Explanation of Inside Straight Draw

An inside straight draw also known as a “gutshot” is a straight draw where the card required to complete our straight appears in the middle of the structure. For example, we hold 6, 7, 9, and T, and require the Eight in order to complete our straight. We are hence relying on one specific card to come, which is generally unlikely. 

Inside straight draws are hence less value than “open ended straight draws’. An open ended straight draw is where the cards required to complete our straight appear on the outside of our structure. For example, we hold 6, 7, 8 and 9. In this instance, any Ten or Five will complete our straight. We are hence roughly twice as likely to complete an open ended straight draw as opposed to an inside straight draw or gutshot. 

Board: KT5
Hand: AJ

Here is an example of an inside straight draw in Hold’em. Only the Queen will complete the straight.

Example of Inside Straight Draw used in a sentence -> We called the preflop 3bet and flopped an inside straight draw.

How to Use Inside Straight Draw as Part of Your Poker Strategy

The correct strategy for playing gutshots is naturally linked to the exact variant of poker we are playing. Here are some general strategic principles however -

1. Is our gutshot to the nuts? Gutshots to the nuts are always stronger than non-nut gutshots. Non-nut gutshots run the risk of being dominated when they complete.

2. If we play our gutshot aggressively, can we expect to generate a decent amount of fold-equity? Even draws with very few outs like to play aggressively if they can generate folds. 

3. In Hold’em, is our gutshot formulated using one or both of our hole-cards? Two-card gutshots are always better than one-card gutshots. 

4. In Omaha, does our gutshot have additional draws to go with it? Naked gutshots in Omaha are garbage, even if they are drawing to the nuts.

5. In Draw and Stud variants, what is the absolute strength of our gutshot if it hits? The higher the top card of the straight, the more valuable the straight draw.

See Also 

Gutshot, Open-ended Straight Draw, Draw, Equity, Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Fold

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