Exploring double gutshot strategies in Texas Hold’em
By Bob Garcia
Gutshots in poker always make for exciting action, and double gutshots are even better
When playing Texas Hold’em, gutshots – also known as “inside straight draws” – are awesome when they hit. Getting a gutshot essentially means that a player has four cards to improve the draw. This may not be as sweet as an open-ended straight draw, and comes with longer odds, but gutshots can offer other qualities that make them appealing. In some cases, a hand might even have a double gutshot, so it is important that players understand how to alter their strategies when certain situations appear.
To have a better understanding of how a double gutshot would look, let’s say a flop brings a Q-10-6 combination and the pocket cards are 8-7. This is a gutshot because only a 9 turns the hand into a made-straight. However, with that same hand, having A-K is a gutshot since a J is needed to pick up the straight. Focusing only on the AK combination, which becomes quite hard to play when the flop comes with a gutshot, requires some other mixed strategies to get the most out of the hand
When holding pocket A-K, players need to pay attention to the range-vs.-range-equity estimates. Knowing how to play gutshots with this combination will provide a solid base to face other draws, like nut flush draws, with the same combination. Even though these hands have better chances of becoming a winning hand, a common mistake is to approach these cards with an aggressive response. When facing this scenario, the best strategy is a continuation bet (c-bet), which can help you gain momentum. However, it will depend on your position in a table – if you are the small blind, approach the hand carefully and don’t overextend yourself.