Explanation of Open ended straight draw

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. 

Here is a Hold’em example.

Board: KT5
Hand: JQ

Here we flop an open ended straight draw since any Ace or Nine completes the straight.

Example of Open Ended Straight Draw being used in a sentence -> Our open ended straight draw bricked on the river, so we had no choice but to fold against our opponent’s followup bet.

How to Use Open ended straight draw as Part of Your Poker Strategy 

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

1. Is our open ended straight draw to the nuts? Open ended straight draws to the nuts are always stronger than non-nut open ended straight draws. Non-nut open ended straight draws run the risk of being dominated when they complete.

2. If we play our open ended straight draw aggressively, can we expect to generate a decent amount of fold-equity? Draws especially like to play aggressively if they can anticipate a generating a decent amount of folds. 

3. In Hold’em, is our open ended straight draw formulated using one or both of our hole-cards? Two-card open ended straight draws are always better than one-card open ended straight draws

4. In Omaha, does our open ended straight draw have additional draws to go with it? Naked open ended straight draws in Omaha are considered little more than garbage, even if they are drawing to the nuts.

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

See Also 

Gutshot, Inside Straight Draw, Draw, Equity, Hold’em, Omaha, Stud, Fold

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