Connectors in NL Hold’Em – Everyone loves to play suited cards, especially suited cards in no limit hold em. The easiest way to silly it; go to a WSOP event, and see how many times a layer of Suit comes up against a similar card, such as a 9/5 Jack.
It’s a natural human impulse to want to play suited cards when you have pocket pairs or Feature Suited. Even though it’s a relatively unimportant hand, it can still net you a nice win – just like flushes win often in PLO (and etc, etc).
First, Royale, the queen of bust hands, is best played against 3 opponents, since it has the highest chance of winning the biggest pots. Second, the 10/10 Jack has most chance of winning a small pot. And the 8/6 Ace is the second-best hand to play against one opponent.
However, these are not the most likely hands to win a huge pot, or even a moderate-sized pot. That would be hands like 9/6 Jack, or 8/5 Ace. These hands, even though they are extremely strong, are more difficult to play against than say, 6/5 Jack.
Why? Because they cost more to play. Let’s say you hold 6/5 Jacks. You raise in early position. You get one caller. The flop, again, is 5/5 Jack. You check down, and your opponent bets out half the pot. You decide to call, and you stay in the hand, knowing you may still be ahead.
The turn gives you a full house. But, it doesn’t stop there. Another player, also in early position, takes a stab at the pot with a raise of his/her own. Both of you can now see that there’s a lot of money in the pot. And the more players there are in the pot, the more people are eating the pot. That means overall that the pot odds get better for you, the better your chance of winning!
Connectors in NL Hold’Em stand a chance to win big pots
Of course suited connectors also have opportunities to win big pots, too! But, play them selectively, especially in early and middle position. Suited cards that have connectors on the flop, as well as high cards that follow on the flop (flush and straight possibilities) have better chances of winning those hands, even if other players don’t see that they’re beat.
For example, you have 6/5 Suited Connectors (JJ, QQ, KK, AA) in middle position. There are three players in the pot, and you could get a bet of 8 times the big blind or more to play them heads-up. Fold.
You have 7/6 Suited Connectors (AA, KK, QQ) in early position. One player bets the pot. You call. The flop? That would be more than enough to win a large pot, especially if you had AK. However, it’s too unlikely that someone in early position would call a raise with AK.
And anyway, it’s not a huge risk to call since you have the choice of holding or folding.
Suited Aces or Better
If you have an ace, a king, a queen, or a jack, and all of these cards are the same suit, and no higher, you have a sure lock. Your only chance of losing this hand is if another player has a higher kicker. (In the case of the ace, a player with QQ would beat you.)
This is the best case scenario. In the case of having a queen, which is also a legitimate hand, you would beat the low hands — the ones from 22 to JJ. But you lose the showdown if anyone has a higher kicker.
This is the second worst case scenario. Now let’s say you had 22 and your opponent had 22. You’d both be top- Hosers. But because 22 is a lot easier to get, you can call a fairly high bet (although it should be higher).
Lets Ridgeback off
For the reasons stated above, anytime you have suited cards as your hole cards you should raise when you are first in the pot.
When you hold a pair you should only raise another two times the big blind (for this example, fourth and fifth bets) unless there are three or more players still in the pot. Someone could very likely have a better hand than you.
Second, having suited cards lower than eight (because of low cards in your deck) is definitely worth calling a standard raise.
Third, depending on how high your kicker is, whether you think you can take the pot more than one time or not, depends on your kicker.
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That’s the review about When to Play Suited Connectors in NL Hold’Em that I can convey, hopefully it will be useful information. /Aha
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