Up and Down Straight Draw

word type: poker slang

  1. A term used for a hand where two cards complete the straight either to the top of the hand or the bottom.
  2. Synonymous with Open Ended Straight Draw (OESD).


You have JT offsuit and the flop comes Q-9-2. Since a King or an Eight gives you a straight - and one is "up" (the King) and the other is "down" (the Eight) - you have an Up and Down straight draw.

Playing an Up and Down Straight Draw

Playing an up and down straight draw, or any draw for that matter, can sometimes be a difficult and confusing task for beginning players. In general, there are three stages of play in an MTT: early, mid, and late, and you should play your draws accordingly at each stage.

Early: During the first few levels of a tournament, you generally should be playing your draws cautiously. Try and keep the pot relatively small until you have a made hand, at which point you should then attempt to extract as much value as possible from your opponent. For a simple example, let's say you hold 56 in the BB with blinds at 10/20 and there are three limpers before the action gets to you. When you check, the flop comes down Q-4-7 rainbow. The action checks to the player on the button who makes it 60 to go. When the small-blind calls, you should probably call too, as opposed to making a raise. However, when the turn peels off an 8, you're going to want to bloat the pot as much as you can and get paid by any opponent holding a Q (top-pair).

Mid-Stage: During the middle stages of a tournament, perhaps when stacks are still fairly deep but antes have started, you might want to play your draws a little more deceptively. For example, let's say you're sitting on 7200 with blinds at 120/240 and get dealt JhTh in the BB. The action gets folded to the button who opens to 700 with 9000 behind. You call and when the flop comes down Qh-9s-2c you aren't exactly sure what to do. Given that you have about 6760 chips left in your stack - roughly 28 BBs - a check-raise all-in is a bit of an overshove. In cases like this, you do want to see the whole board, thus an effective course of action would be to lead out 400-500 with the intention of moving all-in should your opponent re-raise you. This way, you give yourself two chances to take the pot down preflop - your opponent can fold to your lead, or to your shove if he decides to raise as you definitely have fold equity - in addition to the equity you have from your draw should the money get all-in.

Late: Usually, in the later stages of an MTT you will either be deep and play your draws similarly to the middle stages, or entirely too short to play draws in the first place and will most likely be all-in preflop. However, let's say you're running deep and sit with about 23 BBs and call with T9 from the big-blind. When the flop comes J-8-2, your best course of action will always be to check-raise all-in.