2nd worst Texas Hold'Em Hand

Everyone knows 7-2 offsuit is the worst starting hand in Hold’Em. But what’s the 2nd worst starting hand?

I’m pretty sure it’s 32. 32 is slightly worse than 72 against certain sets of hands.

I used to have a link to a big table of hand values. I’ll see if I can find it.

Wouldn’t it be 72 suited?

Actually, from what I’ve been told, 72s is light years better than 72o.

I remember hearing that it was 83o or something like that… Not sure, though. I don’t THINK it’s 32, but like I said, I’m not certain.

It’s also possible, of course, that it’s a matter of opinion to SOME extent.

Here it is. 32 is the worst against a single random hand and 42 is the second worst. People don’t generally play their worst hands so the random stat doesn’t apply in most situations.

72 is the worst hand against a set of mostly good hands. I know there’s another table which shows this but I can’t find it at the moment.

Disagree. I know what you mean (certain styles of play may do better with certain hands than other styles would), but that’s a different question. The question here is: if you assumed nobody ever folded, then what percentage of the time would 7-2 offsuit win? And which hand is the next worst in terms of percentages?

I’d love to see that ranking of hand strength if you can find it.

The standard reference is from David Sklansky’s book “Hold’Em Poker for Advanced Players.”

There are two good charts online, one based on the expected value of each hand, and another more etailed one that weighs the value of each hand based on your position at the table. The first is a little easier to understand, but the second is really more detailed. Both are based on a study of 115 million hands at an online site.

If you’re in the big blind, the five best hands are AA, KK, QQ, AKs, and JJ. The worst are 94, J2, J3, T2, 73.

Just to follow up on what the OP, if you look at the charts I referenced (or any others), 72 offsuit is not generally the worst starting hand. Those would be 32s, 72s, 94s, 83s, and A2 offsuit. The general reason being that any flop that can help those hands is probably going to help someone else to a higher straight or flush.

Bear in mind that these expected values vary based on a number of variables, such as the size of your stack, your position at the table, the number of players left, and whether its a limit, no limit, or pot limit game. There’s also a difference if you’re playing a tournament or a ring game.

The worst hand is AA against some idiot with 4,6 off after he flops the nut straight.

It is really funny trying to explain to non-players how you got screwed:

“Oh, you got lots of bad hands?”

“'No, I got lots of good hands. No-one bets bad hands.”

“So how did your good hands lose?”


Be very wary of that chart. My guess is that it was generated by simply running those hands in a simulation against all other hands. It generates nice tables, but is probably wrong.

72 is the worst starting hand, because it is the smallest hand you can hold that can not also make a 2-card straight or flush. The other reason it is a worse hand than 32s won’t show up in simulation tables - it is worse because it is harder to play. With a hand like 32s, you are hoping to flop only two things - a straight draw or a flush draw. Or a miracle flop with two threes or two deuces. Anything else, and you pitch the hand. Therefore, it’s easy to play. But 72 will sometimes flop a 7, and sometimes it will be top pair or second pair, and in those circumstances it’s hard to play the hand well.

But forget about all these lower hands. All the profit you’ll make in holdem will generally come from the top few hands. For example, QJs only makes 1/10 of the profit of AA, and hands like J9s are barely break-even hands.

The only reason to play hands worse than that is for deception, or in circumstances where you are getting huge odds to hit your miracle hand. For example, if you’re in the big blind with 32s and ten people call a raise and you’re looking at calling one bet for pre-flop odds of 19:1, you should call. And if you don’t flop a flush or straight draw or trips, you can fold.

I’m also skeptical of those tables because they were based on “actual hands” at pokerroom.com. The Expected Values there reflect the styles of (mostly novice) players and may be different for people at a different skill level. Hence, they’re debatable depending on your style of play.
The only thing that’s not debatable is the win percentage of each hand assuming no one ever folded. That’s the table I’m looking for – not expected value but just win percentage over a random hand. Example: few people realize that even a pair of 2s is a mathematical favorite over AK offsuit. The reason AK is considered a good hand is because you win a lot of money when it does hit, so it has high expected value by most player’s styles; but if you removed betting from the game, then any pocket pair would win more often than AK.
Does anyone have the table of the raw mathematical win percentage of each hand?

Here you go. The first line says that it assumes all players stay till the end. There are also tables for games with less players.

For example, in the 10 player game, 22 is about 12 percent, while in the 2 player game, it is almost 50 percent.

Not math?

Shhh. The people at the casino I play might hear you. :slight_smile:

The first thing in any intorduction to Texas Hold Em is the concept of starting hands. There is much debate as to which hands are worthy of being played and when, but all agree that hands below a certain threshold are equally valueless.

Moved to CS.

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