According to page 25 of the WSOP 2023 Rulebook, if the deck is depleted during a draw only mucks and discards from previous draws can be reused, NOT the current discards.

According to pages 26 and 27 of the same document the draw games allow enough players that the initial hands can consume more than half of the deck. For example 2-7 NL Single Draw uses 7 players x 5 cards = 35 cards max, and Badugi uses 8 players x 4 cards = 32 cards max.

This means that should everyone stay in the hand and draw enough the deck could be exhausted on the first draw, leaving no cards left to draw from. The one burn card could be used but that alone may not be enough to complete all draws. In this case, is an exception made and the discards are reused? If not, what is the standard workaround for this edge case? From what I know in Seven-card stud if burn cards alone can't solve the issue the seventh card becomes a community card. However this doesn't work in draw poker, where people discard different amounts of cards.

1 Answer 1


It depends. Cash players, particularly in higher stakes will do things different, different card clubs will do things slightly different. From my experience in the industry there is no unified way, but they're all similar enough.

So as you rightly said the current discards aren't used, but previous rounds worth of discards are and are used in the reshuffle. It's common enough for multiple reshuffles in these type of games. However I would also say it's not super common for a draw game to actually run out of cards to the point of they can't facilitate a draw at all. It's very unlikely that a full game will have every player get to the final draw and all want multiple cards. You're essentially setting a situation where multiple players on the drawing round want an entirely random hand. If this is the case this is a good game for you to be playing in. I know you're probably asking from a thought exercise but in my many years dealing I never had this happen.

Let me just explain the general flow and highlight some caveats:

  • Current rounds discards are kept separate and cannot be used to remake the stub in the current round. Previous rounds discards are mucked and can be reused during a reshuffle. The muck is used in reshuffles.
  • Some games will insist to use the burn cards to remake a stub (I noticed this a lot dealing higher stakes cash games), others will refuse. If you do use the burn cards again it's important to remember you don't have to burn another card to replace it, you continue dealing the street you're on as normal.
  • In the event of there really being no more cards to give players on their last draw normally a community card is given. This can depend and if unsure check where you're playing with a floor staff, if a home game get some agreement on how you want to handle it. This is a niche case and I'd say you might get different answers from the floor you ask.
  • Keep in mind last card in the stub isn't given ever, when you're at the last card in the stub it's time for a reshuffle.

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