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Draw Poker Games - Know the Features

Draw poker game is a variation of poker games in which players are dealt with a complete hand before the first round of betting, and then develop hand for the following rounds by replacing or “creating” cards. Most home games use ante or the forced bet at the beginning of the round. Betting starts with the player on the left side of the dealer. In casinos, blinds are used in replacement of ante. The player on the left of the big blind starts the first round of betting, the next rounds follow the same pattern. You may notice that draw poker games are very particular with the position of the player, unlike in some group of poker variations. A beginner typically learns first the standard five card draw, which is also a very common game in most home poker games.

Gardena Jackpots

Gardena jackpots use the standard process described above and standard hand ranks, with the use of a bug, or a joker in the deck of cards. Gardena jackpot is played with an ante and never with a blind. On the first round of betting, a player is allowed to open if he already has a pair of jacks or better. Other players can raise or call if a player opens. But if no one opens, another deal is made and everyone places ante once again. The one who opened the betting keeps the discarded cards with him so that he can show it when necessary. This draw poker game is named after Gardena, a city in California where it was extremely popular way back 1930s till 1970s.

California Lowball

This is another Draw poker variation which was popular in the 70s, when Stud poker and Community card poker were not yet introduced. This variant uses Ace to five low hands, as well as a joker in the deck. Unlike the Gardena, it is played with blinds and never with an ante. Due to this, players may only check on the second round and not on the first. A player cannot check a seven high hand unless he intends to fold when another bets. A player who checks on the second round of betting cannot rise on the same round.


Q-Ball is a draw poker variation introduced by Michael Wiesenberg. It combines a few of the variations of some of the draw poker games. It is played using three blinds including one from the dealer, two from the second player to the left of the dealer, and one to his left. One joker is also used in a deck. Every player is given three cards after which betting begin with the one after the big blind. The first bettor can call, raise or fold and checking is not allowed yet on this round. The first player then is required to either open or fold. Every player is also given a fifth card after which a third round of betting begins on the left side of the dealer. At this time, checking is already allowed after a fourth betting round come the showdown where Ace to five low values are used.

About us

  • Thomas West Poker Club

    We are the group of poker professionals from Seward, Nebraska. Our club is named by the first county clerk of our town. We'd like to share our poker knowledge and establish connections with other USA local poker clubs.