Poker Hands: How to Play Gutshots

Poker is a hugely competitive sport with over 100 million players worldwide. There are regular high-stakes cash games and tournaments with tens of thousands of dollars on the line. And yes, poker is considered a sport by many people. That is because poker is very skill-based, much more than people think. Poker strategy has many different components, from math to observation skills. The best poker players can accurately guess which hands their opponents have, use math to estimate their profits, and much more. This poker guide will cover how to play one of the more difficult hands for beginners: The Gutshot Straight.

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What are Gutshots?

Gutshots, also known as inside straight draws, are one of the two types of potential straight draws, the other being open-ended straight draws. A straight draw is a hand where you are one card away from a straight. Since straights are five consecutive cards, there are two types of the straight draw. You can achieve an open-ended straight draw by drawing any number at either end of the straight, giving you eight outs since the card could be of any suit. An example would be a hand of five, six, seven, and eight. A draw of either four or nine would complete your straight. In contrast, a gutshot is a straight draw that can only be met by one card in the middle. An example would be a hand of five, six, eight, and nine. This hand could only be completed by a seven, giving you half the possible outs compared to an open-ended straight draw.

Gutshot probabilities

The probability of landing a gutshot draw is surprisingly easy to calculate. You just get the number of outs you have (four) and divide them by the number of unseen cards. There are 47 unseen cards during the flop since you see your two hole cards and the three flop cards. 4/47 โ‰ˆ 8.5% chance of getting a straight on the turn. 4/47 + 4/46 โ‰ˆ 17% chance of getting a straight by the river.

As you can see, the gutshot has a low probability of actually completing the straight, meaning it is a weak hand. The primary way a gutshot sees use is when a player semi-bluffs with it. That is a bluff done with a hand that is weak but could improve in later rounds. Gutshots are also much better when paired with another possible draw like a flush because of the drastic improvement in draw potential.

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How to play the gutshot

Here are a few tips for playing Gutshots effectively:

Why play Gutshots?

You may be wondering, why even play the gutshot? It is a weak hand, with a low probability of even completing a straight. However, even a hand like the gutshot has its uses as a semi-bluff. Misplaying a hand can be a costly mistake, but never playing a hand because it is too difficult to play with is not much better. Understanding how to play every hand, even the most difficult ones, is essential to maximize your chances of success. Understanding how to play more hands and slowly incorporating them into your range is critical to your poker success.

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Where to practice your poker skills

We hope this article taught you all about the Gutshot, one of the most difficult to play poker hands. Adding more hands to your range takes time and practice, and there is no better place to spend your poker time than online. Online poker on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room, is excellent for beginners and more experienced players alike. Experienced players can choose to play many games at once, meaning more experience in less time. Both beginners and experienced players love the free poker tracking software built directly into the website. This software will help analyze your gameplay to find weaknesses you can improve on, and it will find your opponents’ weaknesses as well.