You may be forgiven if you are reminded of some classic Kenny Rogers when I say that any hand you are dealt can be a winner or a loser. When you look at the cards in your hand, you have to weigh the probability of your hand improving with the next cards dealt and whether your opponent is holding a better hand than you. Below we list some of the dangerous poker hands to avoid, ranging from those that can trap the unsuspecting poker player to ones that should just be avoided because you should know better.
2-7 Off Suit
This is the worst hand in Texas Hold'em and is well known as such. Before you've even seen the flop, the hand has eliminated the possibility of either a straight (too large a gap between cards) or a flush (it is an off suit). If you are "lucky" enough to turn up a second 7, the odds are still against you, as your opponent will probably have a better hand. The best possible end to holding this hand is a full house, but the odds are remote at best. Even if your 2 - 7 happens to be suited, the chances of turning up a flush are remote and can be handily beaten by anyone with the same suited cards and a lead card of 8 or higher.
Queen-Jack Off Suit
This is one of the trapping hands that can hurt your stacks if you are not careful. Your first thought may be how can I go wrong with two face cards, but just because they look good pre-flop does not mean that they will look anywhere near as good afterwards. Yes, they are high cards, but they lose out to either a king or an ace, and with the two cards being off suit, the possibility of a flush is eliminated.
Save the small pairs for when you are in heads up play and you only have one opponent to beat. When you are holding a pair of fours in your mitts, but you have a couple opponents still in the hand, chances are that they will either have something better or have higher cards that they can beat you with the flop. If you go into a hand with a small pair and expect to come out with trips every time, your bankroll will pay the price.
Face Card - Low Card Unsuited
The gap between the cards eliminates any chance of a straight so you are left looking for a high pair that will see you through. If you hit a pair for your face cards than it is all good, but remember that the chances that you turn up one of the other three matching cards out of the entire deck is a slim proposition.
Ace - Low Card
You are either looking for another ace to pair your high card with or pair to the low card, which will give you an ace kicker to boot. Of course that only does you any good if the pair your opponent is holding either matches or is lower than your own.
Back in 2012 we wrote a blog post about playing A-J and A-10 that you might find useful, while they are not hands to avoid, they are hands that you should play with caution.