How to Play Suited Connectors
In No-limit Texas Hold'em, suited connectors can be very fun and rewarding when played well. You play them to win big pots, usually by trapping aggressive poker players who can't lay down good hands after the flop. To play them profitably, you should only enter the flop with suited connectors when the right conditions are met.
As they are highly speculative hands, you should only play suited connectors when you expect to get paid off big when you do hit your straight or flush. At the same time, you don't want to spend too much money just to see the flop.
Early or Middle position.
The problem with limping in from early position is the danger of being reraised. You simply cannot afford to call too big a preflop raise with suited connectors, no matter how nice or playable they look. Doing so will cost you alot of money in the long run.
Hence, you normally shouldn't play this hand in early or middle position.
Late position. Raised pot. 2 or more callers in front of you.
This is the ideal situation when holding suited connectors. Here you want to call and try to hit the flop hard. By entering the flop with more opponents, you increase the chance that one of your opponents will hit something on the flop and bet out, giving you the implied odds needed to play your suited connectors profitably.
Late position. Unraised pot. 2 or more limpers in front of you.
Normally, with suited connectors, you can simply call to see the flop cheap. Occasionally, you can try to make the following play to steal the pot, especially when the table is tight.
Your opponents have all shown weakness by limping in. Most probably they are playing very speculative hands. Raise here to represent a big hand while attempting to buy the button at the same time. Your raise here should be about 3BB plus 1BB for every limper in front of you - the same raise that you will make as if you are holding a big pocket pair. Your preflop raise alone should chase away a couple of opponents.
If the flop doesn't indicate anyone had hit anything decent and everyone checks to you, a continuation bet will usually be sufficient to take down the pot, since there should only be one or two opponents remaining in the hand. Try not to do this too often. It wouldn't take long for an observant opponent to notice you frequently raise from position and soon, your continuation bets will be no longer be respected anymore.
Playing the Flop
When playing suited connectors, you want to flop a monster or a good draw to the nuts. While its nice to flop a straight once in a while, realistically, you are looking to hit a nice draw against a deep-stacked opponent. The probability of hitting an open-ended or a double belly buster straight draw on the flop is 10.45% (8.6 to 1). Odds of flopping a flush draw is 8.1 to 1 (10.94%). There is also a slim 3.34% (29 to 1) chance of making either trips or two pair on the flop.
|Common poker hands on the flop when holding suited connectors||Odds||Percentage Chance|
|One pair||2.7 to 1||26.94%|
|Two pairs||49 to 1||2%|
|Trips||73.6 to 1||1.34%|
|Straight draw (8 outer)||8.6 to 1||10.45%|
|Flush draw||8.1 to 1||10.94%|
|Straight||75.3 to 1||1.31%|
|Flush||118 to 1||0.84%|
|Full house||1087 to 1||0.092%|
This is the most common flop. That's why you don't want to spend too much money to see the flop because usually this is what you get to see - nothing.
Normally you should just check or fold. However, if there was no preflop raise, you should occasionally fire off a bet to steal the pot. That's why you play suited connectors from late position. By utilizing position to steal a pot every now and then, you should be able to recoup some of the costs of playing such speculative hands. Of course, do make sure the calling station is not in the hand when you try to steal.
Flopping a Good Draw
By good draw I mean at least an 8 outer straight draw or a four-flush draw. You are hoping to hit your straight or flush on the turn and take down a huge pot.
|Common draws on the flop when holding suited connectors||No. of Outs||Chance to Hit...|
|By Turn||By River|
Again, playing from late position gives you tremendous advantage. If everyone checks to you, you can attempt a semi-bluff by firing off a bet of about 1/2 the size of the pot. If the preflop aggressor bets and you are last to call, you usually have very good pot odds to call and see the turn card.
Playing The Turn and The River
If you did not hit your straight or flush by the , your best option is to try to see the river card for free. Many a times, a scare card will land on the turn and your opponent may check to you. Conversely, be prepared to lay down your hand if your opponent bets strong on the turn as you no longer have the odds needed to play this hand.
If you do hit your monster, its time to extract as much money as possible from your opponent. Never give your opponent a free card by checking. You should bet out as there is always a chance that one of your opponents has a gutshot or backdoor draw to a bigger straight or flush.