February 21, 2023

The Worst Starting Hands in Poker

Emily Tremblay
Written byEmily TremblayWriter

Poker is one of the two games of chance and skill, the other being blackjack. Players must make decisions based on the luck of the draw and their knowledge of the game. One of the most critical decisions a poker player must make is their starting hand. The starting hand is the two cards a player is dealt at the beginning of a round. This combination can determine the player's overall success in the game.

The Worst Starting Hands in Poker

That said, starting hands can vary in strength, depending on the game. For example, a pair of aces is considered a strong starting hand in Texas Hold 'em. However, in games like Omaha, a couple of aces are not as strong. The strength of the starting hand also depends on the number of players and the level of competition.

That's why knowing the best and worst poker starting hands is imperative. Players must learn the hands to play or fold. This guidepost discusses all that and more!

Poker Starting Hands to Avoid 

The five worst poker starting hands are 7-2 offsuit, 7-3 offsuit, 7-4 offsuit, 2-7 offsuit, and 3-7 offsuit. These hands are considered the weakest starting hands in poker and should be avoided at all costs. Below is a detailed explanation:

7-2 offsuit – 0.0015%

This is the absolute worst starting hand in  video poker. This hand has two non-connected cards of different suits, like seven of clubs and two of diamonds. The thing is that a 7-2 offsuit has no chance whatsoever of making a straight or flush. The only way to win with it is to hit a pair. 

Instead of playing 7-2 offsuit, a player can play 7-2 suit. This hand has a slightly better chance of hitting a flush or a straight. However, a 7-2 suit is still considered a weak hand.

7-3 offsuit – 0.0024%

This hand is also considered a "sucker" combo in video poker games. It's a weak starting hand, with two 7 and 3 cards of different suits, like seven of clubs and three of diamonds. Like a 7-2 offsuit, this hand has no chance of creating a straight or a flush or hitting a pair.

7-4 offsuit – 0.0032%

Here is another poor starting hand in poker to watch out for. An example of this hand is seven of clubs and  four of diamonds. Like the other two poker hands above, this hand has no chance of making a straight, flush, or hitting a pair.

The other two poker starting hands to avoid are 2-7 offsuit and 3-7 offsuit. These hands have no chance of making a straight or flush and have a low probability of hitting a pair. The payout percentage for 2-7 and 3-7 offsuit are 0.0037% and 0.0041%, respectively. 

These percentages are from 1,326 possible hand combinations of two cards in a 52-card deck. That applies to hold'em poker variants like Texas Hold 'em Bonus, Ultimate Texas Hold 'em, etc. So, in a nine-player game, the percentages of the worst poker starting hands are very low.

Strategies to Avoid Playing the Worst Poker Starting Hands

The most straightforward way of avoiding the worst poker starting hands percentages is to play the suited combinations. For instance, instead of playing 7-2 offsuit, a gamer can play 7-2 suit. This hand has a slightly better chance of hitting a flush or a straight. However, this combination is still considered a weak poker hand.

Another way to avoid the unfriendly poker starting hands is to fold pre-flop. This is, in fact, the most effective way to dodge these poker hands. Remember, the percentages of the worst poker starting hands are very low. Therefore, folding pre-flops at the best online casinos in 2023 is a no-brainer.

Meanwhile, players can raise a pre-flop to avoid the worst poker starting hands. Raising a pre-flop is an excellent way to scare off naive players who may have a stronger starting hand. This way, players can quit the pot without playing the hand.

Last but definitely not least, gamers can re-raise the pre-flop. This is an ideal way to take control of the pot and win it without playing with weak hands. This strategy is excellent if a player has a strong starting hand like Ace-Ace or King-King and wants to take advantage of the situation.

Common Mistakes Players Make with Poker Starting Hands

One of the most obvious mistakes poker players make with their starting hands is playing with weak hands. This is especially true with green hands. These players may not know the strength of their starting hands and end up playing with weak hands. Such can be a grave mistake on a table filled with experienced players. 

Another common mistake among poker players is playing hands that are too strong. Although this might sound confusing, playing with hands that are too strong can be self-destructing. Players who make this move often overvalue their hands, losing more than they would have had they folded.

All in all, poker players must avoid playing with hands that they do not understand. This mistake can lead to playing hands that should be folded. So, learn a thing or six about strong poker hands before playing. 

Tips for Playing the Best Starting Hands in Poker

It's critical to choose the best starting hands when playing poker. But that's easier said than done, as poker involves many calculations. Below are some helpful tips for selecting the best poker starting hands:

  • Know the strength of your starting hand: This point is self-explanatory. Depending on the game variation and rules, players must know the strong and weak hands. 
  • Know the playing position: Here is another simple piece of poker advice. Players must know when to play aggressively and conservatively. They must not fumble on the table and expose their soft underbellies.
  • Observe other players: Paying attention to what other players do on the table is critical. After all, the opponent most likely has an eye out. Players must know when to bluff and when to fold. And remember, experienced players will quickly tell when their opponent is bluffing. It's still worth a try, though!
  • Play aggressively with a strong starting hand: Opportunities don't come often in poker. As such, play the strong starting hands aggressively whenever possible. This means raising pre-flop and betting aggressively on the post-flop.
  • Play conservatively with a weak starting hand: This is the opposite of aggressively playing a solid starting hand. Always fold a pre-flop and bet conservatively on the post-flop.

Final Words

By following these well-thought-out tips and avoiding the five worst poker starting hands, gamers can improve their chances of success. Keep these tips in mind to become a successful poker player. And by the way, players never stop learning new strategies in poker. But most importantly, results in poker and all other casino games are determined by luck, meaning no strategy is 100% correct.

About the author
Emily Tremblay
Emily Tremblay

Emily, a dynamic blend of tech-savvy and casino enthusiast, hails from the snowy landscapes of Canada. With her innate grasp of cultural nuances, she ensures online casino guides resonate deeply with Canadians. Emily's spirited and engaging nature makes her a favourite among peers.

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