More Guts Games: Wolfie's Lou and Three-Four

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Variations to Guts Poker:

Wolfie's Lou

In a game of Wolfie's Lou, each player receives five face-down cards and then draws up to two cards from the deck. Then the players declare In or Out, like in all Guts games, and the players who declare In continue playing. The player to the left of the dealer names his poker hand, for example, a pair or a straight. If somebody at the table has a better hand, he names it and asks if someone can beat it. The player, who declares the best hand at the table, selects trump or chooses no-trump or no-trump reverse format. For those who do not know what trump is, trump is a suit superior to other three, so any card of the trump suit beats any card of any other suit. Trumps are particularly useful in games, where players must follow the suit.

No trump is a format where no trumps are used and a card of a certain suit can be beaten only by a higher card of the same suit. No trump reverse game is a game without trumps and with reversed cards values: twos are the highest cards and aces are the lowest ones, so threes beat fours, fours beat fives etc.

After the trump or an alternative game format is defined, the player to the left of the dealer opens the first trick. He throws any card from his hand onto the table, and the next player in the clockwise direction must either beat the card with a higher card of the same suit or a trump, or throw any card. If the player succeeds to beat the card, the card he has used becomes the highest card and next players must beat it to win the trick.

The player who was the last to beat the previous highest card, or, in other words, the player who has thrown the highest card of the appropriate suit or the highest trump, wins the trick. As long as all players have five cards, five tricks are played in every given game. If a player wins three out of five tricks, he wins the pot, otherwise he matches the pot, placing the sum equal to the previous pot to create a new one. Obviously, if more than two players go In, a new pot will be composed of more then two bets, which of them is equal to the previous pot, so a new pot will be twice or more times larger then the previous one. Therefore, with many players at the table, it is advisable to play Guts games at the lowest possible stakes. Otherwise, after a couple of rounds, half of the players may run out of money.

If the standard Guts stakes raise is not enough for the players, they may use an alternative format, where players who do not collect any tricks pay double the amount of the previous pot. As long as there are five tricks in the game, other formats are also possible. For example, a player who takes two tricks does not pay anything, while players who take one trick match the pot, and those who take none, double-match the pot.

When the player to call trump is determined, players just call their hands without showing any cards. Lying at his stage is considered as cheating. Further in the game players reveal their cards and such lie can be revealed. If it happens, this player must be banned from the table or at least receive some kind of punishment, such as paying three times the pot.


In Four-Three each player receives four face-down cards. Players declare In or Out, as in all other Guts games, and those who declare In receives three more face-down cards. Four-Three is normally played in High/Low format, and after the players who called In receive all their cards they declare whether they go for High, Low or Both. Among the players who call High, the player with the highest five card poker hand wins and collects half of the pot. The other half goes to the Low winner, a player with the lowest five card hand among those who declared Low. If a player declares Both, he must combine the highest and the lowest five card hand at the table out of the seven cards he has to win the entire pot.

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