# Playing Flush and Straight Draws

Can you let me know what you think. Fundamental theorem of poker Morton's theorem Pot odds Slow play. The draws that you want to worry about the most are your long shot draws: This means you have 9 outs to complete your flush - but not necessarily the best hand! Odds are available for: To calculate Pot odds, you'll first need to know your outs. If this poker odds page was a bit difficult to understand, don't worry.

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In addition to this, sometimes an out for you isn't really a true out. Let's say that you are chasing an open ended straight draw with two of one suit on the table. In this situation, you would normally have 8 total outs to hit your straight, but 2 of those outs will result in three to a suit on the table. This makes a possible flush for your opponents. As a result, you really only have 6 outs for a nut straight draw.

Another more complex situation follows:. Once you know how to correctly count the number of outs you have for a hand, you can use that to calculate what percentage of the time you will hit your hand by the river. Probability can be calculated easily for a single event, like the flipping of the River card from the Turn.

This would simply be: This can be calculated as shown below:. Even though there might not technically be 47 cards remaining, we do calculations assuming we are the only players in the game. To illustrate, here is a two-overcard draw, which has 3 outs for each overcard, giving a total of 6 outs for a top-pair draw:. However, most of the time we want to see this in hand odds, which will be explained after you read about pot odds.

To change a percentage to odds, the formula is:. Now that you've learned the proper way of calculating hand odds in Texas Hold'em, there is a shortcut that makes it much easier to calculate odds:. After you find the number of outs you have, multiply by 4 and you will get a close estimate to the percentage of hitting that hand from the Flop.

Multiply by 2 instead to get a percentage estimate from the Turn. You can see these figures for yourself below:. As you can see, this is a much easier method of finding your percentage odds. But what about ratio odds? This is still done using this formula:. We minus 1 from that and get a rough estimate of our odds at about 3: Let's try this all the way through with an example:. If the 1 out of 5 doesn't make a ton of sense to you, think about the 1: Now that you know how to calculate poker odds in terms of hand odds, you're probably wondering "what am I going to need it for?

Pot odds are simply the ratio of the amount of money in the pot to how much money it costs to call. The higher the ratio, the better your pot odds are.

Pot odds ratios are a very useful tool to see how often you need to win the hand to break even. The thinking goes along the lines of: The usefulness of hand odds and pot odds becomes very apparent when you start comparing the two.

As we now know, in a flush draw, your hand odds for making your flush are 1. Your answer should be: This means that, in order to break even, you must win 1 out of every 5 times.

However, with your flush draw, your odds of winning are 1 out of every 3 times! You should quickly realize that not only are you breaking even, but you're making a nice profit on this in the long run. Let's calculate the profit margin on this by theoretically playing this hand times from the flop, which is then checked to the river. As you can see, you have a great reason to play this flush draw, because you'll be making moneyin the long run according to your hand odds and pot odds.

The most fundamental point to take from this is:. If your Pot Odds are greater than your poker hand odds, then you are making a profit in the long run. Even though you may be faced with a gut shot straight draw at times - which is a terrible draw at 5 to 1 hand odds - it can be worth it to call if you are getting pot odds greater than 5 to 1. Other times, if you have an excellent draw such as the flush draw, but someone has just raised a large amount so that your pot odds are 1: In this situation, a fold or semi-bluff is your only solution, unless you know there will be callers behind you that improve your pot odds to better than break-even.

Your ability to memorize or calculate your hand odds as well as calculate pot odds will lead you to make many of the right decisions in the future - just be sure to remember that fundamental principle of profitably playing drawing hands requires that your pot odds are greater than your hand odds.

An important note I have to make is that many players who understand Hold'em odds tend to forget is that much of the theoretical odds calculations from the flop to the river assume there is no betting on the turn. So while it's true that for a flush draw, the odds are 1. Unfortunately, most of the time, this will not be the case, so you should not calculate pot odds from the flop to the river and instead calculate them one card at a time.

To calculate your odds one card at a time, simply use the same odds that you have going from the turn to the river. So for example, your odds of hitting a flush from the turn to river is 4 to 1, which means your odds of hitting a flush from the flop to the turn is 4 to 1 as well.

To help illustrate even further, we will use the flush calculation example that shows an often-used but incorrect way of thinking. As you can see from these example calculations, calling a flush draw with 2 to 1 pot odds on the flop can lead to a long term loss, if there is additional betting past the flop.

Most of the time, however, there is a concept called Implied Value which we'll get to next that is able to help flush draws and open-ended straight draws still remain profitable even with seemingly 'bad' odds. The draws that you want to worry about the most are your long shot draws: If you draw these hands using incorrect odds such as flop to river odds , you will be severely punished in the long run. Implied Value is a pretty cool concept that takes into account future betting.

Like the above section, where you have to worry about your opponent betting on the turn, implied value is most often used to anticipate your opponent calling on the river.

So for example, let's say that you have yet another flush draw and are being offered a 3 to 1 pot odds on the turn. Knowing that you need 4 to 1 pot odds to make this a profitable call, you decide to fold. Here is where implied value comes into play.

So, even though you're getting 3 to 1 pot odds on the turn, you can likely anticipate your opponent calling you on the river if you do hit your flush draw. This means that even though you're only getting 3 to 1 pot odds, since you anticipate your opponent calling a bet on the river, you are anticipating 4 to 1 pot odds - so you are able to make this call on the turn.

So in the most practical standpoint, implied value usually means that you can subtract one bet from your drawing odds on the turn, as it anticipates your opponents calling at least one bet. In some more advanced areas, you can use implied odds as a means of making some draws that might not be profitable a majority of the time, but stand to make big payouts when they do hit.

Some examples of this would be having a tight image and drawing to a gut shot against another tight player. Even though this is a horribly bad play and hopefully you don't have to pay much for it , it can possibly be a positive play if you know your opponent will pay you off if you hit your draw - because he won't believe you played a gut shot draw.

For many reasons, I do not recommend fancy implied odds plays like these, but mentioned it more so that you can recognize some players who pull these 'tricky' plays on you as well. Knowing how to figure out your odds in Texas Hold'em is one of the most fundamental points in becoming a solid poker player.

If this poker odds page was a bit difficult to understand, don't worry. Keep playing, bookmark this page and come back when you need another brush-up on how to properly apply odds. It takes a while to learn how to calculate them properly and to memorize them as well. Practice makes perfect, so be sure to check out our Party Poker Bonus Codes to get an extrabonus when you are first starting out.

You can also view our full Party Poker Review. An outside straight draw has eight outs four cards to complete the top of the straight and four cards to complete the bottom of the straight.

Straight draws including an ace are not outside straight draws, because the straight can only be completed on one end has four outs. An inside straight draw , or gutshot draw or belly buster draw , is a hand with four of the five cards needed for a straight, but missing one in the middle. An inside straight draw has four outs four cards to fill the missing internal rank.

Because straight draws including an ace only have four outs, they are also considered inside straight draws. The probability of catching an out for an inside straight draw is half that of catching an out for an outside straight draw. A double inside straight draw , or double gutshot draw or double belly buster draw can occur when either of two ranks will make a straight, but both are "inside" draws.

For example in card games, 9-xx-3 , or xx , or in Texas Hold'em when holding 9-J hole cards on a K flop. The probability of catching an out for a double inside straight draw is the same as for an outside straight draw. Sometimes a made hand needs to draw to a better hand. For example, if a player has two pair or three of a kind , but an opponent has a straight or flush, to win the player must draw an out to improve to a full house or four of a kind.

There are a multitude of potential situations where one hand needs to improve to beat another, but the expected value of most drawing plays can be calculated by counting outs, computing the probability of winning, and comparing the probability of winning to the pot odds.

A backdoor draw , or runner-runner draw , is a drawing hand that needs to catch two outs to win. For example, a hand with three cards of the same suit has a backdoor flush draw because it needs two more cards of the suit.

For example, if after the flop in Texas hold 'em , a player has a backdoor flush draw e. Backdoor draws are generally unlikely; with 43 unseen cards, it is equally likely to catch two out of seven outs as to catch one out of one. A backdoor outside straight draw such as J is equally likely as a backdoor flush, but any other 3-card straight combination isn't worth even one out.

A player is said to be drawing dead when the hand he hopes to complete will nonetheless lose to a player who already has a better one. For example, drawing to a straight or flush when the opponent already has a full house. In games with community cards , the term can also refer to a situation where no possible additional community card draws results in a win for a player.

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