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Draw Dead

What is ‘Draw Dead’?

To 'draw dead' is a poker term meaning to make the draw even though the hand held is already beaten. Players may be aware that they are drawing dead or it may happen as part of the course of a game. When players 'draw dead', they might complete the hand they want but another hand at the table has already knocked them down.

‘Draw Dead’ Explained

A poker player is said to 'draw dead' when they go for the draw in the game, despite having no chance of beating their opponents' hand or hands. A player might select the cards they need and complete the hand with a perfect draw, but the final result is too low to be beaten by other players. These dead draws often occur when a player has a hand of unconnected cards and a very slight chance of a five-card hand, but manages to pick up a good pair or even two - however, another player has filled their flush and will win the pot.The phrase is often used in the sense of 'to draw dead to' another hand. For example, a player might draw dead to a straight, or a flush may win because the opponent 'drew it dead'. It is sometimes used in a broader sense to describe drawing the wrong card into a hand and therefore killing it - for example, holding four of the parts of a straight flush, but not making the fifth and losing the hand to a pair as a result. Occasionally it appears in blackjack to describe a player who continually busts on the hit in conjunction with a lot of 20s and 21s from the dealer - they are drawing dead to the dealer's cards, and being forced to follow play to the end.