Guts is a poker variant where each player gets two cards. You can play this card game with a standard deck of 52 playing cards and two or more players. However, you can enjoy Guts thoroughly when you are playing with five or more people. In this game, the Ace is high while the 2s are low. The aim is to win the pot having the highest hand. In this blog, you will learn how to play the Guts card game.
What You Need
Objective: The player with the best hand of cards wins the pot.
The number of players: between 5 to 10 players
Order of the Cards: A, K, Q, J, 10,9, 8, 7,6, 5, 4, 3, 2
Type: Casino games
Age Group: 18 and above
The higher pair beats the other cards as each player gets two cards. If there are no pairs, the highest card exceeds the other hands. If two players have the same high card, the second-highest card wins.
The game starts after placing an ante, or an initial bet, into the round’s pot. Players choose a random card from an already shuffled deck. You have to select a dealer before the game begins. The one who gets the lowest card becomes the dealer. In case of ties, draw repeatedly. The dealer then shuffles the deck and passes two cards face down to every player.
Players can choose to forfeit the round if the cards are not appropriate and receive the ante. They have a chance to look at their hand and decide whether they would like to play or not.
How to Play guts
You can play Guts with 2 to 3 cards. The rules for either of the variations are using two or three cards are similar, but with three cards, the combinations are more. For card games with three players, the ranking of cards is as follows – straight flush, three of a kind, straight, flush, pair, high card.
For the 2 card version, the player with the highest pair wins, or if it is not available, the player with the highest single card wins.
In a guts card game, when players pay all the ante, they either receive 2 or 3 cards. After examining them, the players decide if they are ‘in’ or ‘out.’ The game starts with the dealer’s left. The players who decide to go ‘in’ have to hold poker chips in their fists, and the players who opt ‘out’ will have an empty hand. The dealer asks them to open their hand and show their cards.
Players that stay in are allowed to the Showdown phase of the game. The player who has the highest pair/ highest hand wins the pot. In case of a tie in two cards guts, the player having the highest-ranked card among the two wins the pot.
The players who are “in” but do not have the highest hand have to put an equal amount to the whole pot. This will become the pot for the next hand. Additional poker chips are set on reverse if the pot exceeds the decided value. In the event of one player going “in” and the rest going “out,” the player will get the entire pot.
The scoring of the game is decided as follows:
– Aces are high.
– Any pair of equal cards beats any two unequal cards.
– A higher pair beats a lower pair.
– Between two non-pair hands, the hand with the highest card wins.
– If two hands have equal high cards, the hand whose other card is higher wins.
Also Read: 8 Best 2 player Card Games For Beginner to Expert Level Players
Variations of Guts Card game
There is a version where all the players declare whether they are in or out simultaneously. Players hold their cards face down over the table, and the dealer calls “1-2-3..and DROP!” Upon hearing the word “DROP,” those who want to drop are out. The rest of them are in.
If every player goes out, the pot stays for the next hand, and some play that all players have to contribute some ante. Sometimes, the cards are shown, and the player who has the best hand must ante for all the other players. This is the wimp rule.
The dropping method has the disadvantage that some players might be tempted to delay for a split second to see what the others will do. Therefore it is probably better to declare using chips. Each player holds out a closed fist. When all are ready, everyone opens their fist, and those holding a chip are in while those with empty hands are out.
The game with simultaneous declare has less tactical scope than the game declared in sequence. There is no point in bluffing – players simply stay in if their cards are good and drop otherwise.
Single Loser, Ante on all Deals
If more than one person stays in, only the player who has the worst hand has to match the pot. If two or more players have the worst hand, they must match it. Players declare ante on every deal, except the player who had to match the pot. He can refrain from placing an ante in the next deal.
Kitty or Ghost
Some players are not satisfied when only one player stays in, and that player simply takes the pot without a contest. They play a version in which they deal an extra hand known as the kitty or ghost. This hand belongs to no one but is kept until the final showdown. To win the pot, you have to beat the ghost as well as the other players. If the ghost wins, everyone who stays in must match the pot. Sometimes when everyone drops out, all must add an ante to the pot for the next deal.
There is another version in which the ghost only plays when just one person stays in. If two or more players stay in, they can play only against each other.
The presence of a ghost hand that always plays makes it unprofitable to bluff, so players will stay in only with a better than average hand, which makes the game considerably less interesting than the version with no ghost.
Each player deals with three cards instead of two. The betting procedure is the same as in two-card guts, but with three cards, most people play such, that 3-card straights and 3-card flushes count. The ranking of hands from high to low is usually:
- three of a kind; straight flush; straight; flush; pair; nothing
But some groups may rank a straight flush above three of a kind or a flush above a straight, so know the rules and agree to them beforehand.
After the deal and before the declaration, all players pass one card face down to the left. Players must decide what card to pass before seeing what they have received.
How many cards do you get in a guts card game?
In a guts card game, each player is dealt two cards, face down, that start with the player to the left of the dealer.
How to play 3 card guts?
Each player has three cards rather than two. The betting procedure is the same as in two-card guts, but with three cards, most people play that 3-card straights and 3-card flushes count. The ranking of hands from high to low: three of a kind; straight flush; straight; flush; pair; nothing
What to do in case two players get equal cards?
Any pair of equal cards beats any two unequal cards. A higher pair beats a lower pair, and between two non-pair hands, the hand with the highest card wins if two hands have equal highest cards, the hand whose card is higher wins.
Also Read: Trick Taking for Card Games