I decided to take one of the most disliked hands of all time, the seven-deuce offsuit, to begin a new series called the hand of the week. Is 72 offsuit the worst starting hand in heads-up poker? What about in heads-up hyper-turbos?
I have always found the 72 offsuit easy and enjoyable to play in heads-up hyper-turbos. I use a polarized hand range, especially in the early blind levels. This means that I play the worst and the best part of my range in the same style. Betting with the polarized range gives me the possibility to put maximum pressure on opponents on the later streets and make them fold better hands than I am holding.
There are two different aspects to consider when you’re opening from the small blind with a hand like 72 offsuit. First, you have to have the courage to bluff and often on multiple streets as well. We want to play 72 offsuit in the same way as Ace-King offsuit or any other hand from the top of our range.
For example, we min-bet from the button to 40$ (10/20 blind level/500 stacks) and the big blind calls $20. The flop brings A85 rainbow. What should we do? Continue betting around $25-$30 to the flop of $80. If opponent calls and the turn brings Q, what should we then do? We should bet again because Q hits our range better and our villain is going to have a hard time calling the bet with third or fourth pair. Especially when the bet is 1/3 size of his stack.
How Can You Make a Profit With 72 Offsuit?
I took a report from the Holdem manager 2 to see how my polarized preflop strategy works with 72 offsuit. I took a couple of reports from different networks and they all had similar results. As an example from PokerStars, I had 117 occasions in where I was dealt 72o and I bet from the button. As we can see below, the 72 offsuit was, as I predicted, profitable to play aggressively from the small blind.
Is the 72 offsuit worst starting hand in poker? I think that is not a relevant question. It is all based on your strategy and how you balance your value range with bluffs. I use 72 offsuit as a combo to balance my value combos and that’s why I play it aggressively from the small blind. And yes, you can make a profit with 72 offsuit with the right strategy.
Do you want to know which hands I’m raising from the button with? Go to the charts page and download my battle-tested strategy and improve your game.