Fourth Street ->> Open Ended Straight Draws


When you would have had four cards to an open-ended straight, you would normally have gone ahead and played this hand as long as possible.

Of course, an open-ended straight draw with four cards would have been much better than three to a straight.

The poker odds would now have been pretty good – about 1.5-to1 – that you would have made a straight by the river.

Still, as with a four-flush, you shouldn’t automatically have been calling every bet and assuming that the card you needed to complete your hand would fall.

So when should you have called? One instance in stud poker, would have been when the board hadn’t looked too threatening.

You should have been on guard if you had seen one or two big pairs – you certainly would not have wanted to make your straight and have it beaten by a full house later on.

You should have also proceeded with caution if there had been a lot of action before the betting had gotten to you. You should have never called if it would have been more than one big bet to you.

You may have had a good shot to have made the straight, but even with the live cards, more than one big bet on the fourth street would have meant at least one of the poker players would have had a very good hand.

Your straight wouldn’t have held up against a flush or better. Fortunately, most of the time at the low limit poker games, there wouldn’t have been a lot of banging away on the fourth street, so you could have called.

In many cases, you could have even stayed until the river with four to an open-ended straight.

Once again, you would have also needed to consider how many of your cards had been live.

Requirements would have been slightly more liberal with flush draws, because the poker odds would have been slightly better for completing a four-flush than a four-straight, and a flush was a better hand.

While the poker odds may have been good to get a straight, you should have always remembered that they had been relative to how many cards were live, but that had not often been the case.

How many cards could have been dead? With an open-ended straight draw, you should have rarely played with more than two cards gone if you would have been facing one big bet.

You should have rarely played with more than three cards if you had been facing one small bet.

When playing stud poker, staying in for a minimum bet would have been okay with three cards, but you would have wanted to make sure when you had that you had big cards – such as a nine, ten, jack, queen poker hand – to go along with your straight draw.

As a rule of thumb in stud poker, though, with more than three cards to complete your straight gone, you should not have given in to temptation to call and call. You would have just been giving away your money.

Quick Guide….
…. To Flush and Straight Draws on Fourth Street:

RAISE rarely – only if you have four to a straight flush, with a lot of live cards.

CALL when you have four to a flush and no more than five of the cards needed to complete it are dead, or when you have four to a straight and no more than three of the cards needed to complete it are dead. Remember, in both cases, the bigger the better. Call a three-flush or three-straight if you have big cards or a pair and can limp in cheaply.

FOLD if too many of your needed cards are gone or if there is a lot of heavy betting before the action gets to you.

Fourth Street: A Summary

This has ended our discussion of play on the fourth street. Henceforth, action would be picking up.

The betting would always be the maximum, so you would have to exercise caution, but when you chose to play, you would be playing aggressively.

As play would go along, it would be critical to have started out strong if you had wanted to get stronger.

At the third and fourth street, the bets would be frequently inexpensive – with the loose-passive nature of many low-limit poker games, it would have been common to have gone long periods of time with no raises to the maximum.

By this point in stud poker, you should have seen that you clearly should not have been one of those passive poker players when you had something! When you had got a good hand, you should have played loosely just to see the fifth card, as some poker players had.

Granted, the betting had not been as heavy yet as it would be once again with mediocre poker cards, you would have just been giving away money.

A dollar here, a small bet there, and it would have added up over a session. You should have been patient!

The good cards would have come, and when they had you would have wanted to be in a position to make a good poker hand great, so you would have been all smiles at the showdown.