been called one of the most famous hands
in Poker History, and was first reported
in Al Alverez?s book "The Greatest
Game in Town".
The bluffer in question was the late
great Jack Straus who had won the Poker
World Series in 1982.
The game was No Limit Hold Em and
Strauss started with a 7?2 off suit, the
worst starting hand in poker. Strauss
should have just folded straight away but
he actually raised, as a result all but
one of his opponents put their cards down,
with the remaining player calling. The
flop produced 7-3-3.
Straus was now holding 2 pair, however
he had the worst possible kicker. The
obvious question and the one which Straus
would have been thinking is what possible
hand could his opponent have to have
called that initial raise and how likely
is it that it would contain either a 7 or
Straus bets again but immediately knows
he has made a terrible error as his
opponent raises him $5,000. The obvious
conclusion is that his opponent has a big
pair, and the percentage play is to cut
his losses and fold. But Straus calls
sowing a tiny seed of doubt. The turn card
is dealt and it?s a 2, this pairs Straus?s
other card but does not improve his hand
in the slightest. He knows his hand is a
Straus now throws in a massive bet of
$18,000, that seed of doubt is now
germinating!! Silence. This is when the
magic of this hand which has gone down in
history really begins to manifest itself.
As his opponent contemplates his next move
Straus strikes. "I?ll tell you
what" he says leaning forward nice
and friendly "Just give me one of
those $25 chips of yours, and you can see
one of my cards, whichever you
His opponent thinks for a while, and
finally decides what has he got to lose.
He throws over the $25 chip and points to
one of the two cards in front of Straus.
Straus flips over the two!! Those seeds of
doubt have now become fully grown. The
obvious conclusion is that Jack Straus has
a pair of 2?s and therefore a Full
His opponent folds a winning hand and
Straus takes the pot.
If his opponent had picked his other
card instead, the seven, the outcome would
have been exactly the same. Brilliant!!!