Poker strategy for straight draws

Understanding how to play with straight draws in Texas Hold'em is a vitally important part of your poker strategy. Drawing for a straight in a wise way can win you lots of money.

Let's take a look at some of the important things you need to understand about how to play the straight draws strategy.


There are two kinds of straight draws in poker.

  • There is the inside straight draw--what we in Texas Hold'em circles call the "gut-shot draw" (not to be confused with the a gunshot draw, which means somebody's cheating or you got to know when to run). This is a potential straight where you find yourself with cards to make that that start a little over the beginning of the suit and ending a little earlier than its ending (translation: you have four cards that require you to get another card in the middle to make the straight).
  • There is open-ended straight draw: for this, you might be using the two cards in your hand or making use of just one card in your hand (in either situation, between your pocket and the board texture you've got four consecutive cards and you need one card at either the front end or the back end to make your straight).


  • Open-ended straight draws: approximately 2.2:1 against hitting it on the river.
  • Gut-shot draws: approximately 5:1, but 11:1 if you plan to just take one more card. (So check your gut.)
  • An open-ended straight with a pair has eight good outs for the straight and two good outs for tripping-up, for a total of 10 good outs. Your odds of hitting here are pretty good: 1.6:1. (Note: if your opponent is drawing for a flush you only have six outs for the straight.)
  • If you draw to an open-ended straight and have two overcards you've got a 50/50 chance of hitting the winner. CAUTION: An overcard out can make a counterfeit hand because it could also give your opponent a straight.


It's better to go for a straight draw if you have connector cards in the hole. Something like 9-10, J-Q, and so on. If they're suited it's even better because then you can also draw for a flush, but even unsuited they are your best bet for hitting the straight because you have more outs. Thus, connector cards make your straight draw more valuable. On the other hand, straight draws lose value if the the flop comes two-suited, rainbowed, or with a pair, for now your straight becomes easier to beat and/or harder to hit.


These are guidelines that are very good to use if you are newer to Texas Hold'em.

  • If the flop comes with a high pair, you should probably fold immediately, because you're now open to getting beat by a full house.
  • Raise if you have an open-ended straight draw after seeing the flop and you're drawing for the high end, because your chances of improving your hand on the turn or the river are nearly 1/3rd.
  • Always be careful to know whether or not an open-ended straight draw will be for the low or the high end because depending on the situation this could affect whether you call, raise, or fold.
  • You likely should fold if you're playing heads up on a straight draw and the flop doesn't come with at least a pair or two over cards for you. In a heads up situation your straight draw just lost value in a tremendous way.
  • If you are going for a straight draw using just one of your hole cards, be cautious with how you play. Fold if you don't have all of the cards you need by the Turn. If you hold and play your hand and decide you're on the straight draw after you see the flop, be aggressive as if you were using both hole cards. The reason? If you don't, you risk turning into a calling station and that could be a tell that you're on a straight draw.

Exit Straight Draws » Learn Texas Holdem Poker

Best Poker Rooms To Learn To Play Texas Hold Em
Rank Logo Poker Room US? Bonus Visit
1 Bodog Review $500 VISIT
2 Full Tilt Review $600 VISIT
3 Absolute Poker Review $500 VISIT
4 Ultimate Bet Review $650 VISIT
5 Doyles Room Review $550 VISIT
6 Poker Stars Review $50 VISIT
7 Titan Poker Review $500 VISIT
8 Cake Poker Review $500 VISIT
9 Carbon Poker Review $500 VISIT
10 Players Only Review $1,000 VISIT