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Draw Poker

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Stud Poker

Stud Poker
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Gin Rummy
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Variation of Canasta
Typical Four-Handed Score Sheet

Bridge: Contract and Auction

Contract and Auction
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The Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge
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Cribbage and How it is Played

Cribbage how to Play
Strategy at Cribbage


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Children and Family Card Games

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Old Maid
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Miscellaneous Card Games
Scotch whist
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Auld Lang Syne
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Beleaguered Castle
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Standard Teeko Strategy
Start Teeko Game
Standard Checkers Law

Parlor Games for All

Parlor Games
Twenty Questions


Draw Poker, also known as Closed Poker, Poker Jack’s or Better, and Five-Card Draw Poker, is the forerunner of all other kinds of Poker, including Stud Poker and its variants. 
            Draw Poker (and its countless variations) is one of the more popular games at women’s weekly Poker sessions. Big-money gamblers prefer Stud to Draw Poker.  Every adult and teenager has probably played penny-ante Draw Poker at least once during his or her lifetime; children usually learn to play it before any other game.  It is probably the world’s most popular family card-games .

  1. Two to six players make the best game, although up to ten players may play-with the following added rule: should the pack become exhausted and there are players who still must draw cards to complete their hands, the discards are assembled, shuffled, and cut, and the draw is continued.  But when playing for high stakes, the maximum number of players is six.
  2. A standard pack of 52 cards is used.  It is best to have two packs available of different backs and colors, so a player may call for a change of decks upon completion of any deal

The object of the Game.  For a player at the showdown to hold a higher-ranking five-card hand than any of the other players.  The player (or players) having the best hand is declared the winner (or winners), and collects the pot.
            Preliminaries Before the Deal.  All the preparations before the start of the actual play are as described under the basic General Rules for Poker: selecting the banker, his duties, rank of hands, royalties, time limit, betting limits, preparations before play, selecting the dealer and seating positions at the table, irregularities in cutting the cards, the shuffle and cut.
            The Ante.  Two types of antes are used in Draw Poker, as follows:

  1. Each player, before the cards are dealt, antes an equal amount into the pot.  All players must ante in turn, starting with the player to the dealer’s left and rotating clockwise.
  2. Dealer’s Edge.  The player whose turn it is to deal antes an amount into the pot.  In dealer’s edge a new player entering the game must wait until it is his turn to deal before he is permitted to play.

The Deal.  Dealing clockwise, starting with the player on the dealer’s left, the dealer deals a card to each player until each has five cards.  The dealer gets the last card.  The remaining cards are put to one side in front of the dealer for future use in drawing.
            Openers.  The player who opens the pot must hold in his hand a pair of jacks or a higher-ranking hand.  It is essential for the stability of the game that a player has jacks or better when opening.  If this rule is not enforced and a player opens the pot any time he feels like it, one of the greatest factors of skill in the game is automatically eliminated – which depends on knowing that the opener holds at least a pair of jacks.
            Splitting Openers.  The player who opened the pot has the right to discard his openers or part of his openers, but he must announce that he is doing so and place his openers or the discarded part of his openers to one side to verify at the showdown the fact that he had them.
            Player’s Turn of Play.  T he leader (player to the dealer’s left) has the first privilege of play.  After examining his cards and determining that he holds a pair of jacks or a hand of higher rank, he must do one of two things:

  1. He may open by putting a bet into the pot.
  2. He may pass, which indicates that he does not desire to start the betting.  Should he fail to hold a pair of jacks or a hand of a higher rank, he is compelled to pass.

If all the players pass, they must ante again, and the new dealer deals another hand to each player; and, if playing dealer’s edge the new dealer must ante.
            When a player opens by putting an amount within the limit into the pot, each succeeding player in turn can do one of these three things:

  1. He may pass; and should he pass when the pot has been opened, he merely folds his cards and puts them in the center of the table.  This is folding up.
  2. Should he decide to play, he must put up an amount equal to the bet of the player who opened the pot.
  3. If he wants to raise, he merely says “Raise” and puts into the pot an amount equal to that put into the pot by the opening player, plus an amount for the raise.

All the other players may now either play by putting into the pot an amount equal to the total amount of the raiser or, should they already have put the opening bet into the pot, merely put into the pot an amount equal to the raise.  Or a player may reraise by putting into the pot an amount equal to the raiser plus an amount for the reraiser or he may drop out by folding his cards and throwing them into the discard pile on the table.  This procedure of dropping out, playing, raising and reraising is continued until the players stop raising.  If all the players drop out but one, he wins the pot.  Should he be the player who opened the pot, he must show his openers to the rest of the players.  If he is not, he does not have to expose his hand.
            The Draw.  When all the players have either dropped out or put into the pot an equal amount and there are no uncovered bets in the pot, and when the active players number two or more, these remaining players may, if they desire, draw either, one, two, or three cards in an attempt to improve their hands or stand pat.  This procedure is called the draw, and it is played as follows:
            The dealer must ask each player (starting with the nearest active player to his left and rotating to the left, clockwise) at his proper turn of play how many cards he wants to draw, if any; to each player he says “How many?” The player either says he’s standing pat or tells the dealer how many cards he wants to draw.  The dealer must wait until the player discards a like number before dealing the new cards; or he passes the player by should the latter say, “I stand pat.”
            In Draw, every player must take the cards he asked for if the dealer has dealt them off the deck.  If too many, player must discard to make a legitimate hand.  If too few, he has fouled his hand, as he has fewer than required for a playing hand.  Dealer must take the exact number of cards laid off the deck for himself.  cards once discarded cannot be taken back.  If a player does not get the correct number of cards he asked for, the dealer must rectify the mistake, provided no one at the player’s left has drawn cards.
            The Betting after the Draw.  The player who opened the pot has the first turn of play after the draw, and the play goes on to each active player, starting with the player to the opener’s left and moving clockwise.  A turn of play now consists of either checking, betting, calling, dropping out, raising, or reraising.  But a player cannot check at his turn of play after a bet has been made.  The play continues around the table until one of the following situations develops:

  1. A player has made a bet and is not called by any player, in which case he wins the pot and does not have to expose his hand, unless he was opener.  Then he is compelled to show this openers only.
  2. All players have passed; and now the opener must be first player to expose his hand for the showdown.  This is done by announcing the rank of his hand and turning his five cards face up on the table.  The same holds for all the remaining players, continuing with the first remaining player to the opener’s left and rotating clockwise.
  3. Or, an equal amount has been put into the pot by betting on the part of two or more active poker players .  In this case the biggest bettor is being called, and he must be the first to announce the rank of his hand and turn it face up on the table for the showdown.  The first active player to his left dos the same, the showdown rotating clockwise.  The player holding the highest –ranking hand as described under General Rules for Poker wins the pot.  In case of ties, the tied players split the pot equally.

Showdown.  In Draw Poker the cards in the showdown speak for themselves.  If a player calls a lower or higher-ranking hand than he holds and this error is noticed before the pot has been collected, the error can be rectified.  But if it is noticed after the pot has been collected, the error cannot be rectified.  The same rule regarding the showdown holds true should all the players pass after the draw.
            Misdeals.  Whenever a misdeal occurs there must be a new shuffle and cut.  The same dealer deals again, but should the dealer make two misdeals in a two the deal passes to the player at his left.  The following will determine if a misdeal has occurred or not:

  1. If one or more cards are exposed in cutting or reuniting the cut packets, there is a misdeal.
  2. If the pack has not been offered to the proper player to cut, and the pot has not been opened yet, there is a misdeal.   If the pot has already been opened, and the irregularity has not been discovered, the deal stands, there is no misdeal.
  3. If the pack has not been cut and the betting has not started, there is a misdeal.
  4. If one or more cards are observed  face up in the pack before each player has received his five cards or the betting has not yet started, there is a misdeal.
  5. If a player’s card is exposed by the dealer before the draw, there is a misdeal.
  6. If the dealer exposes one or more of his own cards at any time, the deal stands.   There is no misdeal.
  7. Should a player expose one or more of his own cards at any time, the deal stands.  There is no misdeal.
  8. If an imperfect pack is being used with fewer cards than the standard pack or with duplicate cards and it is discovered before the pot has been collected, there is a misdeal.  Play immediately stops when the imperfect pack is discovered, and all the players get back the amounts they put into the pot. 
  9. If the cards have been improperly dealt time-or another player has received improper cards and it is noticed before the pot is opened, there is a misdeal.
  10. If too few or too many hands have been dealt, there is a misdeal.
  11. If too few or too many cards have been dealt to one or more players and it is misdeal unless it can be properly corrected before any one player has looked at his hand. 
  12. If the wrong player is dealing and it is discovered before the pot has been opened, there is a misdeal.

Passing the Deal.   A dealer cannot pass his turn to deal unless he is incompetent to deal the cards.
Exposed Cards on the Draw.    The following will cover situations involving an exposed card on the draw:

  1. Should a dealer expose one or more of a player’s cards on the draw, the player is not permitted to take the exposed cards.  They must be put into the center of the table face up, and are out of play.  The dealer deals the player whose card has been exposed another card in place of it.
  2. Should a player expose one or more of his drawn cards, he must take them.
  3. Should a dealer expose one or more of his drawn cards on his own draw or if they are found face up on the draw poker variations, the dealer must take them.

Betting.  A bet once placed in the pot, regardless of whether it’s a player’s proper turn or not, must stand.  It cannot be taken out of the pot.  If a player should put into the pot an amount less than the amount of the previous bettor, he must add the required sum so that his bet is equal to the previous bet.  Should he fail to do so, his hand is dead, and the amount he bet must remain in the pot.
            Betting Out of Turn.  The following rules apply to playing, calling, or raising out of turn.  A player making a bet out of turn must leave the bet in the pot.  He cannot take it back, and the play reverts to the proper player.  When it is the proper turn of the player who bet out of turn he must do one of the following:

  1. If no bet has been made by any preceding player, the bet stands as is.
  2. If a bet has been made by a previous player smaller than the bet made out of turn, it stands as a raise.
  3. If a bet has been made by a previous player equal to the bet out of turn, it stands as a play or call.
  4. If a previous bet was raised by another player and the bet is in excess of the amount bet by the out-of-turn player, the out-of-turn player may either drop out of the pot, play, or call by equaling the bet made by the previous bettors, or reraise the pot after equaling the raised bet.

Verbal Betting.  If a player in his turn of play announces he is making a bet, he must abide by the announcement.  He cannot increase or decrease the oral bet.  Should a player make an announcement at an improper turn of play and has not placed any money into the pot, it should be disregarded and considered a joke or an attempted bluff.
            Passing or Checking Out Of Turn.   If a player passes out of turn before the draw and still holds his cards in his hand, there is no penalty.  He just waits for his proper turn of play, but he is not permitted to raise should a preceding player make a bet.  The same hold true for passing or checking after the draw, provided no previous bet has been made.
False Openers

  1. Player opening a pot with false openers forfeits his right to the pot, and his hand is dead.  Remaining players in the pot, if any, will play the pot out as though it had been opened legitimately.  If no one stays, the opening bet remains in the pot, and a new deal is declared.
  2. If opener bets with false openers and his bet are not called, the amount of bet shall be withdrawn, but any ante remains in the pot. 
  3. If bet is called, the false opener loses the entire pot to the best legitimate hand.

Foul or Dead Hand

  1. If a player holds more or fewer than five poker cards on the showdown, that player’s hand is declared foul or dead, and he has no interest in the pot.  But if the irregularity is discovered after the pot is collected, the hand must stand as legitimate.
  2. If a player forgets to draw cards or permits another player to draw cards at his turn of play, he must play his hand as is.  If he has discarded and failed to draw, his hand is dead.

Improper Fold-Up.  If a player decides to drop out of the pot or fold up, he cannot give an indication, verbal or otherwise, until it is his proper turn of play.  Strict observance of this rule makes for a better game.  But should he fold up out of turn, his hand is dead.
            Optional Betting Limits at Draw Poker. The most popular betting limits are as follows:

  • Penny to 5 cents, 5 to 10 cents, 10 to 25 cents, 10 to 50 cents, 25 cents to $1, 25 cents to $2, etc.  Only two amounts are specified, the minimum and the maximum permitted; which means at a player’s turn of play a player must conform with one of the following rules:  
    • A player cannot bet an amount less than the minimum limit.
    • A player cannot bet an amount larger than the maximum limit.
    • A player may bet any amount between both limits.
    • The ante is usually the amount of the minimum bet.
  • Variation in betting limit.  Often three figures are mentioned, such as 5 cents, 10 cents, and 15 cents, or $1, $2 and $4, which indicate the ante and opening bets, are the low amount and after the draw a bet must be either the middle or highest amount.  The same hold true for any other three-figure limit, regardless of the amount.
  • Jack Pot.  Should all the players pass on the first deal, the amount of the opening bet on the second deal can be any amount not higher than the ante already in the pot, provided the limit bet is less than the amount in the pot before the opening.  Thereafter each bet after the draw can also be the amount of the possible opening bet.  The dealer must announce the Jackpots limit to the opening player and that amount cannot be exceeded in betting, except if it be lower than the maximum limit.
  • Pot Limit.  Undoubtedly the fastest betting limit of all the limits played today at Poker.  A player at his betting turn is permitted to bet any amount up to the total amount in the pot.
  • Table Stakes or Freeze-Out.  Each player puts up a certain amount of money on the table, but not less than a minimum agreed on beforehand.  The maximum amount is often agreed on also, but as a rule it isn’t.  A player may increase or decrease the amount he has on the table, but only after a showdown and before the next deal.  He may not take any money off the table before he leaves the game.  On any bet a player is permitted to bet any or all of the amount he has in front of him.  (See Tapping Out under General Rules.)  But, after the tapping-out hand, the player may continue playing by putting more money on the table.

The above variation is not as popular as it used to be about twenty years ago, and “sky’s the limit” games have almost vanished completely in this modern Poker era.  For additional betting methods see the basic Betting Rules for Friendly or Social Poker.
            Draw Poker Strategy.  You should always open the pot when you have an opportunity to do so.  If the pot is opened ahead of you and there are two or more players, stay in with queens or better.  If you are the dealer or anchor man (player to the dealer’s right) and hold aces or better, and there are only two active players remaining, raise immediately.  If there has been but one raise before your turn to speak, stay with a pair of kings or better.  If there have been two raises, you must have at least a pair of aces or a four-flush (four-card flush) to stay.
            Most of the above tips and many of those listed under General Poker Strategies go out the window in Draw or Stud Poker variations that make use of wild cards because chance is so much more a determining factor.  Try especially in Draw Poker to memorize the chances of improving certain hands, such as a pair, four-card straight, and four-card flush.



Pinochle many Variations

Pinochle many Variations
Two-Handed Pinochle
Two-Handed Doubling Redoubling
Auction pinochle
Strategy at Auction
CAD found
Partnership Auction
Auction pinochle without wido Individual play
Partnership Aeroplane Pinochle
Radio Partnership Pinochle

Other Members of the Bezique Family

The Bezique Family
Rubicon bezique
Two-handed sixty-six
Two-handed piquet
Boo-Ray or BOURÉ

The Big Euchre Family

The big euchre family
Strategy of euchre
Auction euchre
Table of scoring points
Spoil five
Double hasenpfeffer
Three-card loo

The Heart Group

Heart Group
Spot Hearts
Black Widow Hearts

The All-Fours Group

All-Fours Group
Shasta Sam
Auction Pitch Joker

Banking Card Games

Banking Card Games
Black Jack, casino Style
Black Jack Strategy
CHEMIN DE PER must play
Baccarat Banque
Faro or farobank
Banker and broker
Red Dogs

Card craps

The Stops Games

Stops Game

Skarney® and How It Is Played

Skarney® and How It Is Played
Alternate Skarney
Skarney Singles
Skarney Gin Doubles

Cheating at Card Games

Cheating at Card Games
Professional Card Cheats
Nullifying the Cut
The Peek
How to Shuffle Cards

Dice and their Many Games

Dice and their Many Games
The Casino Game: Bank Craps
English Hazard
Double Cameroon
Partnership Straight scarney Dice
Scarney Duplicate Jackpots
Scarney Chemin de Fer
Applying All Card Games Poker

Games Requiring Special Equipment

Hasami Shogi
Follow The Arrow

Lottery and Guessing Games

Lottery guessing game
Tossing Game
Race Horse Keno
The match Game

Glossary of Game Terms


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