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Types of draws in poker

Flush draw

A flush draw, or four flush, is a hand with four cards of the same suit that may improve to a flush. For example, K♣-9♣-8♣-5♣-x. A flush draw has nine outs (thirteen cards of the suit less the four already in the hand).

Outside straight draw

An outside straight draw, or open-ended straight draw, is a hand with four of the five needed cards in sequence (and could be completed on either end) that may improve to a straight. For example, x-9-8-7-6-x. 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).

Inside straight draw

An inside straight draw, or gutshot draw or belly buster draw, is a hand with four of the five cards need for a straight, but missing one in the middle. For example, 9-x-7-6-5. 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. For example, A-K-Q-J-x or A-2-3-4-x. The probability of catching an out for an inside straight draw is roughly half that of catching an out for an outside straight draw.

Double inside straight draw

A double inside straight draw, or double gutshot draw or double belly buster draw, is a hand with three of the five cards need for a straight in sequence, plus two additional cards one gap from each end. For example, 9-x-7-6-5-x-3. An double inside straight draw has eight outs (four cards to fill either missing internal rank). Double inside straights only occur in games with seven or more cards. The probability of catching an out for double inside straight draw is the same as for an outside straight draw.

Other draws

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. 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.

Backdoor draw

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. The probability of catching two outs with two cards to come is:

Probability = NumberOfOuts / NumberOfUnseenCards * [(NumberOfOuts − 1) / (NumberOfUnseenCards − 1)]

For example, if after the flop in Texas hold ’em, a player a backdoor flush draw (e.g., three spades), the probability of catching two outs on the turn and river is (9 / 47) * (8 / 46) = 3%.

Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses materials from the Wikipedia.

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