What is a Gutshot Straight?
A gutshot straight is a common name given to the ‘inside straight draw’ – a hand which almost fills the straight, but which is missing a card from the inside or the middle. The player will need to find the missing element of the straight during the draw (or sometimes at the ‘river‘ reveal) otherwise their hand may well be worthless and another player could take the win.
Gutshot Straight Explained
In poker, one of the higher ranking hands to pick up is a ‘straight’ – a run of consecutive numbers, for example 3-4-5-6-7. Straights rank just underneath flushes, and beat triples and pairs. Making a straight flush is the best way to win a hand, but a non-suited straight is still a very strong hand to hold. A player who holds a filled straight will almost certainly bet and might even risk a raise or all-in, while a player who holds most of a straight will probably play in the hope of filling their hand at the draw or when the cards are turned.
If a player has four out of the five parts needed for the straight but they are missing one card from the middle of this set, it is known as an ‘inside straight’ – more often ‘inside straight draw’ for draw poker games, but the phrase also appears for straights in poker. The term ‘gutshot straight’ refers to the hole in the middle of the chain. For example, if a player holds 2-3-5-6-9 at the deal, they might give up the nine at the draw – hoping to replace it with the 4. This gutshot straight has four chances for completion at the draw (assuming the missing fours are not all held by other players, of course). Completing a gutshot straight is harder than finding the missing element to an outside straight: such as 3-4-5-6-10, where the 2 or the 7 could complete the straight at either end of the run.