What to Know About the Straight Draw

A straight draw can be your ticket to a winning hand if you know when and how to play it. While it can seem like an ideal situation, it is important to calculate pot odds and consider your opponents' hands before opting to play this particular hand. What follows are some tips for what to do when the flop provides you with the opportunity for a straight draw.

Definition of a Straight Draw

A straight draw is essentially a straight hand (four consecutive cards, such as 8, 9, 10, Jack) that is provided by a combination of your hand and the flop. In other words, when a flop, or the first three cards turned over by the dealer, provides you with the opportunity for a straight, it is called a straight draw.

Knowing When to Play It

In order to play a straight draw, you must know how to calculate the odds of success. In other words, you will need to think about what cards your opponents may be holding and the likelihood that the cards you need will be turned over by the flop. The closer you already are to a straight, the better your odds of a straight draw.

It is also important to know when not to play a straight draw. It is generally unadvisable to do so if there are either three of a kind or a pair already on the board. If you attempt to play a straight against these cards, it is often called "chasing the straight," and is considered an unwise move in Texas Hold 'Em.

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