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Top 10 Worst Starting Hands in Texas Holdem

Sure
you know that a pair of aces are the best hand in Texas Holdem
but do you know the worst starting hands? Knowing that these hands are almost-always-foldem hands in holdem is just as important to improving your poker game and not playing like a donkey.
Some of these worst hands are bad in the same way and will lose at about the same rate
so Ive called them ties
even when one is a slightly better hand.
1. 2-7
7-2 off suit is considered the worst hand in Texas Hold’em. They are the lowest two cards you can have that cannot make a straight (there’s 4 cards between 2 and 7). Even if they are suited
they will make you a very low flush
and if either pairs
it’s an awfully low hand. Because it is the worst
some players will play it for fun and in online games
it is known as “the hammer.”
2. 2-8
This is the same basic problem as above
only you’ve got an 8 instead of a 7. Still pretty bad for a high card. Suited or not
this is a fold’em hold’em hand.
3. 3-8 & 3-7
The 3 makes this hand able to beat the two above it
but with the 3-8 you still can’t make a straight and the 3-7 still
well
just sucks.
4. 2-6
While
if the board gives you a miracle flop of 3-4-5
you will have a straight
someone with a 6-7 will have a higher straight. If you get a flush
someone will probably have a higher flush. Against even 4 players
this hand will lose about 90% of the time. Not good odds.
5. 2-9
3-9 & 4-9 (tie)
The only thing these three hands have going for them over the hands above is the 9.
If the 9 pairs
you’ll have a middle pair that could still be beat by anyone holding pocket 10s
jacks
queens
kings
or aces
yet you might be fooled by a board filled with low cards into thinking you have the best hand and losing a lot of money.
No straights can fill the gap between these cards
either. Beware.
6. 2-10
This hand has a legendary quality because Doyle Brunson captured two World Series of Poker Bracelets with it. But it’s not a good hand — Doyle Brunson is one of the all-time best in the game and unless you’re a Texas road gambler who’s logged thousands of hours at the table
you shouldn’t try and win with the Doyle Brunson.
7. 5-9
Another hand people play because it’s fun is the old 9 to 5
the “Dolly Parton.” If you’re playing to win
it’s not a good idea to play hands because they have a funny name. That may be how you pick the winning horse in a race
but poker’s a marathon
not a sprint
and over the long term there’s no doubt this hand is a statistical loser.
8. 4-7
4-8
5-8
3-6… (tie)
All these hands will rarely win
especially unsuited.
Toss ’em. Just toss’em. Yes
even in the little blind.
If you see two low cards in the hole
unless you’re in the big blind and you can see the flop for free
fold.
9. Face card + low card (unsuited)
One of the most common mistakes I see beginners make is that when they see any paint in their hand
they play it. J-2
Q-3
K-4 whatever — and most of these hands are losers. They’re junk that may win a few pots
but more often will lose you huge cash when you find the other player has a higher kicker and the winning hand.
10. Ace + low card (unsuited)
This is another common beginner mistake
playing any ace. Again
it may win occasionally
and heads-up it’s a fine hand
but at a table of 4 or more
this hand shouldn’t be played if there’s a raise in front of you. You’re going to be outkicked a lot with Ace-little
and it’s going to feel like a kick in the junk when the other player shows their higher ace.

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