Alternating Guts is suitable for 3-8 players, and is very similar to Consecutive Guts, except for a mild variation in the use of wild cards. Unlike Basic Guts, Alternating Guts has an initial deal of five cards, and hands are formed of three cards.
To begin the game of Alternating Guts, players ante up, placing a small, equal amount in the pot. The dealer gives each player five cards. They are dealt face down. The players pick up their cards and examine them. Then there is a declaration.
In the declaration, each player declares whether he is in or out of the game. This is done by holding hands under the table with a token or chip. Players draw their hands out from under the table, balled into a fist. When the fists are opened, those players who reveal a token or chip are in, and those whose hands are empty are out. In this manner, no player can use another player’s decision to an advantage.
Players turn over their cards, revealing them. Hands are composed of the best three cards possible. Any two cards which are two numbers apart can be used as a single wild card. For example, if a player holds a three and a five, they can be used as a single wild card. In this manner, a hand of A, A, 4, 6, K is actually three aces. There are no straights or flushes in Alternating Guts. The best hand is three-of-a-kind, followed by pair and high card.
The winner of the round gets the pot, while anyone else who stayed in must match the pot. In this manner the pot is either the same size or larger after every hand until only one player stays in. When only one player stays in, the game is over.