There’s a day for everything, whether it be National Dog Day or International Polar Bear Day (yes, that’s a real thing). So, why shouldn’t poker have its own holidays.
PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, is promoting International Bluff Day. And what better day for that holiday than July 2? That day, of course, is 7-2, which just so happens to be the ultimate bluffing hand.
The online poker site’s YouTube channel recently posted a video explaining the origin of the bluff. And it’s a completely accurate story. Okay, no it isn’t, but it was entertaining. Have a look.
The poker hand 7-2 is considered the worst hand in Texas hold’em. That is because the hand has a very low expected value, and most players instantly fold it pre-flop unless in the big blind in a non-raised pot.
If you’re playing 7-2 and you aren’t in the big blind, chances are you are a fish. Or, you are playing the seven-deuce game, which is a fun and exciting way to spice up the action at the table.
You won’t find this game at most local card rooms, or any tournaments, at least not in the low stakes games. But it’s prevalent in higher stakes cash games. You may have seen it played on televised cash game shows in the past.
How the seven-deuce game works
How the game works is anyone who wins a hand with 7-2 is paid a bounty by every player at the table. It doesn’t matter if you hit a full house, bottom pair, or were just bluffing. If you show down 7-2 and ship the pot, everyone at the table owes you money. The amount won depends on what the players agree to before play begins.
The purpose of the game is to add an extra element to no-limit Texas hold’em, and to increase action. Many players will take big risks bluffing with 7-2 just to win with that hand in the seven-deuce game.
PokerStars is trying to push July 2 to be the International Bluff Day. And why not? There isn’t a better day for that, and poker deserves its own holiday.
There is some risk when you’re playing in a seven-deuce game. If you get caught up in trying to show off when you win with 7-2, you might end losing more than the risk was worth. And that’s what makes it so exciting to add this component to a Texas hold’em game.
The most famous bluff with 7-2 came in an old High Stakes Poker episode. Phil Hellmuth showed no fear against Matusow’s pocket kings.
The “Poker Brat” made a three-bet pre-flop to $7,000 and “The Mouth” just called.
The flop came Q-6-J and both players surprisingly checked. Hellmuth then led for $17,000 when the 8 landed on the turn, and his opponent called with nothing.
The board-pairing 6 turned over on the river and the action got intense. With $49,100 in the pot, Hellmuth fired off a bet of $40,000. Matusow, who had about $60,000 left behind, tanked as he pondered his move.
“I know Phil never makes a big bet unless he has it, that’s the thing,” Matusow said as he considered his tough decision. “This sucks. I know you hit a two-outer on me.”
He then folded and showed his pocket kings. Hellmuth then turned over his 7-2 for a sick bluff. Everyone at the table shipped Hellmuth a $100 chip for winning with the worst hand in poker.
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