What Is a Street in Poker?

min read
a dealer flips over a playing card on a green felt poker table with poker chips stacked on it
BetMGM Dec 04, 2023, 11:24 AM

Poker has a vocabulary that can be overwhelming for some new players. From bluffs and tells to flops, turns, and rivers, established terms can help you to understand the game’s flow and excel as a player, provided you’re committed to learning the ins and outs of one of the world’s favorite card games. 

Whether you’re playing online poker or at brick-and-mortar tables, mastery of the game’s terminology will establish the foundation needed to perfect your poker strategy and set you up for success. One of the common terms you’ll come across is “street.” What exactly is a street in poker, and how does it play into strategy? 

The term refers to the fact that a round of poker is like walking down a street, with each new street revealing more insights to inform your decisions. In all poker variations, whether it’s community, stud, or draw poker, “streets” refer to the cards dealt at specific stages of the game. For example, in community games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha, there are five streets to consider. With three cards drawn together, the flop counts for three streets. Add the turn and the river with one card each, and you have five streets in total.

In stud games, each player is dealt six cards. You receive two down cards and one up card at the beginning, followed by three cards (streets) dealt separately. Since there are no community cards, the total number of streets is six. Instead of using the number of betting rounds, streets are based on every new card introduced to the game, which makes it easier to optimize your strategy for different poker variants.

In any poker game, the rules of the streets should inform your strategy and approach. Each street signals the shifting dynamics of the game, requiring you to adapt your strategy according to new information. It’s an essential factor for extracting maximum value from your decisions, minimizing risks, and playing hands optimally.

Strategic Streets

If you want to excel with the high-pressure hands of live poker tournaments, it’s crucial to have well-defined objectives from as early as the preflop stage. As far as poker basics go, this involves the strategies you plan to employ, your risk tolerance for high-stakes bets, and the range of poker hands you want to play. 

Your approach on each street depends on table position, the strength of your hand, and the actions of your opponents. For instance, say you start a game of Texas Hold’em with a strong hand preflop. This allows you to play aggressively with calls and raises before any streets are revealed. 

If someone raises the pot after the flop, you know that there’s a good chance that their hand equity has improved. By the time the fourth street (the turn) hits the felt, any players who called your preflop raise will either have strong hands or blind bluffs.

On the flip side, if you land a weak hand at the start of the game, your strategy must be more conservative. Essentially, you have less hand equity for the current pot, making it better to call and check rather than raise. If you can stay in the game through the flop, the cards from the fourth and fifth streets might increase the strength of your hand considerably. 

Community, stud, and draw poker variations all have different numbers of streets. The significance of each street changes according to the type of poker being played. Whether you play online poker tournaments or cash games, knowing the house rules for different variations and formats is paramount to success with a healthy win rate.

Tips for Success

A basic poker strategy involves playing fewer hands with aggressive bets. Playing every hand increases the likelihood of losing chips. Rather, fold when you’re in doubt. During the preflop, a strong hand should be used to build the pot with a raise that will tempt other players to call. 

If you want to improve as a poker player, pay close attention to how your opponents bet on each street. Every wager provides valuable insights into the strength of their hands, their playing style, and any deceptive tactics. Avoid chasing larger pots with a weak hand. It could be an opportunity to bluff effectively, but if it’s a tight table, then your opponents will probably have hands worth betting on.

By understanding the dynamics of each street and adjusting your strategy accordingly, you can gain an edge over your opponents. That said, player mentality is also an important factor in your decision-making. Skilled players are highly unpredictable and will try to exploit any weaknesses they can find. An adaptable strategy takes this incalculable element into account, using player psychology to inform decision-making.

Play Like a Pro With BetMGM

Now that you’re armed with knowledge about streets and strategy, are you ready to put your skills to the test? Register with BetMGM to navigate the streets of poker on a platform you can trust. Develop your skills with exciting live dealer games, enter exclusive tournaments for high-stakes thrills, and enjoy a range of membership benefits from the moment you sign up.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.