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What Is Offsuit in Poker Games?

Dominic Field

Feb 6, 2024

2-7 Offsuit in Poker

If you’re new to the game, the sheer number of poker terms and phrases can be overwhelming. You won’t become fluent overnight, so take it one step at a time, starting with one of the most basic live and online poker terms: “offsuit”. 

What does it mean to have an offsuit poker hand? Let’s find out.

The Meaning of Poker Offsuit

So you’ve learned the Texas Hold’em rules and are sitting in your first-ever game. Early on, an opponent shows 8 7 while scooping a pot. Another player exclaims, “You’re lucky, good players don’t play offsuit poker hands like that.”

Your mind immediately thinks “What does ‘offsuit poker’ mean?”

It’s just a way to express the opposite of “suited”. If two hole cards are of the same suit, i.e. two spades or two hearts, your hand is suited. However, different suits are described as “offsuit”, or “unsuited”. 

If you’re going to learn how to play Omaha, you can carry this term with you. Actually, in any form of poker, offsuit is synonymous with unsuited. It’s just more common in Hold’em and Omaha. 

How to Apply Offsuit Poker Strategy

There isn’t really an offsuit poker strategy. The term is more of a descriptive one, often used when running through hand histories. However, whether or not a hand is suited does make a slight difference to the way you play.

Let’s look at how these hands affect your strategy in Omaha and Texas Hold’em. We’ll also discuss what is the best “offsuit” in poker games.

Poker Offsuit in Omaha

In Omaha poker, offsuit means two things. A hand like A K K Q is certainly offsuit, since all four cards are different. However, you have four cards, so you should think of them in pairs. This same hand is really pocket kings with ace-queen offsuit.

Fully offsuit poker hands are some of the very worst starting hands in Omaha. The optimal strategy requires all four hole cards to be connected in some way. The ability to make one flush is good, but two possibilities are even better. 

Poker Offsuit in Texas Hold’em

Offsuit poker hands are more valuable in Hold’em than in Omaha. Sure, you’d always prefer A K to A K, but the latter isn’t massively inferior. 

Imagine you’re against Q Q, for example. A K wins 46.02% of the time, while A K triumphs in 43.03% of cases. This is the best type of offsuit hand, as you would never call a pocket pair offsuit.

So, in Hold’em poker, offsuit hands can be played more confidently in all but the most marginal of spots.

Final Notes on Offsuit Poker

Understanding the different poker terms and phrases is important for many reasons. But something else that’s crucial if you're going to be a success, whether playing live or online, is reviewing hand histories.

When looking over old hands, knowing the difference between offsuit poker hands and those that are suited is critical. Some hands should be excluded from your ranges if they are not suited. No matter if it’s Hold’em or Omaha poker, offsuit hands are marginally less valuable than their suited counterparts. 

Put your newfound knowledge into practice today and jump into some online poker games at Natural8.