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STRAIGHTS AND STRAIGHT DRAWS - HOW TO PLAY THEM

StraightPoker

Unless you get a perfect flop, you’re unwillingly drawing to get a straight and that means its going to cost you chips. Straights are the true essence of holdem just like flushes and full houses, their drawing hands that can pay big, except a straight is more deceiving than the obvious flush or pair on the flop to warn of the possible full house. And when trying for an inside gut shot straight or open-ended straight, they won’t see in coming if the turn or river card flops in your favour.

 

There are differences in the odds when trying to hit a certain straight. A gut shot straight is when you’re trying to make an inside straight this when you have a 6-7-8-10 and you need the 9, the odds to make it are 16.47% after the turn, but you have to anticipate the implied odds of the next bet and you most often have to face the fear of being pot committed, I’d rather be chasing an open-ended straight where if you have 6-7-8-9 you only need the 5-10 to hit your straight with the odds in your favor.

 

Even better still the Doubled belly buster, if you're holding the A-7 and the flop is 5-3-4 the 6-2 would give you the straight and be better for your mix play to slow play to get maximum chips from an invisible winning hand.

 

Your position on the table can help you improve your chances of drawing cheaply to the gut shot straight by using low calls, checks and strength of your previous play that will improve the odds on your side and make the gut shot straights even more possible. Just make sure of the golden rule not too hit the WRONG end of the straight, which as you know can make you pay dearly with all your chips.

 

Controlling the play of the hand is paramount and understanding how the table you’re on plays their starting hands, can give you the upper hand whether you hit your straight or miss. The flop and bet of the other players is the key to understanding your actions to determine if you succeed or not, you have to use every tactic you’re learnt to disguise your play taking advantage of your position and betting strong early to increase your chances of coming out on top and when it does hit only then can you enjoy the full benefit of all those chips you will receive, pushing your implied odds to maximum.

 

It’s the same as if you’re trying to get your flush, if you’re holding an A-10 of diamonds preflop and the flop comes K-8-4, the 8-4 being diamonds, if you’re not slow playing and know the other player has a possible K? Starting hand, then naturally you're going to put a moderate bet in to get your implied odds in your favor, so when you do hit the best flush you will get most or all of his chips. 70% of the time you wont hit your straight, so you will have to rely on your betting and bluffing skills to ether take the pot their and then or hope you will fish your way to take the hand, but be careful fishing can make you or break you.

 

If I was to hit a straight on the flop I would come out betting rather than slow playing if their were more than just me and one player in the pot, because naturally a holdem player will slow play a big hand, but with several players there's a chance to be outdrawn or getting a bad beat during play and more chance of them sensing my big hand when I come out check raising or make any kind of move at least by betting I might take the pot their and then or maybe one player will stay for me too make my moves and take all his/her chips.

 

Most times I will bet my big hands rather than slowplay them depending on the way the table I’ve been moved to plays. The other players position is important too, depending where he/she is can help you when the small or high straights are possible, and as to what he/she is trying to achieve can help whatever straight you’re trying to hit, if there's only you two of you in the hand and his/hers betting from an early position is telling you they may have a high ranking starting hand, with a low straight possible on the flop then a high bet can help you, but if their betting with you from a middle to late position, checking or slow playing is your only defense and taking a risky high bet call is all you have if you want to risk staying in, because your guaranteed their drawing for a straight too. Chasing straights you have too make sure the odds are in your favor and the implied odds are on your side making the draw cheap as possible, unless you get the type of straight you want taking them to the cleaners and enjoy the moment. So many times have you heard them saying if they had only stayed to the river after folding on the turn, they’d have the nuts, making them the highest straight. But that was then and now is now, your going to be dealt another two new starting hands, why cry over split milk? If you still have chips then you’re still in with a chance to make up and possibly win the next hand.