In draw poker, you swap cards with the deck in order to build your hand. Now obviously, if you've got a pair or the beginnings of a flush, you'll keep those cards. Speaking as a complete poker novice, I tend to throw away all my cards unless I have a promising beginning of a hand.

I can see at least one objection to that sort of tactic, and that's that maybe it's worthwhile to keep high cards.

My question is: what do you do when you get junk in draw poker?

  • I believe you are talking about five card draw???? there are many types of draw games.....
    – amigal
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 21:20
  • That's it. I thought it was just called Draw Poker.
    – Jack M
    Commented Dec 30, 2012 at 21:54

4 Answers 4


I generally will fold unless there is no bet to call. Investing in a bad hand generally gets you a negative return. If there is no bet to call in the big blind or it's an ante game, I would hold the highest ranks in the following:

  • suited with a high card A♣5♣ before K♥ 6♥
  • suited connectors 7⋄ 6⋄ before 4♣3♣
  • suited gapped connectors 9♠7♠ before 5♥ 3♥
  • unsuited connectors J⋄T♠ before 4♣3⋄
  • unsuited gapped connectors T⋄8♠ before 7⋄5♠
  • high cards A♠J♣

As you can see you are drawing three cards to fill a flush or straight and more likely end up with high card or a mediocre pair. Not really worth investing in in the first place.

I fold often conserving my bets while I watch my opponents throw money in the pot playing random best hand. When I do come in I have a real shot at collecting.

The reason I would hold gapped connectors is that the chance of making a pair is the same for high or low cards, so if you can also make a straight it gives you more possible hands to make.


I have been playing FL! 5 card draw for about 2-3 months.

For FL, I would generally keep Ace or King. I was profitable at 0.2-0.5 level at that time, which was the highest level with more then 2 tables open at that time. (And propably also now...)

In NL, I think just throwing away these cards can't be a big mistake, but I have no experience from that.


I haven't played this in years really apart from on the video poker machines in Vegas. I think its the same game.

Generally speaking I keep any pairs, or any picture cards, other than that i just get rid and hope to get a few good cards out of 5.

There probably isnt really a right or wrong answer to this, its personal preference.


If you have a Jack of higher you should keep the high card.

You have just as much chance of pairing your high card with 4 as the increased chance of a pair with 5.

Think about it. If you take 5 first 1 comes off the deck and then 4 more. That is no different than keep 1 and take 4 off the deck.

In fact you are a little worse off as now the jack is not in the deck so your chance of getting a pair of jacks goes down.

If you had AKT86 I am not sure if you should keep AK or just the A.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.