What is an Inside Straight?
An inside straight is an incomplete poker hand which has the potential to become a winning one. It currently has four of the five elements needed to complete a straight, but with one missing from the inside of the run. For example, a hand of 3-4-6-7-K is an inside straight. The straight can only be completed if the missing 5 is located. This kind of hand is sometimes called a ‘gutshot‘ or belly buster‘ straight, because of the hole in its center.
Inside Straight Explained
In poker, a straight is a run of five cards in consecutive order, such as 2-3-4-5-6 or 9-10-J-Q-K. Straights rank above three of a kind sets and below flush hands. A straight flush (a suited set), especially the highest set of 10-J-Q-K-A, is usually the best hand that can be achieved in the game. Most poker games offer players the chance to improve their starting hand. either through the draw or through the board or flop. At the end of the game, players rank their hand against those of the other players, and the best ranked hand wins the pot.
When a player refers to an ‘inside straight’, they mean a hand that is not yet complete and which needs improvement. An inside straight currently consists of four cards, and is missing the fifth needed to turn it into a winning hand. The ‘inside’ refers to the fact that a card is missing from within the center of the run – such as the 7 in a 5-6-8-9-Q hand. It differs from an ‘outside straight’, which is missing one of the cards from the end of the run. For example, a 5-6-7-8-Q hand is an outside straight – either the 4 or the 9 could complete the set. Inside straights are harder to complete as there are just four cards in the pack which can finish it; an outside straight has eight different ‘outs’ or options available.