Friday, June 27, 2014

Bug's Poker Tip #41

Don't Draw to an Inside Straight-- Unless You Should


You might have heard the admonition on an old TV western, or perhaps it was spoken by your Aunt Mildred at a kitchen table penny-ante game: Don't draw to an inside straight, sonny-boy. It's a bad call. It's a damn sucker's play.

So, why do they say this? Because the odds of making your hand are pretty low, that's why. If you flop an inside straight draw on the flop, you'll only get there about 16% of the time by the river. This in turn means you need very good pot odds to make the call-- or least some damn good implied odds. In other words, this is usually a bad draw.

Except when it isn't.

Said simply: if you're getting the correct odds to chase a 4-outer like an inside straight gutter-ball draw, you should make the call. The math don't lie, friendo. Poker is all about getting your money in good, which means if you're on the right side of the pot odds, you're doing your job correctly. You're playing profitable poker. Hell, if a villain offers you the right odds to chase a razor thin 1-outer, you should make that call, too. Sure, you will miss a 1-outer something like 96% of the time, but if you're getting pot odds that are better than this, it's a good call. In fact, it's a necessary call. Not calling is a mistake.

Poker is a game of math and odds and equities. Plus EV is plus EV, even if it's a  damn inside straight draw, sonny-boy

All-in for now...
-Bug

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