I'm a poker neophyte (texas hold'em), and I have a horrific blind spot for seeing straight draws on the table. I'm constantly taken by surprise by a straight I didn't even recognize was in the offing.

Does anyone else have this problem? What mental routines do you follow you to better recognize a potential straight?

1 Answer 1


Line the cards up (in your head) from small to large

Add 4 (not 5) and do you get two more cards

Paint just memorize 7J 8Q 9K TA

Or you can count J as 11, Q as 12, K as 13 and A as 14

If there is just 1 more card then a straight draw

Not recognizing means losing some big pots. You bet top pair, 2 pair, or a set big thinking you are good.

If a player that has been checking or calling bets out / raises when a straight or flush hits then you need to consider they made the hand. Especially on a lower end table bluff a straight is not common.

Say you have top pair or better and there is two to a straight on the board. Bet at least 1/2 the pot to take their odds away. A lot of low end players will still call. If the draw does hit and they bet out you need to release. Make your money on the hands that don't have a straight. A higher end table may recognize you can be bluffed when a straight hits but on a low end table assume it is good.

If you have a set on the turn you still have 10 outs to improve to a full house. You are getting immediate odds to call a 1/4 pot bet. Even if they bet 1/2 the pot you are going to get more on the river. So call but don't build the pot. Two pair has 8 out to hit a full house. Pair is drawing dead.

Let say in late position you have Q:hearts:9:hearts:
first count your hand - this is a 2 gutter straight draw and a flush draw
called a small raise (Q9 suited plays nice multi handed)
for simplicity the blinds fold
Board come up
Boom you need to beware there are two straight draws and you don't have a piece of either But they probably do not have 45 or a 2
78 7T 75 and 8T are a real possibility and especially suited
There is a flush draw you don't have a piece of
They check to you and you bet 1/2 the pot
(even 78 is not getting immediate pot odds to call)
They call
Turn is 4:clubs:
Now there is a legit straight draw - 57 and 52 but not likely
But now a second flush draw is on the board
They check to you and you bet the full pot as that is a scary board and you only have top pair
They call
Alarm bells need to be going off
If they are on 1 pair they should fold
If they are on 2 pair they should raise as it is a scary board
Even if they are slow playing a set of sixes it is time to fire
River is 7:diamonds:
Now you are beat by T8 and 58 (any two pair and any set)
The discipline is you should always consider the hands that can beat you
They check to you
You should check back - you only going to get called by a better hand
They bet 1/2 pot
You fold
Yes you have a lot invested but that is not likely a bluff from a low end player
From a high end player that is a risky bluff

Even though top pair is not real strong I think you need to bet the turn. Maybe only 1/2 pot. At this point I think you need to rep 2 pair or better. You don't want them to think 2 pair is good.

  • 1
    I just got hurt from some real money thinking 2 pair was good on board with straight draw.
    – paparazzo
    Jun 22, 2016 at 19:30
  • I did the same with trips last night! Sometimes It's easy to forget to just take half a second more, even when you think you're good. Jun 27, 2016 at 0:25

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