What Is Gut Shot In Poker And How To Use It As Part Of A Strategy?

ten six queen on board holding seven eight gut shot exampleGut shots in poker are also known as inside straight draws and refer to a kind of draw that you can catch in poker. The typical definition of a gut shot is that you have four cards to improve your draw. This is only half of the number of outs that you would have with an open ended straight draw.

In order to visualise this, let’s say that the flop is Q, T & 6. On a board like this 8, 7 is a gut shot that requires a 9 in order to improve a made straight. And A, K can also be a gut shot, but it does need a Jack to improve to a made straight. We are thereby relying on a specific card to come, which generally speaking is unlikely.

Five Tips For Using Gut Shot as Part of Your Poker Strategy

gut brain connection concept scientistsThe right strategy for playing gut shots naturally depends upon the exact variant of poker that you are playing. However, here are five top tips for using gut shots as part of your poker strategy.

  1. Is your guts shot to the nuts? Gut shots to the nuts are always going to be stronger than non nut gut shots. Non nut gut shots run the risk of being overwhelmed when they complete.
  2. If you play your gut shot aggressively, you can expect to generate a good amount of fold equity. Even draws with a very limited amount of outs it is ok to play aggressively if you can generate folds.
  3. In Texas Hold’em, is your gut shot made up by using one or both of your hole cards? This is important because two card gut shots are always going to be better than gut shots made up by using one hole card.
  4. In a game of Omaha, does our gut shot have additional draws to go along with it? Naked gut shots in Omaha are useless, even in cases where they are drawing to the nuts.
  5. In Stud and Draw variants, what is the complete strength of your gut shot if and when it hits? The higher the top card of the straight is, the more valuable the straight draw will be.

How Regularly Does A Gut Shot Hit On The River In poker?

poker chips in shape of a question markIn Texas Hold’em, going from the turn to the river, a gut shot is likely to hit around 8.7% of the time which is one in every 11.5. When going from the flop to the river in a game of Texas Hold’em we can expect a gut shot to hit around 16.5% of the time or one in 6.1.

Moving from the flop to the turn in games of Texas Hold’em should see a gut shot hit around 8.5% of the time or one in 11.8%. The reason that a gut shot will hit slightly more frequently going from the turn to the river is because there is now one less card in the deck that isn’t an out.

What Is A Nut Gut Shot In Poker?

ten nine five on baord holding king jackA nut gut shot is an inside straight draw that will form the nut straight should it hit. A good example of this would be if we are holding K, J on a 9, T, 5 texture, we have the nut gut shot as a queen on the turn that will give us the nut straight.

Holding J, 7 on the same board is an example of a non nut gut shot because an eight on the turn will not give us the highest possible straight. The reason for this is that the jack high straight on the 9, T, 5, 8 can potentially be dominated by Q, J which makes the queen high straight on the same texture the stronger of the two.

The Difference Between A One Card Gut Shot And A Two Card Gut Shot In Poker?

jack ten nine on board holding king fiveIt might seem obvious, but a one card gut shot is a gut shot that is constructed with just the one hole card instead of a gut shot which is made up by using both of your hole cards which is a two card gut shot. K, J on T, 9, 5 is an example of a two card gut shot while K, 5 on J, T, 9 is an example of a one card gut shot.

Two card gut shots are considerably better than one card gut shots because they are going to be more disguised when they land. Hitting a one card gut shot means that there will be four cards to a straight on the board which makes it pretty obvious that we might be holding a straight.

What Does Low End Of The Gut Shot Mean In Poker?

ten nine five on board holding six sevenWhen hole cards make up the lower part of a gut shot straight draw it is often referred to as the low end of the gut shot. For example, let’s say we are holding 6, 7 on a T, 9, 5 texture. This is the low end of the gut shot which can sometimes be referred to as the idiot end of the straight draw.

The reason for this is that even if you do manage to catch an eight on the turn to make the straight, you can potentially still lose out to J, 7 and Q, J. In cases such as this, you will normally want to avoid investing large amounts of chips with the low end of the gut shot for this very reason.