No Five-Card Draw in Poker Rooms?

 No Five-Card Draw in Poker Rooms?

My e-mail in August brought a question from a poker player who wishes he could play his favorite game when he goes to casino card rooms.

“I know Hold’em has been all the rage for years now,” he wrote. “I enjoy playing some. But the game I grew up with was five-card draw. I used to play with my parents and brother and sisters, not for money, just for fun. I played a lot of it in the college dorm, too. But I can’t find it in casinos. Why not?”

Partly, it’s because stud poker games are more popular. If there was significant demand for five-card draw, it would be there. Also, the pros have always regarded Texas Hold’em as more of a skill game than draw poker, and they want to play the game where their skills maximize their edge over lesser players. When the World Series of Poker was brand new, Texas Hold’em was the only game played.

But the biggest factor probably is that there are more rounds of betting in stud poker game. In five-card draw, you have an ante, then a round of betting after the cards are dealt, and one more round of betting after the draw. In Hold’em, you have the blinds, a round of betting after players are dealt their two face-down cards, betting after the three-card flop, betting after the one-card turn, and betting after the final card river. Hold’em has more rounds of betting, more chances to build a bigger pot. And since the house makes its money from raking a percentage of the pot, that makes Hold’em a preferred game.

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