A Guide to Winning Pistol Rounds



Wed 7th Feb 2018 - 9:48pm

Pistol Rounds are one of the most important things in CSGO. Firstly, by winning a pistol round (and the resulting anti ecos rounds), you can win two to three fairly easy rounds per half, totaling four to six rounds in the entire match if you manage to win both pistol rounds. This four to six round swing plus the jump start in economy that you get over your opponent often decides close matches. A 16-12 or a 16-11 can be flipped if you consider the other team winning one more pistol round. Secondly, pistol rounds are uniquely fairly even.

With hardly any money ($800), everybody can either decide to buy armor (at the expense of anything else) or upgrade their pistol and buy utility (at the expense of aimpunch). If you learn how to play pistol rounds, you instantly gain multiple advantages. 


  • Glock-18: 

This is obviously the T-Side starting pistol and is arguably the worst gun in the game. With 20 bullets in the magazine and 120 in the reserve ammo, the Glock is a 2 hit kill (infamous 94 in 1 or the "he's gooshed") on the unarmored opponents when you are farther than 800 units from the opponent. This means that you want to be fairly close range while aiming at the head. The Glock has a high firerate and a decent moving accuracy, but is not as precise at tapping at long range as the USP-S. Try not to spam shots at the body/head and fire at a rate in between tapping and spamming in order to guarantee accuracy when aiming at the head. The Glock is also more suitable to running around and clicking at the head, making you more difficult to hit. If you can't hit the headshot, crouch and start tapping to try to finish off the opponent. This will give you the fire-rate you need to get off the two headshots without sacrificing accuracy.  

  • USP-S: 

This is one of the two CT-Side starting pistols, with 12 bullets and 24 in reserve. It has very high first shot accuracy and has one shot headshot potential at any range. However, it has fairly poor moving accuracy and the second shot and general spread of the USP-S is fairly bad. Therefore, try to time your shots so that your recoil has reset and you can shoot accurately. Make sure you get used to holding angles with the USP and taking one shot and then going back into cover. In addition, get used to jiggle peeking angles, taking one or two shots and then retreating. Mind your ammo, so don't spam shots with the USP (you should not be rapidly spamming this pistol anyway) and be fairly precise. 

  • P2000: 

This is the second of the two CT-Side starting pistols. It has no silencer and holds 1 more round than the USP-S and has far more ammo than the USP-S (52). It doesn't possess the accuracy of the first shot of the USP-S, but it makes up for it with better spread and better moving accuracy and spammability. By aiming multiple shots at someone's head and clicking a little bit more rapidly, you should be able to one-shot your opponent. Make sure to tightly strafe back and forth to maximize your accuracy and keep your distance from people as you aim at them. 

  • P250: 

The P250 is a fantastic cheap pistol available for people to buy with utility. Holding 13 bullets with 26 reserve, it is accurate at medium range and also has a lot better armor penetration than the Glock-18, USP-S and P2000, which means that you could try to bodyshot a person to death if you really wanted to. This pistol also does a one shot headshot, so do try to aim at the head. Dropping the P250 to your teammates to "raid boss" (upgraded pistol + armor) is not a bad idea either. However, you will usually see this pistol used when the person chooses to buy utility (flashbang + smoke + P250 = $800).

  • Five-Seven: 

A CT-Side only pistol, it has 20 bullets and 120 in the reserve ammo. The Five-Seven is probably one of the strongest raid boss pistols that people can buy. With good armor penetration, a good fire rate, a good recoil, and quite good accuracy, it is the perfect weapon to shoot down 2-3 opponents and shut down any rushes through a smoke. In addition to that, buying a Five-Seven allows for someone to buy utility up to $300. A great jack of all trades pistol, the Five-Seven offers a lot of benefits relative to its cost. 

  • Tec-9: 

Before the nerf, the Tec-9 was the most widely used pistol on pistol round raid bosses and force buys. However, the nerf has reduced much of its viability. T-Side only, it possesses the 18/90 ammo slashes and must be used in the short range. It has high armor penetration and a rapid rate of fire, meaning that it is ideal for close combat. With its fairly low accuracy, however, and its reduced damage at long range, it is ideally used as a rush pistol strat where it’s fairly high moving accuracy (nerfed slightly) and fairly high one tap accuracy makes it viable. The high recoil it carries though severely nerfs it long range and getting into a battle with other pistols at this range is usually suicidal. 

  • CZ75: 

The only fully automatic pistol in the game, it holds 12 bullets and has 12 bullets in reserve. This pistol chews through ammo quickly, its recoil is insanely high, and its accuracy at range leaves a lot to be desired. However, due to its high fire rate, it quickly can kill opponents and in the mid to short range, it can quickly one or two tap opponents. Costing $500, it also can be paired with certain utility or dropped to one of your teammates. Just be careful of the draw speed: it is extremely slow and will probably get you killed if you draw it at an inopportune time.  

  • Dual Berettas: 

The Dualies, costing $400 and possessing a 30/120 ammo split, are fairly viable on pistol rounds. With its huge clip size, its high fire rate, and relatively high moving accuracy, it can chew through opponents if you simply aim at the head and click rapidly. However, it possesses an extremely long reload and high inaccuracy in the long range, making it useless in open space. They also have fairly poor armor penetration, so be prepared to click a lot on the body if you get into a close range fight. Make this a rush pistol and be prepared to lose fights in anything longer than mid range. 

  • Desert Eagle: 

This is pretty much the equivalent of a glass cannon. Being able to two shot - three shot (bodyshot) opponents at close-medium range is nice. Possessing a 7/35 split, it has good amounts of ammo. However, why is this pistol usually a poor choice for pistol rounds? At $700, it is the most expensive thing you can buy first round and often restricts any other purchases. The P250, Five-Seven, Tec-9 and CZ are lower cost pistols that offer just as safe a floor as they can body shot people just as quickly and offer the one shot headshot potential as well. Although the Deagle may be the strongest long range pistol, it has a slow draw speed, an insanely wide spread, and it must be carefully shot due to its high movement accuracy penalty. Counterstrafing and carefully picking your shots are a must when using this pistol. 

  • R8: 

This is purely pretty much a joke pistol round pistol. In terms of functionality, it is completely outclassed by the Desert Eagle and in terms of cost, it is outclassed by all the other pistols in its price range. 


Always spend your money on the pistol round. Saving money does you no good and if you don't spend your money, you lessen your chances of winning the round and lose the economy aspect right off the bat. 

Figure 2: Buying On Pistol Round

  • T-Side:  

Try to get the bomb down always in pistol rounds as you get $800 each ($300 for the bomb planter), which is pretty much full utility. If you manage to get a bomb down and you full eco on the second round (and maybe get a bomb plant on the second round), you can full buy on the third round and have a gun round as soon as possible in order to try to deny the CTs' economy as well. If you get the bomb down and win the round, your economy is automatically jumpstarted. Try to keep pistol rounds fairly simple and try to reduce the distance between you and the CTs in order to use the Glocks to their full advantage.

Depending on what you want, you can have 4 players with armor and 1 player with utility and an upgraded pistol or some other form of that. There tons of variation for what you can do on the pistol round. One person could drop two upgraded pistols (P250 + CZ75) and you could have two raid bosses or you could have 3 people buy utility with two people buying armor. It is crucial for you that you know you have the movement advantage. Often going around corners full speed or jumping around corners will throw off the CTs trying to hold the angle and if two of you are there, you can kill him fairly easily or at least trade with him.

Try to move as a unit as that gives you the best trade possibility and it is very hard for the CT to try to shoot down multiple people rushing him down. Use your limited utility wisely, smoking off a very key chokepoint or throwing an extremely good flash that will let your teammates get onto the bomb sites. After that, play your postplants and you should be fine with your T-Side pistol.  

  • CT-Side: 

CT-Side is a bit more complicated as winning pistol round as CT is fairly important as the CT economy is by far the more perilous half with full buys being more expensive and having no way to boost your economy other than kill reward. Usually, there will always be one person who gives up armor for a smoke and a kit and maybe some form of upgraded pistol. Learn how to hold angles and calmly tap at their heads as they peek the angle. Never panic if you see multiple players.

Either calmly aim and try to counter strafe and tap at their heads (master your movement and strafing so that you are harder to hit, aka not adadadad strafing; mix it up) or retreat to a safer angle and call to your teammates to try to help you. Try to play a more long range angle (Ticket Booth on Mirage A site) and try not to push too much as if you give up a man advantage in pistol round, it is often fairly disastrous for the CT-Side as the Ts can just play the trading game and attack one site. Don't be afraid to play retake on one site if you feel that the Ts will go towards one site. Utility is fairly important as smokes and flashes can stop a rush or aid in a retake or a ninja defuse. 


There is a reason there is a separate server for pistol DM. Make sure to always practice your pistols as they can lead to fairly easy rounds and often help propel teams to fast starts where they can maintain an economical advantage that they initially got for the entire half. There are some players that are god level pistol players that can turn a pistol round on its head (dennis) and having a player like that can impact the rest of the match even if they don't perform to the same level as they did in the pistol round. Pistol rounds are crucial to matches; just keep practicing!

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