Suited connectors are the type of hand that will usually cost
you the least to play with, but will also net you some of the
biggest pots of your career. They don’t look like much from the
outset, especially if you are new to the game of poker, but they
are actually incredibly valuable. Think about how deceptive a
hand like 6h 9h is when compared to something like AK. With
AK, you are going to be 3-betting and playing the hand
somewhat face up in many pots, but with 6h 9h, your opponent
won’t know the difference between a bluff and the nuts if you
play your cards right.
This is the beauty in playing suited
connectors. If you want to dominate cash games, you’ll start
playing suited connectors whenever a potentially profitable
situation arises. You are definitely going to totally brick the
flop more often than not, but it’s those times where you
connect that a potential goldmine awaits.
Flopping a Big Hand
One of the primary mistakes that poker players make with
suited connectors is not being able to aptly determine what
constitutes a big hand with a suited connector. If you don’t
know what you are looking for, it will be difficult to decide
whether or not you should continue on with the pot. Using the 6h 9h
example above, while disregarding the actual pre-flop action,
you aren’t going to be thrilled when a lone 6 comes on the
A pair isn’t the type of thing that you are looking for.
Pairs and other types of made hands that are actually misses
will be enough to suck you into paying off your opponent, but
not enough to win many pots. With suited connectors, you need to
go after the big hands, ranging from two pair all the way up to
the flopped nuts.
How you proceed with a big flopped hand is an art form in and
of itself. You’ll need to analyze where exactly you stand in
relation to your opponent, what you are going to do if certain
cards fall, and how you are going to extract the most money
possible. Once you decide to run with a suited connector that
has hit the flop hard, you need to be positive that you have a
sound and complete game plan in place for the remainder of the
hand. A lack of preparedness is going to crush your chances of
success not only with big suited connector hands, but with just
about any other hand you flop hard with, too.
Missing the Flop
The true temptation with suited connectors and missed flops
is found in the opportunity to attempt bluffs. Sometimes you’ll want to continue with a hand like AQ after you missed,
using the consolation that it has a legitimate chance to improve
down the line. With suited connectors that miss the flop,
however, you are left with virtually nothing to look forward to.
The reason that a lot of players end up losing a ton with missed
flops and suited connectors is that they see no other way out. Instead
of sacrificing a relatively small pot, they use a missed flop as
their chance to try and be aggressive.
Missed flops are the exact type of situation where you need
to cut your losses and move on. There’s only minimal value in
trying to make plays in these situations, and this is for a
handful of reasons. First, as mentioned previously, you don’t
have many ways to significantly improve your hand. This means
that you are going to win by getting folds and by getting folds
Second, your opponent is unlikely to give you credit. If
you called a raise or limped into the pot, a board with high
cards is unlikely to have connected with your typical range.
Yes, you’ll manage to procure a fold from time to time, but
you are going to spend an awful lot of money attempting to win
what amounts to a select few pots. All things considered, giving
up is usually going to be your go-to move with suited connectors
on a bricked flop.
Playing Draws on the Flop
If you are playing a lot of suited connectors, you are going
to wind up flopping a ton of straight and flush draws. As
exciting as these types of hands may be, you need to always
remember that they aren’t made hands. Some over anxious players
tend to go wild with draws as if they have already landed the
immortal nuts. Instead of doing this, you should be working to
figure out how you can best play the hand so that it is both
deceptive and capable of achieving max value should you be able
Every hand is different from the next, there’s no doubt about
it. As a result, you should not be adapting the same strategies
in each and every hand that you play. If you are facing an
aggressive player who can make folds, big raises can be huge
winners given the inherent fold equity in play. If you are up
against a passive player who calls anything, then leading out
until you hit and betting larger when you complete your
hand can be the optimal strategy.
Fold equity is one of the biggest factors in play with
flopped draws. Fold equity is the value that you have in your
hand when you can raise and get folds when compared with the
times where you raise, get called, and manage to hit your hand.
Don’t get the money all in by any means necessary. Look for ways
to get folds as much as possible, while also having a good
chance of hitting your hand on the turn or the river.
An open shove is asking for trouble with draws, but a check raise is
wildly profitable. With a check raise you make money from their
bet and have many outs if they call your raise. When you shove
all in, however, you only get called by better hands and make no
extra money. As you can see, the differences in long term
profitability are significant.
Playing Draws Post-Flop
Just as you needed to be creative in the ways that you play
your draws on the flop, you’ll still need to proceed with
caution post-flop. If you hit your hand, don’t make it obvious
to everyone at the table. Think about how your opponents will
perceive any play and then construct a plan to throw them off
their game. If you check called the flop, think about leading
the turn if you miss. If you check raised the turn when you hit,
think about checking the river. There are many ways to play your
made draws deceptively post-flop, and the harder that it is to
put you on a hand, the more money that you’ll potentially
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