The Worst Starting Hands In Texas Hold’em

Posted October 2, 2009 by Andrew in Articles

Poker Starting HandsIn my last few articles I’ve taken a break from hands, raising, and other poker terminology. It’s high time that we get back on track. I just realized that after I posted my previous article on choosing starting hands for Texas Hold’em, I didn’t do any follow up. Quite logically, if you can get good starting hands, then you can also have bad starting hands. In this article, let’s take things a bit further and talk about some of the worst starting hands that you can have.

2-7 (off suit)
When you find yourself with a 2 and a 7, what do you do? FOLD! I am not exaggerating here. Most any poker player will tell you that an unsuited pair of 2 and 7 is about the worst you can have for a starting hand. Why? You have no chance to get a straight or a flush. The highest you’re likely to get is a pair of 7s and you’ll probably lose with that. Then again you may be really lucky and get a full house but you don’t want to rely on that. So again, my suggestion is FOLD.

2-8 (off suit)
Anyone who knows their numbers can see the logic behind folding when you get an unsuited 2 and 8 as a starting hand. Quite obviously an 8 is better than a 7 so this hand is slightly better than the previous one. Yet the situation is basically the same. You have no chances of getting a straight or a flush. The chance of getting a full house is always there but is, as usual, very slim. You may get a pair of 8s and beat the unlucky guy with a 2-7. Still, it’s not a very good starting hand.

3-8 (off suit)
With this starting hand you are one number higher up than the previous two. Yet it is not such a big leap. Still no chance of getting a flush or a straight. The remote chance of getting the full house is still too remote at this point. It is better to fold and wait on a better hand.

2-9 (off suit)
With this starting hand you still have no chances of a straight or a flush. Yet your pair of nines would be able to hold off the lower pairs. However, it’s still not advisable to play this hand as other players would probably have a better hand than yours.

2-6(off suit)
All right! You’re probably thinking that finally you have a chance at a straight draw. That is true enough. Yet the chances of getting that is not high. More so, you don’t have any other possible winning combinations. Of course there is the pair of sixes or twos, but unless you are that lucky, you are not getting a cent out of those cards. Again, the best thing to do is fold.

Folding may not be the bravest option for you, but there is a reason for it. Don’t push it when the cards are clearly not the best for playing. The best cards will come, you just need a little patience.

About the Author


Andrew Keyes is a poker enthusiast, a writer, researcher, speaker, and consultant. You can visit to get poker articles along with winning poker tips, tested poker strategies, the latest poker news, free poker tools, cool poker resources, and more! Visit today and you can download some of the best poker bots for automating your poker play!