I’m often asked “what’s the worst thing about playing poker?” and as I try not to answer, all “those stupid questions”, I usually cover myself my saying it’s when you get the uglies dealt to you. That’s when you get dealt the terrible two / seven, and when that happens you just have to sit and take it. Playing with it is like trying to huggle a porcupine.
What’s so bad about it? Well 2/7 are the lowest two cards you can be dealt that cannot make a straight (you’d need 4 cards, between 2 and 7 to make them both work). Even if they’re suited, they would make a very poor flush, and if either pairs, it’s still an awfully low hand. Because of the horrors associated with the hand, some (wild) players will play it for kicks and in online games, it is often known as “the hammer.” More sensible players or players who actually prefer winning to just tossing money around, see it as the road sign to foldsville. If you play a 2 /7 pre flop it suggests you prefer losing poker hands to making useful things like full houses or royal flushes. Playing 2/7 will always provoke comment around the table, and will often get you a cool nickname (I knew someone who became known as “Dangerous” based solely on his habit of going in on a 2 /7) and to be honest once in a while you’ll flop (or river) a winning hand, but to what cost? If you do win a hand that started with 2/7 you will get your back slapped and there will be big talk about the size of your big balls, and how much fun it is to play you and what a lunatic you are, but to me those sort of plaudits are also given out to the kids in the playground who eat sand for a dare.
The most logical, long term, poker table strategy to employ when you are faced with a 2 / 7 in a game of Texas Hold`Em is to get in the practice of folding your hand. This message isn’t getting through to a lot of online poker players. These players go into the game with the attitude that they can win with any of the poker hands they are dealt, because they live by the mantra that you play the player, not the cards. Playing the man not the cards is a legitimate game plan, but you still need to treat your hand with the respect it deserves (or lack thereof). Nearly nothing can turn this hand into a winner when you play poker, so FOLD. If you don’t you’ll learn the expensive way that you should’ve.
There’s another reason why you should fold on a 2/7. If you don’t fold a bad hand (even if you luck out and win the hand) everyone will happily go against you when you bluff. If you seem like the sort of player who’ll chase a 2/7 then you’ll look like the player who’ll gamble on raindrops. Bluffing is a big part of the game of poker and silly schoolyard habits will only hurt your image of a serious player, and serious players are the risky one’s to call on a bluff. Your cards are actually irrelevant when you bluff and you will actually be playing poker with your reputation or your perceived image and if that image is of a guy who goes in on 2 /7 then your bluff won’t work and that earlier hand you stayed in on with 2/7 will have cost you money twice.
When you see 2 /7 FOLD unless you’ve cultivated an image that will support your bluff.