- »Tips For Playing Suited Connectors
Tips For Playing Suited Connectors
Suited connectors are some of the most misplayed starting hands in Texas Hold’em. They are packed with potential if you play them correctly but are weak if you don’t.
This bracket of hands is great for adding more holdings to your starting hand requirements. I am amazed when I hear a fellow poker player say they never play suited connectors. They’re missing out on both fun and potential profits.
Not playing suited connectors and sticking to solid, made hands can work for some players. This super-tight style is easy to read and exploit and simply doesn’t work against a thinking player. Add these cards to your arsenal and watch more money roll in.
What Are Suited Connectors?
Any cards that are consecutive and the same suit are classified as suited connectors. Hands such as 3h-2h, 8s-7s, and Jc-Tc are suited connectors.
There are also one-gapped suited connectors. These are cards separated by one pip but still the same suit. Think Td-8d and 8c-6c for example.
Adding these cards to your starting hands creates a number of benefits for your game. Playing them makes you more difficult to read because you’re playing more hands. It also gives you more opportunities to win big pots by cracking made hands. They also make it possible win more pots by bluffing on favorable boards.
Suited connectors do have weaknesses as any poker hand does. They are weak unless they improve after the flop. Playing 9h-8h means you only have nine-high, which obviously isn’t very strong at all.
Playing lower suited connectors can also leave you in a tricky spot even if you improve your hand. Hitting a flush with 7h-6h leaves you vulnerable against higher flushes.
These Hands Have Tons of Potential
You’ll find playing suited connectors becomes more profitable when you have position on your opponents. This is true for all hands, but especially suited connectors.
Opening for a raise in early position with these hands can be a costly mistake unless you’re a superb hand reader. They’re awesome, however, to open with in late position.
Raising with suited connectors disguises the strength of your hand. Most players automatically put a preflop raiser on a strong pair or strong ace when opening with a raise. Imagine their horror when they discover you’ve raised with 9c-8c. Now every raise you make has them second-guessing themselves.
Three-betting preflop with suited connectors also has its merits. You’re essentially semi-bluffing and hoping to flop a straight, flush, or draw and crack powerful hands such as queens, kings, or aces.
Calling a raise with suited connectors is another viable option, especially when you’re in position. Tight opponents are the best to call against because their opening ranges are so narrow. You can all but guarantee to be paid off if you manage to hit your draw with a king or an ace showing.
How To Proceed When You Hit Your Hand
Let’s start off by letting you know you’re going to miss a lot of flops with these hands. A hand such as 7d-6d makes it to the flop 65.4% of the time without improving from seven-high.
You’ll flop a weak pair 10.3% of the time and middle pair 15% of the time. These aren’t figures that fill you with confidence. You will, however, flop an open-ended straight draw 9.6% of the time, a flush draw 10.9% of the time and a gutshot 16.6% of the time.
This is where playing draws fast can become very profitable. Your opponents’ tendencies and how preflop went have a major bearing in what you do next. Raising or three-betting preflop then flopping a draw allows you to continue aggressively. Your opponents won’t put you on a draw, more a made hand trying to protect itself.
Conversely, you can always opt to call your opponents bets or check-call. Check-calling can be a good play even if it looks weak. Check-calling can also give the impression you have a hand like a set. A raise on the river when your draws missed looks super strong under the correct circumstances.