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Zilch or Zip

What is ‘Zilch or Zip’?

When you hear the term zilch or sometimes zip, it means that the player is holding a hand that is worth nothing. This hand is not valuable, and unless the player chooses to redraw their entire hand, they are very unlikely to win the pot. Another term used to describe a worthless hand is a 'garbage hand’.

‘Zilch or Zip’ Explained

The phrase zilch, or zip is the name given to a worthless hand. A hand of no value has been given this name because the terms zilch and zip are both synonyms of nothing or zero.If a player thinks that they have zilch or zip, they are holding a hand that is not worth playing. In this instance, they could either choose to draw all five cards again, or enter the showdown without the possibility of a payout.An example of a hand that is worth zilch or zip would contain five cards that cannot be combined in any such way that is valuable. This could be: a two, a five, a seven, a ten, and a Jack, all unsuited.This combination of cards is worthless because they cannot be made into a flush or a straight, and it does not contain any pairs.It is said that the least valuable starting hand in a game of poker is a pair of cards consisting of a two and a seven, offsuited. This is typically thought to be the worst hand because of its poor potential to be developed into anything valuable. Just like the example above, this starting hand is unlikely to be made into a flush or a straight. It is even less valuable if the two cards belong to different suits, which is what ‘unsuited’ refers to.A player dealt a hand that is zilch or zip is unlikely to have much success in the round unless they redraw all their cards.