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Nuts N Guts Preview


Note: This preview uses pre-release components and rules. What you see here may be different from the final, published game. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.

Nuts N GutsPoker, in the minds of many, is one of the perfect games. Your particular view on that statement probably depends on your penchant for math. Poker is really a numbers game. Nuts N Guts takes us on a trip where poker betting and hand ranks are mixed in with a whole lot of special abilities.

So let’s dig into what is offered here so you can see if the Kickstarter is for you.

Gameplay Overview:

The gameplay of Nuts N Guts will be pretty familiar if you’ve played any type of poker game before. All players will ante to start the hand and be dealt two cards. You’ll then have a round of betting where you can bet, raise, or fold. All players still in can choose to discard one of their two cards to get a new one. Another round of betting. And then the player with the best hand card wins.

The difference here is the game isn’t just 52 cards with a rank and suit. Instead, there are 63 cards representing different poker hands. And 20 wild cards that will give you a special ability. They offer things like making another player discard a card, play with their hand face up, or bet even though they don’t want to.

When it comes to showing down your hands the player with the best hand card wins. So if you hand consists of just two wild cards you can’t possibly win (unless you get everyone else to fold). And if you have two different hand cards (say a three of a kind and a pair) you can’t combine them into a full house, you just choose your best one to play.

Nuts N Guts Cards
There are hand cards and special abilities as well.

Game Impressions:

Nuts N Guts is essentially poker with all the math stripped out. It becomes a raucous party game. The focus is bluffing and well-timed special actions takes the place of calculating odds and evaluating betting ranges.

Nuts N Guts Cards
The hand cards are used to determine the winner but aren’t combined like in normal poker.

To be fair, the hand ranks here are really just for show. The hand ranks can basically be numbered 1-63 (and in fact, they are, for those who aren’t familiar with poker hand rankings). So you know the relative strength of your hand compared to the rest of the available deck without having to really do any calculating. But you can’t always be prepared for all the special events that may ruin your plans.

If you have a strong hand and bet it aggressively someone might play the Switch card to exchange hands with you in the middle of the hand. Or they might make you discard your hand and draw a new one. Of course, this adds a whole new level to the bluffing as you might want to feign strength to get someone to waste their special abilities on you.

Final Thoughts:

Nuts N Guts isn’t exactly a small twist on the poker. It’s more of a party game with a poker theme. It likely isn’t going to find a spot on your table if you and your friends sit around discussion game theory optimal poker strategy. But, if your game group is more suited to bluffing and a bit of take-that you can certainly have some fun with Nuts N Guts.

Nuts N Guts launches today on Kickstarter. If you’d like to become a backer or find out more, head over to the campaign page for more information.

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As always, we don’t post ratings for preview copies as the components and rules may change from the final game. Check back with us after the game is produced for a full review. This post was a paid preview, you can find out more information here.

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