Base Game: Non-Standard Poker
Wild cards: No (Yes with variation)
Created by: Unknown
Submitted by: Brian O'Neill

Guts is a three card poker game. The name indicates whether the player has the "guts" to stay in the game.

Each player is dealt three cards down. Since there is only three cards, the highest hand is Three of a Kind.

Players look at their cards, and decide if they wish the play their hand. Each player must declare simultaneously if they are in or out. Traditionally, this is done by holding your cards face down over the table, and dropping them on the table at the dealer's cue if you "dropping" or not playing your hand. To prevent hesitations to see how many other players stay in, we typically place an object such as a poker chip in our hand instead - if we have the chip in our hand, we are dropping the hand - otherwise we intend to play.

If only one person stays in, then that player wins the entire pot and the game ends.

If no one stays in, then the next hand is dealt.

If more than one player stays in, then the highest hand takes the pot, and the remaining players must each pay into the pot an amount equal to what was originally in it ("matching the pot" or "paying the pot"). So, if two players stay in, then the amout of the pot will stay the same. If three stay in, then the pot doubles, etc.

As long as there is money in the pot, the game continues. All players hands are discarded, and new hands are dealt from the remaining deck. If the deck is not large enough to deal everyone three cards, then the entire deck is reshuffled and hands are dealt from the new deck instead.


We have occasionally played where three-card Straights and Flushs are valid. In this case, both Straights and Flushes are higher than a Pair but lower than Three of a Kind, with Straights being higher than Flushes (odds are slightly better on a Flush).

Wimp Rule

In the case when no player stays in, then all hands are revealed and the player with the highest hand must pay a "wimp" penalty - typically 2 to 4xAnte. This can be paid directly into the pot, or into a "side" pot. The winner of a hand would take both the regular and side pots, but losers only have to match the regular pot.

When we first played with the Wimp Rule directly into the pot, the game got expensive FAST.

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