Lesser Known Poker Rules

On TV Sit-Coms, you may hear Poker terms like “inside straight”, “small straight”, or “baby straight”. From the rules I’ve searched, there is no mention of such things. Are these terms real? And, if so, what do they mean?

Inside straight is certainly a thing:

A baby straight is an Ace, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

So, an inside straight has no value, correct? I wager it is just a term for a near-miss of a straight from what you quoted?

Inside straight is not a rank unto itself.
It’s used in connection for a draw - as in you’re drawing for an inside straight either in draw poker by discarding a card and hoping the new one completes it or in hold 'em or other community game cards hoping the board fills your straight.

It’s relevant since with four consecutive cards in your hand you could complete your straight by drawing a card on either end (3-4-5-6 either a 2 or 7) but an inside straight you have half as many ways to complete straight (2-3-5-6 must be a 4).

“Inside straight” is known from the phrase “Never draw to an inside straight”, meaning you are unlikely to pick up the 6 if you have a 4,5,7, and 8 for instance.

A baby straight as mentioned above is A,2,3,4,5, that is the lowest straight you can have.

Don’t clearly recall hearing “small straight”, I would assume it’s the same as a “baby straight”, or maybe one step higher like a 2,3,4,5,6.

It’s an “inside straight draw.” It a way of describing that you needed one particular card and got it make a straight.

Inside straight isn’t a “rule” of poker, it’s a common term for a pattern of cards you might have in your hand, with at least one draw remaining. It’s when you have, for example, cards 5 - 6 - 7- 9 and you will need to draw an 8 to make a straight.

The opposite is an open ended straight, where you have for example 5 - 6 - 7- 8 and you can make a straight by drawing a 4 or a 9.

Inside straights rarely hit. Open ended straights frequently hit.

In other words, you’re much less likely to successfully complete an inside straight (draw) as there is only one possible rank of card to achieve it, as opposed to drawing to a straight when you hold (say) 4, 5, 6, 7 - when any 3 or 8 completes the straight for you.

The term “small straight” is most relevant to games that have community (or shared) cards. For example, in Texas Hold 'Em the community cards on the board could be 4, 5, 6, 7. If you held a 3 in your hand you would have the small straight, and lose to anyone who held an 8 in their hand, as they would have a higher (or bigger) straight. Likewise someone just holding an 8 on that board could be beaten by someone holding an 8 and a 9.

Baby straight is simply the lowest ranking straight it is possible to have.

I wouldn’t say “frequently” - it’s still longish odds against, but you’re right that it’s a much better chance than hitting an inside straight - exactly double, usually.

Small/Baby are generic terms to describe cards of low relative rank. “Ace pair with baby kicker”, “small flush” (flush consisting of 5 cards of modest rank, at risk of being beaten by a flush with cards of higher rank).

When drawing to an “inside straight”, you have 4 chances of drawing the card you need fill that inside straight. You have 8 chances of drawing a card you need to fill an open-ended straight. In gambling parlance, drawing to an inside straight is considered a long shot, and a bad bet.

In Texas Hold’em at the flop, the odds are about 1 in 3. I think that’s high enough to call it frequent.

I have always heard of A2345 as a wheel not a baby straight.
I have heard baby referred to as the same as “low-end” straight in hold 'em meaning you have let say 8 9 T J on the board and you hold a 7, yes you have a straight but it is very weak as it loses to anyone holding a Q.

I’ve only heard “small straight” when playing Yahtzee. I’ve never heard anyone say it while playing poker.

You can’t be doing what is normally considered drawing to an inside or outside straight at the flop. You only have two cards before the flop.

There is 4.62% chance of a straight with the seven cards in Holdem.

If you have two connected hole cards (in the middle of the numbers) the chances of flopping a straight are ~ 1.3%. The chances that you get a straight by the turn is 5.4%. I didn’t compute what it was for all 7 cards starting with connected cards but it can’t be 1 in 3.

After the flop if you have four connected cards and one useless card, there are * of the remaining 47 cards that will complete your straight and you have two chances to get it. So that would be about 1 in 3.

I used the words “at the flop” to mean the point where the first three community cards have been dealt, and there is a round of betting. At this point each player has five cards, two in the hole and three community.

Maybe I’m using the term wrongly. What do you consider “At the flop” to mean?

The odds for the other would be half that, n’est-ce pas? I have trouble calling 1/6 “rare”, but 1/3 “frequent”.

From here:

The difference is enough to make an one often worth betting on, and the other usually not worth betting on.

Never play cards with a man called “Doc”.