The full range of possible starting hands in Texas Hold ’em Poker is vast; when drawing two cards at random from a 52 card pack, there are 1,326 possible combinations. Among these, there are the hands everyone desires, and hands no-one seems to want, such as the ones listed below. Here is a list of the top four hands every Hold'em player should be wary of:
It is no surprise that the off-suit 7-2 is, by common consensus, the worst poker hand and the one everyone should automatically muck (throw away). With four cards needed from the flop, turn and river to get a straight or a flush, 7-2 automatically puts the player at a huge disadvantage. As well as this, the low value of the starting cards prevents any possibility of a high card win; even with a poor K-3, for example, it may be worth hanging on to a low pot on the off-chance the king wins out as highest card. In poker, bad odds don’t come as bad as this. Not looking too good for the 7-2, then.
This one has become almost legendary: it has become known as ‘The Brunson’, after Doyle Brunson’s two WSOP bracelet wins with the hand. Because of this, though, less skilled players play it with little thought of the consequences, forgetting that they are not Brunson and unaware of the fact that it holds little real value in Hold‘em, with no chance of a straight and no high card to back it up if a weak set of community cards come down.
These kinds of hands suffer from the same problem as the 2-10 already mentioned: excited by seeing someone looking back at them when they look down, naïve players will throw money at their hand without pausing for thought. If you’re big blind and can see the flop anyway, go for it; otherwise, muck the hand in order to save your chips for something with a little more weight behind it.
It’s not exactly the worst poker hand – indeed, it’s the dream hand for many players. However, the dangers of drawing ‘pocket rockets’ are rife: if the player is inexperienced, the excitement will produce tells almost immediately, prompting their opponents to throw in the towel and remove the chance of winning a big pot. More pertinently, although the hand should always be played, punters should remember that it is by no means infallible – it is still only a single pair!
It should not be forgotten that these hands are part and parcel of the game. If you are mad about poker, bad odds will have to be overcome in order to collect the payouts that make it all seem worthwhile. Visiting online poker sites like Bet365 Poker and 888 Poker will enable you to hone your strategies and turn the hands – and the chips – to your advantage.