Execute those straight draws and make yourself some profit!

One of the more difficult hands to play in poker is the straight draw. Many players have a tendency to overplay these great hands in the hopes that they will grab a big pot. Overplaying a straight draw, however, can be a costly mistake. Keep in mind that if you flop a straight draw, you will have six cards that could give you the highest hand and the probability of hitting a winning hand is around 30%.

What to Consider When Holding a Straight Draw

If you have a straight draw, the most important aspects to remember are the size of the blinds, the size of your bankroll, how much of your bankroll you want to risk, and how well your opponents are playing. The other factor is what kind of game you are playing; from tournaments, to cash games, and to Sit & Go games.

Sit and Go Games and Poker Tournaments

While playing in a Sit & Go game, holding a straight draw can be a fantastic hand for winning a multi-way pot. If the blinds are low at the start of a tournament, a straight draw could seriously increase your bankroll. Professional poker players suggest that you should start by playing a tight game and then go for your draws when there are low blinds to win a large number of chips with little effort. As the tournament progresses and the blinds are high relative to the size of the stack it is suggested that you should call on a small bet or check your draw to prevent large losses while going after a draw. However, if you are a big chips leader, then you should play more aggressively with your draws, go all in with smaller stacks if your opponents bet, and bet out on the flop. Playing in such a way is a partial bluff because then your opponents must make a decision and you’ll have ‘live’ outs if you get called.

Cash Game Play

When you play in cash games, a straight draw presents a completely different challenge. In cash games where you are holding a straight draw, you should focus on how much you are willing to risk and how well your opponents are playing. It is important to remember that blinds do not change and the size of the stack does not matter in cash games. The goal in cash games is to knock off the other players and increase your bankroll as much as you can. The worst mistake people make while playing in cash games is that they play too aggressively against smaller stacks when they buy in at the maximum. This is because those players do not know how to change up their game and these are the players you should try to draw against. These players intimidate other players by betting on most flops. To take advantage of this, you should play small by calling so you can see another card. If you get a hit then you could possibly double your bankroll from their aggressive play style. Before you make a decision though, be sure to thoroughly observe your opponents.

Important Guidelines

• Make sure to be observant of how well your opponents are playing
• In tournaments, be mindful of the size of your stack and do not unnecessarily chase a draw when you can fold and still take the pot
• When holding a straight draw you should evaluate the risk versus the reward of gambling; do not put 1500 into a 250 pot simply because of your draw
• Do not forget that an open ended straight will only hit with a 30% probability with even smaller probabilities for inside straight draws