Explanation of Gutshot
“Gutshot” is the colloquialy name for and inside straight draw in poker. This is a type of straight draw where the card required to complete our straight appears in the middle of the structure. For example, we hold 6, 7, 9, and T, and require the Eight in order to complete our straight. We are hence relying on one specific card to come, which is generally unlikely.
Due to the unlikely nature of a player completing his gutshot straight draw, it can naturally cause his opponent a degree of psychological pain when the draw luckily completes. The term “gutshot” could hence be considered appropriate.
Here is an example of a gutshot in Hold’em. Only the Queen will complete the straight.
Example of Gutshot used in a sentence -> We double barrelled and luckily managed to spike our gutshot on the river.
How to Use Gutshot as Part of Your Poker Strategy
The correct strategy for playing gutshots is naturally linked to the exact variant of poker we are playing. Here are some general strategic principles however -
1. Is our gutshot to the nuts? Gutshots to the nuts are always stronger than non-nut gutshots. Non-nut gutshots run the risk of being dominated when they complete.
2. If we play our gutshot aggressively, can we expect to generate a decent amount of fold-equity? Even draws with very few outs like to play aggressively if they can generate folds.
3. In Hold’em, is our gutshot formulated using one or both of our hole-cards? Two-card gutshots are always better than one-card gutshots.
4. In Omaha, does our gutshot have additional draws to go with it? Naked gutshots in Omaha are garbage, even if they are drawing to the nuts.
5. In Draw and Stud variants, what is the absolute strength of our gutshot if it hits? The higher the top card of the straight, the more valuable the straight draw.