Double gutshot straight draws are very strong hands and you can pick up a lot of extra money if you play them well.
This article covers how to play double gutters (aka double belly busters) effectively in a variety of situations. The focus will be on deep stack cash game play.
Let’s dive in!
What Is a Double Gutshot Straight Draw?
A double gutshot is a straight draw that can be completed by two different cards, but does not include four consecutive cards. In other words, the player has two gutshot straight draws at once.
For example, suppose you hold Q♠ T♠ and the flop comes A♣ J♥ 8♠. You have a double gutshot straight draw because any King or 9 would give you a straight.
Double gutshots are different from open-ended straight draws because the latter requires four consecutive cards between the board and your hand. For example, if the board is 873, then you can have an open-ender with T9, 96, or 65.
Despite having the same number of outs (eight) as open-enders, double gutshots are arguably more valuable because they tend to be more disguised.
How To Play Double Gutshot Straight Draws in Single Raised Pots
Now, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this article.
The following sections cover how to play double gutters in four heads-up scenarios:
- In Position as the Preflop Raiser
- Out of Position as the Preflop Raiser
- In Position as the Preflop Caller
- Out of Position as the Preflop Caller
There’s also a quick bonus section with a simple “golden” rule for playing double gutshot straight draws in multiway pots.
Playing In Position as the Preflop Raiser
When you’re in position after raising preflop, you will usually have a large equity advantage over the caller (which is usually the Big Blind). You will usually have a lot of strong hands with which you want to value bet. And in order to balance out those strong hands, you need to add some bluffs.
Double gutshot straight draws are amazing candidates for bluffing because they have a very good chance of improving to the best hand. You have eight outs (~33% chance) to make a straight, which is often a hand worth three streets of value. Plus, you may not even have to hit your straight since you may force your opponent to fold.
Example: You open from the Button with 7♠ 6♠. The Big Blind calls. The flop comes T♣ 8♣ 4♦ and the Big Blind checks. You should always fire a c-bet here with your double gutter. Considering the fairly wet flop texture, you should bet at least 50% of the pot.
Playing Out of Position as the Preflop Raiser
Things change if you raise preflop and face an in-position caller.
Suppose you raise from middle position and the player on the Button calls. If your opponent is a decent player, his range will be quite strong and condensed. As a result, your best option is to play your range fairly passively/defensively, checking with many strong hands in order to protect the weaker hands in your range.
Since you won’t be betting with as many strong hands, you shouldn’t bluff as often either. So, checking is usually the best play on the flop with a double gutter versus an in-position caller.
You can bet sometimes, especially if the board is very good for your range, but lean towards checking if you aren’t sure.
Note: Learn step-by-step how to become the best player at the table when you join the Upswing Lab training course. Elite pros have been adding new content every week for the past seven years, and you get all of it when you join. Learn more now!
Playing In Position as the Preflop Caller
This is the inverse to the previous scenario. Now, you’re the player with the strong and condensed range.
If your opponent is smart, she should check to you fairly often on the flop. Should that happen, you should generally fire a bet with your double gutshot to give yourself a chance to take down the pot right away. If you get called, you still have outs to improve. Worst case scenario is facing a check-raise, but you can profitably call and see the turn even if that happens.
If you face a bet, both calling and raising can be viable options. You should usually lean towards calling. However, there are two factors that incentivize you to play a more aggressive strategy:
- If your opponent uses a small bet size
- If the flop is very good for your range (usually low/middle connected boards).
Let’s take a quick example. A player in middle position raises to 3bb and you decide to call with 8♣ 7♣ on the Button. The flop comes J♠ 9♣ 5♦. Your opponent c-bets 33% of the pot. This is a great spot to take the initiative and raise.
Playing Out of Position as the Preflop Caller
Now let’s talk about playing double gutters after you defend your Big Blind against anyone other than the Small Blind. In these scenarios, you will be at a range disadvantage, which means you should play a more passive strategy overall.
However, double gutters function great as check-raise bluffs. This is because you will have a lot of equity when called, plus you will deny a lot of equity when you force your opponent to fold.
You should almost always go for the check-raise when your opponent fires a c-bet. The exceptions are when the flop is very good for your opponent’s range, which is usually high card heavy boards like A-J-8 or A-Q-8.
Let’s take an example. You have 6♥ 5♥ and have defended against the Button. The flop is 9♦ 7♦ 3♠ and the Button fires a 75% pot c-bet. You should always (or very frequently at least) raise about 3 times his c-bet size.
Playing in Multiway Pots
Finally, I know a lot of you guys play in live games where multiway pots are very prevalent.
The golden rule for playing double gutshots in multiway pots is simple: Play passively on the flop, checking and calling, and see how the hand develops. You can start bluffing on the turn if no one seems interested in the pot, or even wait until the river to take a stab.
That’s it for this article! I hope you learned something new. As usual, if you have any questions or feedback please let me know in the comment section down below.
Check out this article next: 6 Tips for When The Flush Gets There (And You Don’t Have It).
Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!
Note: Ready to join 5,000+ players currently upgrading their No Limit Hold’em skills? Crush your competition with the expert strategies you will learn inside the Upswing Lab training course. Learn more now!