Top 5 Worst Starting Hands for Texas Hold 'Em Poker

You gotta know when to fold 'em

At the begging of each round of Texas Hold 'Em poker, you are dealt two cards. These are your hole cards or starting hand. Those hole cards can eventually be used with the cards revealed in the flop, turn and river to assemble a (hopefully) winning hand.

After you are dealt your starting cards, there is a round of betting. At this point, players look at their hold cards and choose to check, bet or fold. Anyone who doesn't fold after viewing his hole cards then sees the three flop cards....MORE Another round of betting occurs before the turn card is dealt. A round of betting also precedes the river card. There is then one more round of betting, and the best five-card hand wins. That hand may or may not contain the hole cards. 

Some starting two-card hands are more likely to work well with the other cards in the deck than others. Of all the possible starting hands you can be dealt in Texas Hold 'Em, the following five hands are the least welcome. If you're dealt one of these hands, there are almost no circumstances in which you should play them. If you see these particular card combinations in your starting hand, your best option is to fold 'em. 

  • 01 of 05

    A 2-7 offsuit hand is the worst hand to start with in Texas Hold 'Em poker because there are so few good options available to you: you have no straight draw, no flush draw, and even if you wind up with a pair of 7s or a pair of 2s, you're unlikely to have the best hand. Of course, you'll see some crazy flops every now and then, but just because you see a rare 7-7-2 flop once in a blue moon doesn't make this a good hand to play.

  • 02 of 05

    Everything that can be said about the 2-7 offsuit starting hand also applies to the 2-8 offsuit hand. It is only slightly better than a 2-7 offsuit because the 8 is better than the 7. For the same reasons, you have no good options going forward with this hand. It is best to drop out before the betting begins.

  • 03 of 05

    The 3-8 offsuit hand is another horrible starting hand for Texas Hold 'Em poker. Not much help can come from the flop or the turn here. Best wait for a better hand than to stick with this highly unlikely winner.

  • 04 of 05

    The 2-9 offsuit hand is only slightly better than the other hands in the bottom five worst-hands list and even then it is because the 9 high a high card. All the same criticisms of the previous hands apply to this one as well.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Of the 169 possible starting hands in Texas Hold 'Em poker, this one ranks 165th. That's not something to crow about. Face it, you're having a bad day when you see any of these five hands. Poker is a fun game but playing this hand is just asking for a headache.