A to 5 Triple Draw
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A - 5 Triple Draw Poker
This poker variant is obviously part of the family of draw-poker variants, i.e. those variants where you have to draw cards. In this particular case, every player is dealt five cards, all of which he may choose to exchange during three exchange-rounds, in order to build the best possible hand. In A-5 triple draw, the best possible hand is – contrast to most other poker variants – the lowest one, i.e. A, 2, 3, 4 and 5; straights and flushes do not count as such. Should you want to play A-5 triple draw online yourself, we recommend you give PokerStars a try. There, you can play A-5 triple draw at any time of day and if you register through BBB, you will even get a welcome bonus.
Up to 10 players may participate. At the beginning of the game, two players who sit next to the dealer (the person marked with the dealer button) have to place their blinds. This happens before the cards are dealt. The blinds are there to make sure that there is money in the pot so every winning hand can actually win money. Since the dealer button moves on clockwise from player to player with each round of the game, every player has to pay a blind at some point during the game. The player to the left of the dealer places the Small Blind, the player to his left has to place the ‘Big Blind’ which is usually twice the amount of the small blind.
Cards and 1st betting round
As soon as all players have paid their blinds, each player is dealt five cards face down. Now, starting with the first player to the left of the big blind, all players may decide whether they want to ‘fold’, ‘call’ or ‘raise’. If you have a nice hand, it is recommendable to raise right away because as soon as you do not exchange cards during the first exchange round, the other players are warned.
1st exchange of cards and 2nd betting round
Each player may now exchange between zero of five of his cards, this is followed by another betting round, where – again – the first player to the left of the dealer has to start betting.
2nd exchange of cards and 3rd betting round
Again, all players have the possibility of exchanging up to five of their cards and thus try to build a better hand; this is followed by another betting round – as always, the first player to the left of the dealer button has to start betting.
3rd exchange of cards and 4th betting round
Now players can exchange cards one last time and the following –ultimate – betting round is, again, started by the first player to the left of the dealer button.
During the showdown, the winner of the relative round is determined – the player with the best hand wins the pot. Should there be two players with a hand of the same value, they share the pot, suit does not count. When two players have a similar hand, where only one card is different, the player, where this particular card is lower, wins. For example: One player has A, 2, 4, 5, 6 and the other player has A, 2, 3, 5, 6 -> the second player wins because, apart from the four identical cards they have in common, the second player has one lower card.
If you do not like the cards you were dealt, you have the opportunity to discard (fold) them and thus leave the current round of the game. Should you be big or small blind or should you have called someone’s bet already, you lose the money. Apart from that though, since you have folded, you cannot lose any more money during this round.
If you want to keep your cards and stay in the game, you can, for example, check. This means that nobody before you has placed a bet yet and that you do not either. Now the player after you has the opportunity to check himself, or to bet. If any of the players in the round bets, you need to – as soon as it is your turn – decide whether you fold, call or raise.
To call means that, in case a player before you has placed a bet, you bet the same amount as he does; you call his bet.
Bet and raise/re-raise – according to the limit
If you find you have been dealt decent cards, you can bet a certain amount of money on your hand being the winning hand. If a player before you has already placed a bet, you can raise his bet. Depending on the betting structure the amounts you can bet or by which you may raise, are fixed.
Fixed limit: On a $ 5/$ 10 table you may bet $ 5 in the first two betting rounds and up to $ 10 in the last two. In each round players may bet once and raise three times (bet, raise, re-raise and again re-raise or ‘cap’). After three rounds of betting the so-called cap is reached, this means that in this betting round, no more betting can be done. In this case the next card is dealt – or if it was the last round – the showdown begins.
No limit: Here the betting structure follows these rules: Each player may bet all the money he has on the table, regardless of the size of the pot. As a rule, the minimum bet has to at least equal the amount of the Big Blind and if you decide to raise, your raise does at least have to equal that of the player before you.
Pot limit: In a pot limit game a player may bet a sum between the minimum bet and the total size of the pot. In a $ 5/$ 10 pot limit game the small blind is $ 5 and the big blind $ 10. The first player could call the big blind (i.e. $ 10 in this case) or raise to any amount up to the total pot size. The raise has to either equal or exceed the previous bet. So in this case, the maximum possible raise would be $ 25 ($ 5 small blind, $ 10 big blind and $ 10 the call) which means that player #3 may actually bet a total of $ 35. So should player #3 raise the pot limit, the total amount in the pot would then be $ 50.
Now if the next player (let’s say player #4) wants to go on playing, he at least has to call the $ 35, i.e. the bet player #3 has made. Should player #4 want to raise (up) to the pot limit he would have to put $ 120 into the pot. That is the total pot size ($ 50) plus the maximum raise of $ 70 ($ 35 call + $ 35 raise). The number of betting rounds per hand is not limited and in each round calling and raising continues until every player has either called, or folded his cards.
Primarily, players go ‘All-In’, when they have a particularly good hand. This is because: when one or more other players call this move and the player who went all-in wins anyway, his winnings in this round increase considerably. Another possibility would be, that a player goes all-in to bluff and merely signal that he has a good hand, in order to make the other players fold and win himself the pot. (What the precise rules for an all-in situation are is described in the following paragraph.) Apart from the situation described above, players could also go all-in for the following reason: In case a player lacks the necessary amount of chips to call or finish a hand but has nice cards and wants to stay in the game anyway, he does not have to fold. The player can also go ‘all-in’; so he bets all of his chips (even if they are not sufficient to cover the sum he would actually need to call) and can stay in the game without being able to act any further though. All the money that is in the pot up until the point when he goes all-in, is what the player can win. All money put into the pot after he went all-in is put in a separate pot (‘side pot’). Should the player who is all-in, win the showdown, he wins the main pot, whereas the side pot goes to the player with the second best hand. When a player goes all-in and his fellow players decide to call his bet, they obviously have to call the sum he bet.
Even after the best of all explanations, you still need to practice playing at an online poker table. We have created reviews of the best online poker schools to show you where you can practice your play.
This poker variant obviously is a relative of 5 Card Draw – the possibly oldest and most common poker variant worldwide. Nobody knows how exactly 2-7 Triple Draw evolved into A-5 Triple Draw; it is possible though, that A-5 Triple Draw, became popular in the US already shortly after 5 Card Draw (i.e. at the beginning of the 19th century). Maybe, these new variants were created by gold seekers and cowboys during long nights at the saloon – in search of a new, more exciting poker game (before the invention of Stud). Exotic variants like A-5 Triple Draw only become part of big poker events very rarely but still this poker variant is very common and popular as a welcome change among big poker-pros as well. Poker legend Phil Hellmuth is known as an expert with this poker variant.