Suited connectors can be a tricky hand to play. But if you understand how to approach them correctly, they can prove extremely profitable. In this article, we’ll reveal the right way to play suited connectors in a range of scenarios.
What Are Suited Connectors?
As the name suggests, suited connectors are cards that are both from the same suit, that are also next to each other in terms of rank. An example would be the seven and the eight of clubs, or the Jack and Queen of hearts. This is predominantly a term used in Texas Hold’em, but it can be heard in other forms of poker too.
Although hands like K-Q suited are technically suited connectors, the term usually refers to those holdings without a picture card.
Introduction to Playing Suited Connectors
There is a good reason why this type of hand is considered attractive to many poker players. Suited connectors offer the potential to win a big pot while giving you the chance to easily get away if it doesn’t work out–if you play them correctly, that is.
A premium pocket pair is going to win you a small pot a lot of the time, but it can lead to trouble when you fall in love with the hand. There is obviously a far lower risk of being in that situation with suited connectors. However, the real beauty of this type of holding is their drawing potential. When you make your straight or flush, you can win a huge pot.
Since draws don’t hit all that often, it’s rarely a good strategy to limp with your connecting cards. Doing so doesn’t give you enough to play with when the flop fails to deliver, so it’s important to play suited connectors aggressively pre-flop. This way, if you miss, you can still take a stab with a continuation bet and have a chance to win.
Position and Suited Connectors
As with any type of poker hand, the position is an important consideration when playing suited connectors. Whenever your opponent acts after you, you are at a huge disadvantage. Playing this type of hand out of position is not especially profitable, so proceed with caution. For instance, you should only call a pre-flop raise with such a hand on rare occasions.
You might look to use this type of holding to balance out your range from time to time. For the most part, you should fold suited connectors whenever you are in an early position. However, if you’re nearer to the button, they become much stronger.
They are usually worth a raise if it folds around to you in a late position. You may find yourself picking up a fair number of pots uncontested.
How to Play Suited Connectors After the Flop
If you do find a call, you’ll hold a big advantage when playing post-flop due to your initial raise. Almost all of the time, you’ll be looking to throw out a continuation bet as it’s hard to put you on this type of holding. Assuming you don’t take the pot uncontested, the texture of the flop will determine how to proceed next.
If you made absolutely no draws at all, there’s no need to be stubborn. Remember that part of the attraction of suited connectors is that they are easy to get away from. On the other hand, if you flopped a straight or flush draw, you would have to start sizing your bets accordingly, to make sure you get the right pot odds to continue drawing.
Mistakes to Avoid With Suited Connectors
Let’s take a look at some common errors that poker players make with this type of holding.
If you’re facing a three-bet when holding suited connectors, you’re likely to be beaten. Even so, you may wish to balance out your four-bet range by bluffing with this type of holding.
The problem is that, in order to get a bluff through, you need your opponent to be holding the same kind of cards. And they are far less likely to be semi-bluffing with a hand like A-6 if you’re holding a 6 too. So as a rule, avoid four-betting with suited connectors.
Overplaying Against Small Stacks
It’s true that suited connectors should always be played aggressively, but poker is all about situations. There is rarely a strategy that applies to all spots, all of the time. This is no exception.
Think about how shorter stacks are going to play when facing a raise. They are never going to flat call. If they opt to play, they are likely to get their money in. If they do, you have no room to play post-flop. This removes one of the biggest reasons to play these hands in the first place.
Similarly, if it’s the short stack doing the three bettings, don’t flat call in that spot. Remember that you’re often playing suited connectors because of the implied winning potential. If the opponent has little left behind, you’re not going to get the required return on investment.
Overplaying Against Calling Stations
Again, it’s always important to remember why you are playing this type of hand at all. One of the main factors is that they make great semi-bluffing hands. Against a player who never folds, however, this benefit is completely negated. You can afford to slow down against this type of player.
Now that you have learned how to play suited connectors in Hold’em, why not sign up for a free account at Natural8, where you can test out what you have learned so far?