Guts Poker is a poker game played with three cards; the name is used to indicate whether the player has the “guts” to stay in the game. Each player is dealt three hidden cards; they look at their cards to decide if they wish to play their hand, and then, they simultaneously declare if they are in or out. If the player decides to not play his/her hand, he/she has to hold the cards face down over the table and drop them at the dealer’s cue. Placing an object such as a poker chip in the player’s hand is a great way to prevent hesitations and determine how many of them stay in: if the player has the chip in their hand, it means that they are dropping the hand - otherwise they intend to play. If only one player stays in, then he/she wins the entire pot and the game ends. If no one stays in, then the next hand is dealt.
Since Guts Poker is played only with three cards, the highest hand is three of a kind. If more than one person stays in, then the highest hand takes the pot and the remaining in player(s) must pay an amount equal to what was originally in the pot (this is also called “matching the pot” or “paying the pot.”) Therefore, if two players stay in, the amount of the pot will stay the same, though the pot doubles if three players stay in. The game will continue only if there is money in the pot. All the hands are discarded and new hands are dealt from the remaining deck. In case the deck is not large enough to deal three cards to each player, then the entire deck is reshuffled and hands are dealt from the new deck instead.