Straight Draw in Poker

Straight draw in Poker

If you have played poker online or offline at least once, then you probably know that there are specific poker hands. But did you know that there are also so-called non-made combinations that are missing something? They even have a special name – draws.

The most popular draws are those that can improve to a flush or straight in poker

And in this article we will talk in more detail about the straight draw, its possible varieties and basic tips for playing.

What is Straight Draw in Poker

Straight draw is a combination in which one card is missing to complete the straight. That is, a poker straight draw is a situation where you have four of the five cards needed to make a straight. This does not necessarily mean that you have two cards in your hand and two others are on the table. It can also be one of your hole cards and three on the board.

This applies to both Texas Holdem and Omaha (although the straight draw is more important in Hold'em). By the way, for a draw hand, the concept of a kicker does not matter, because the draw itself consists of 4 cards (the fifth does not play a role), and when it turns into a straight, this is already a five-card combination.

Important note!
Important note!

Just with a straight draw you will not be able to win the hand, this is not considered a poker hand. Therefore, you need to either improve to a straight or win thanks to a high card/pair.

Main Possible Variants

So far, everything seems simple enough: a straight draw plus one more correct card, and here is the finished straight. But you also need to know what the two main types of straight draws are, depending on how many cards are suitable for strengthening.

Let's analyze each variety in detail.

Poker Open ended Straight draw
Poker Open ended Straight draw

Double-sided or open ended straight draw is a combination in poker of 4 consecutive cards of different denominations, which lacks either one card from above or one card from below to a straight. For example, you have 6♠ 7♣ 8♥ 9♠ and you need any 5 or 10 to make a straight.

With an open ended poker straight draw, you are buying 8 outs per straight. If you hit such a draw on the flop, then your odds of improving on the turn and river are approximately 2.2 to 1 (31.5%).

Your hand will be stronger if it has additional value such as a pair and/or overcards, flush draw potential, etc. For example, if you have A♠ 4♠, the flop is 6♦ 5♠ 3♥, this gives you an OESD (8 outs), an overcard (3 outs), and a backdoor flush draw (1 out).

On this flop you get 12 outs in total (45%) to improve your hand to at least a pair. Or you have J♠ T♠ on a 9♣ 8♠ 3♦ flop, giving you an OESD(8 outs), a backdoor flush draw (1 out) and 2 overcards (6 outs).

The flop gives you a total of 15 outs (54.1% on the turn and river), but you will feel comfortable if you make a straight.

Poker Inside Straight draw
Poker Inside Straight draw

In poker Inside Straight draw or a gutshot is a combination of 4 cards, in which one card of any suit is missing for a straight. For example, if you have 5♠ 6♣ 8♥ 9♠, you need any 7 to complete the straight.

This is the type of draw that only gives you 1 card per straight and 4 outs in total. Here the odds are about 11 to 1 to improve on the turn. This hand is strong enough if there is additional value such as two overcards. Having K♠ Q♠ on a flop of T♠ 9♣ 6♦ is considered a fairly strong draw: a gutshot straight draw to the nuts (4 outs), 2 overcards (6 outs, but beware of a possible straight on a queen), and a potential backdoor flush (1 out).

Heads-up, this hand should be played aggressively.

Important note!
Important note!

There is another type of straight draw called a backdoor. To complete a backdoor straight, the player needs not one, but two matching cards. That is, this is a situation where the player has three cards out of the required five to the combination.

How to Play with Straight Draw

When playing poker hands, you may have a question: to play or not to play a draw? And to get an answer to it, first of all, you need to analyze the board and opponents.

When you flop a poker straight draw, you want the flop to be rainbow. Every time there are 2 suited cards on the flop, you will have to rule out 2 outs in favor of a flush. If there are 2 suited cards on the flop and there is some real action, you should fold a straight draw because of the chance your opponents have a set, two pair and a flush draw.

In most cases, when you flop an open-ended straight draw and the flop is rainbow, you will have correct pot odds on your draw.

But there are a few exceptions to watch out for:

  • The flop hits a pair and the action is intense. When the board pairs, it's much easier for your opponents to hit a full house.
  • You are heads-up and don't have a pair or two overcards to the flop. The pot won't give you enough chances to call. It might be worth trying to semi-bluff in this situation, but don't check or call all the time until the river.

For example, you have 5♠ 4♠ and the flop is J♠ 7♥ 6♣. This gives you an open ended straight draw (OESD), but should be played as a gutshot (4 outs to win) as you will feel confident if a 3 comes up, as an 8 can close straights for bigger hands. In such a situation, the concept of discounted outs is used, that is, cards that will help you make a combination, but your opponents will be able to make something stronger with their help.

Final Thoughts

The subject of draws in poker is considered quite important, since both straight draws and flush draws are widely used in hands. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to what they are and how best to play with them.

Straight draws are quite diverse and differ in strength. It is important not only how many outs suit you, but also which cards fell on the board. If your open-ended poker straight draw is formed from one hole card and three cards on the board, then your opponents have an obvious chance on the straight, and one of them may have already made a hand.

There is also a high chance that you will split the pot if you make a straight when four of the five cards are on the board. The action also dies down when the fourth straight card is dealt, and in this situation it will be difficult to get paid even if you have the best hand.

It is important to learn how to analyze the strength of your draws, distinguish between nut draws and weak gutshots, and understand pot odds. Also with a straight draw you can semi-bluff (a bluff that has a high chance of getting better) in the right spots.


🎯 What is the difference between inside and outside straight draw?

An outside or open-ended straight draw in poker is considered more profitable because it has more outs to make a hand (usually 8 outs). An inside straight draw (or gutshot) has far fewer options for making a straight.

👑 What is a double gutshot in poker?

The term double gutshot (or double belly buster) refers to a special case of a gutshot where a player has eight outs to make a straight. For example, you have 4-8 in your hand and the flop is 5-6-2. Both threes and sevens will suit you for a straight.

Estimate material
- excellent material
- good material
- not bad material
- bad material
- horrible material
Cardmates editor since 2015.
No comments
You will be the first to leave a comment
Unregistered users cannot leave comments.
Please, login or register.