the game and is awarded at the end of the game to the best 5 card poker hand. Each round also has a "side pot" which is awarded to the best 2 card poker hand at the end of each round. A new side pot is created on each following round. There are a total of 3 rounds. An equal amount is always placed into each pot on ALL bets or raises. (i.e. if you make a 2 chip bet you must place 2 chips in each pot. That 2 chip bet will actually cost you 4 chips in total) Outhouse derives its name from its unique "no flushing" rule. i.e. common flushes are not recognized as legimate hands, although straight flushes are.

1st Round: Start the game by dealing a total of 5 cards face down to each player with a round of betting after each receives their 3rd, 4th, and 5th cards. Each player then selects 2 of their 5 cards and places them face down in front of them. Each player's 2 card hand is revealed and the best hand wins this first "side" pot. The money in the main pot remains. The exposed 2-card hands are shuffled back into the deck. Each player keeps their remaining 3 cards.

2nd Round: Each player is dealt 3 more cards face down, one card at a time with a round of betting between each card. For this round the deal and betting starts with the player who won the first pot. Again, all bets are split between the main pot and the new side pot. At the end of this round each player is now be holding 6 down cards - 3 from the initial deal, and 3 new ones. Again, each player places 2 cards face down in front of them, those cards are revealed and the best 2 card hand wins the side pot. The exposed 2-card hands are shuffled back into the deck. Each player keeps their remaining 4 cards.

Final Round: Each player now has 4 cards remaining. Deal each player 3 more down cards, one at a time with a round of betting between each card. Start with the player who won the 2nd side pot. Each player places 2 cards face down in front of them, those cards are revealed and the best 2 card hand wins the side pot. Each player's remaining 5 cards are revealed and the best 5 card hand (except flushes) wins the main pot.


Draw Poker with Joker

 

5 card draw poker with 1 joker added to the deck. It is played high only. The joker serves as a wild card, but in a limited way. It may be used to complete straights and flushes and also as an ace, but not for any other purpose.


 

There's a lot more Dealer's Choice poker games on these pages: Omaha Games , Stud Poker Games , Hold 'em Games & Wild Card Games.