The Weakest Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em


December 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Worst Starting Hands in Texas Hold'emWeak hands in Texas Hold’em.  They really are not that hard to spot, but they can be so hard for many players to resist.  It is important to recognize the high cards and play them correctly, but it is also an advantage to see the weakest starting hands for what they are and learn to avoid them.

Sometimes seeing the pros on TV can give a false impression to new players.  Thanks to the impressive job of editing done by television programs, it looks like the Phil Iveys and the Chris Fergusons of the world play every hand dealt them.  Truth is that these players may see dozens of hands before playing one out to a showdown.  These players are looking for an advantage, and the advantage they seek first is evaluating their starting hands.

Taking into account all of the possible starting hands, there are 169 possible combinations that you could draw.  While pocket Aces, Kings, Queens and the like are great, they don’t happen very often, so players need to think about other hands they may get.  Unfortunately for many, some of those hands are very bad indeed.

In Texas Hold’em Poker, the fifth worst (or 165th best if you feel real optimistic) is a 2-6 off suit.  Statistically this hand has very few possibilities for success.

The fourth worst starting hand is 2-9 off suit,

and the third worst is 3-8 off suit.

Both are simply terrible starting hands and, for players that really want to win, these hands are to be avoided at all costs.

The two worst hands push the boundaries of disaster even further.

The second worst hand that a player can be doomed with is the 2-8 off suit.  With nothing positive about the hand, a player has no straight draw, no flush draw and even if you hit the 8, you don’t have much.

The worst hand, 2-7 off suit, makes even the 2-8 look better.  This hand has no statistical prospects and hitting the high card leaves the player with a pair of 7s.  Serious poker players wouldn’t even blink at a hand like this.

Once you have identified these hands, knowing what to with them will save you a bunch of chips.  What should you do with them?  Fold them!  Throwing chips at a hand like this is usually like throwing them in the trash.  Unless a player is caught with 2-7 unsuited on the big blind, this is a throw-in hand.  At this point, the player should hope that there is no raise on the blind and a 7-7 comes on the flop, because only a miracle is saving the hand.

These five weakest hands are important to remember.  Players need to develop a discipline to play the hands that give them the best chance to win and fold those that will certainly cost them money in the long run.

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One Response to “The Weakest Starting Hands in Texas Hold’em”
  1. Markus Webster says:

    This a load of rubbish! 32 is weaker than 72 off. 72 off stands up to a random hand 35% of the time, where as 32 only 33%. The information on this article is terrible sorry to say. Get crunching those numbers more!


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