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StrategyFixed Limit

Standard Lines: The Theoretical Foundations of Backdoor Draws


In this article
  • How many outs does a backdoor draw really have?
  • Why raising for a free card isn't helpful
  • Why backdoor draws are meaningless in No Limit Hold'em

Backdoor draws, or runner-runner draws, are draws that need to hit on both the turn and the river in order to improve to a made hand.


a) You have A K on a 9 2 6 flop.
This gives you a backdoor flush draw (BDFD).

b) You have Q T on a J 4 6 flop.
This gives you a backdoor straight draw (BDSD).

Backdoor draws aren't particularly strong, but they can make the difference in close call situations. When you are torn between calling and folding on the flop, having a backdoor can be the reason for staying in the hand.

This article will teach you how to accurately estimate the strength (# of outs) of a backdoor draw. The following chart should give you a basic impression of how many outs you can give yourself for various backdoor draws.

Chart 1: Outs for various backdoor draws

Draw Outs
Backdoor flush draw
1.5 - 2
0-Gap backdoor straight draw
1 - 1.5
1-Gap backdoor straight draw 0.5 - 1
2-Gap backdoor straight draw 0 - 0.5

As you can see, there is a big difference between a regular draw and a backdoor draw. The fact that you need to hit twice means you need to include your investments on both the flop and the turn when calculating your pot odds. But how exactly do you include the additional costs that will incur on the turn in your formula?

In order to do this, you need to develop a deeper understanding of odds and outs. This article will go into detail and explain how the values in Chart 1 were derived.


That's not the entire article...

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Comments (1)

#1 DAIMA2, 22 May 11 07:47

unbeilivable great