Double Belly Busters Made Easy

Some might think that this piece could be more accurately named "Double Inside Straights" but "Double Belly Busters" is too amusing and well accepted to ignore. I like to give the great Doyle Brunson credit for the folksy expression "Belly Buster" for an inside straight, because he seems to be good at coming up with nifty stuff like this. But even if one of his buddies or someone else actually coined the phrase, Doyle with his high recognition and prominence in the industry, has to get the credit for making Belly Buster and Double Belly Busters (DBBs) part of today's colorful poker language.

Since it always takes five cards to make a DBB, Texas Hold'em and Omaha players can make these on the flop, while Seven Stud players can have them on fifth street. Even though DBBs make a fairly strong flop or fifth street draw hand, they can be a little difficult to spot and often go un-noticed. Since you have two draws to get at least one of two denominations needed for a straight, the strength of the draw hand is the same as a four card open-end straight (about 31% for or 2 to 1 against).

Five Card Double Belly Busters can be any of eight similar but different groups from A to 7 on up. Any one of these can be described as a 7 card "straight" draw with two gaps and a 3 card straight in the middle. Or, if you prefer, a 3 card straight that makes an inside straight draw on both the high and low ends. Either way, all five card DBBs are configured just like this:

Double Inside Straight Poker Hand Example

If you should happen to have five of the seven cards needed for seven straight and you don't have both ends or if the gaps are other than shown above, you might have a good hand but you don't have a DBB.

Here are all of the eight possible DBBs:

  • A -345- 7
  • 2 -456- 8
  • 3 -567- 9
  • 4 -678- 10
  • 5 -789- J
  • 6 -89T- Q
  • 7 -9TJ- K
  • 8 -TJQ- A

Since five card hands are of course, hardly ever dealt in this orderly way, it helps to be on the alert for DBBs. When you get your first five cards and can't find anything you like better, look for a 3 card straight to see if it will make a DBB draw that you might want to use.

Now, for whatever its worth, you probably know more about "Double Belly Busters" than ninety percent of the poker players in the world.

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