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Gutshot Poker Meaning - What Is a Gutshot Straight Draw?

Gutshot Poker Meaning - What Is a Gutshot Straight Draw?

Curious about poker terms? A gutshot straight draw might sound confusing, but it's simpler than you think. In basic terms, it's a hand that needs one specific card to complete a straight.

When you hold a gutshot straight draw, you’re missing the middle card to form a five-card sequence. Understanding this concept can potentially add a strategic layer to your poker game. 

Ready to learn more? Let's dive in and uncover what makes this hand special.

What Is a Gutshot In Poker?

A gutshot in poker refers to a straight draw where you need a specific card to complete your straight. This type of draw is often called an inside straight draw.

For example, if you have 5 and 7 in your hand, and the board shows 6 and 9, you need an 8 to complete the straight. Unlike an open-ended straight draw, which can be completed with two possible cards, a gutshot requires just one specific card.

Playing with a gutshot straight draw can be a bit of a gamble. It’s less likely to hit compared to other draws, but if it does, it can catch opponents off guard.

Understanding gutshot straight draws is one step towards becoming a more strategic poker player.

Poker Gutshot Example

To better understand a gutshot straight draw, let's look at a specific example.

Imagine you’re holding 4 and 6 in your hand. The community cards on the board are 2, 5, and 9. Here, you need a 3 to complete your straight, making this a gutshot straight draw.

Only one out of the four possible cards (3) will help you complete your straight. This makes the gutshot less frequent compared to an open-ended straight draw, which can be completed with two different cards.

When considering a bet with a gutshot straight draw, weigh your position, the pot odds, and your opponents’ behaviours. This may help you make informed decisions.

Why Is It Called a Gutshot?

The term "gutshot" comes from the idea of needing a specific card to complete a straight, as if you were hitting the target right in the gut.

In poker, a straight is a hand where you have five consecutive cards. A gutshot straight draw occurs when you require one middle card to finish the sequence. This specific card is often referred to as hitting “right in the gut” because it's a rare, but precise strike.

The name vividly captures the precision needed to land this specific card, adding a bit of colourful language to poker lingo.

Odds of Hitting a Gutshot

Hitting a gutshot straight draw can be challenging due to the lower odds.

Typically, you have four potential cards (outs) that can complete your gutshot straight draw. If you're on the flop, where two more cards are yet to be revealed, your odds of hitting the gutshot by the river are around 16.5%.

However, if you’re on the turn and only one card is left to be dealt, your chances drop to about 8.5%.

These percentages vary based on the number of opponents and the cards they might be holding. Keeping this in mind can potentially help you make better decisions during gameplay.

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