Definition of Gutshot Straight
In poker, a straight consists of five cards in sequential order, such as 8, 9, 10, J, Q. A standard straight comprises cards of at least two different suits, and the more valuable straight flush comprises cards only of the same suit.
When a new card, whether a drawn card or on the flop, turn or river, completes a straight, that card is inside or outside. If a player holds 6-7, the flop is 8-9-K and the turn is a 5 or 10, the straight completes from the outside.
If a player held 9-10, the flop is 2-Q-K and the turn is a J, the flush completes from the inside. In the poker vernacular, this type of straight is a gutshot straight, referring to how it was made and the low odds of doing so.
In other words, the gutshot straight, or belly buster, is a straight where the fifth card sits between the lowest and highest rank of the available cards. The odds on a gutshot straight draw are lower than on a standard straight draw.
Generally, the term gutshot straight is used to refer to a made straight, and the term gutshot straight draw is used to refer to the hand that can become a gutshot straight or to the action that can create it.
There are gutshot straights made from the outside: A-2-3-4 and J-Q-K-A. Since there is nothing higher or lower than an ace, those straights have only one out rather than two, which is the same as the inside gutshot straight.
Typically, unless involved in a bluff play, skilled players avoid gutshot straights. Sometimes, however, the situation just unfolds that way, such as when betting a pocket pair pre-flop. A high-profile example of this is the 2007 WSOP Main Event, which Jerry Yang won on a highly improbable gutshot straight after betting pre-flop on pocket 8s.
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