Gutshot Straight Draw in Poker

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Poker is a game that is best played with sufficient planning, mathematical calculations and strategy. This requires a considerable amount of background research. If that process is what has got you to this page and you wish to know more about a gutshot straight draw in poker, read on!

What is a draw in poker?

If the player has an incomplete hand and needs more cards to hold a valuable hand that has a shot at winning, then the player is said to have a drawing hand or the hand is called a draw. This is in direct contrast to an ‘already made hand’. It is important to keep in mind that a made starting hand with no help can lose to an inferior starting hand with a favourable draw, and this is what makes poker so interesting.

What is an out?

An out is an unseen card which would prove to be a winner when drawn by the player.

What is a gutshot straight draw in poker?

There are numerous types of draws in poker such as flush draw, outside straight draw, inside straight draw, double inside straight draw, backdoor draw etc.

A gutshot straight draw, also popularly known by other names such as inside straight draw or a belly buster draw or a middle pin straight draw, is a hand in poker which needs the one missing card to complete a four or five card straight. A straight constitutes cards in a sequential order. An example of this would be a player who has ten, nine, eight, six and a deuce. He or she requires a missing seven in order to complete the straight and this is known as gutshot straight. Simply put, it is a situation in which the player needs one card which will sit between the highest and lowest card rank available with the player.

The main motivation for chasing a gutshot draw is for the implied odds or amount of money that you can get from your opponent with your hand.

An extension of this concept is the double inside straight draw where either of two card ranks will make a straight. For example, nine – x – seven – six – five – x - three.

Probabilities with reference to gutshot straight draw

In terms of probability, one can state that the chance of getting an inside straight draw is half of that of catching an outside straight draw.

It is calculated that a player who has a gutshot on the flop has the probability of 8.5% in making a straight on the turn and a 16.5% probability of making a straight by the river.

How must a player leverage gutshot straight draws?

When the player has all cards below the middle card on the flop, then it indicates a weak hand. Hence one must resort to checking.

In circumstances where the player has another draw with a weak gutshot, then one should choose to semi bluff with his or her cards.

One must resort to betting on the gutshot draw when he or she is in position and are a preflop aggressor just to take advantage of the fold equity.

When the player has a gutshot on the flop and chooses to bet, then only under certain circumstances must he or she choose to continue to bet on the turn, as checking instead will make you less predictable in your opponent’s eyes and will prevent you from over-bluffing. Also doing so, will give you an opportunity to hit the straight on the river when your opponent least expects it.

If the player happens to be playing in a multiway pot, then it is best to play passively and prepare to fold. However, one may resort to check calling if –

·         There are only three players on the table.

·         The player has one or two cards overboard in his or her gutshot.

·         The player happens to have a backdoor flush draw.

·         The player’s gutshot is drawing to the nuts.


Poker isn’t an exact science and a lot of unknown variables are present. Gutshot draws are not the most difficult hands to play but one needs some tact and strategy while executing such a play, factoring in all possible variables. Ensure you learn more about it to make your game profitable! To practice the strategy in a real game, download the GetMega Poker app now and register in any of the contests.

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