When to Play Suited Connectors in NL Hold’Em

Everyone loves to play suited cards, especially suited connectors and especially online. In live card rooms this is even more true, but until you reach a level where you play enough 5-6-7 to have fitted connectors in your starting hand, save them for another hand altogether. This is one of the easiest ways to win chips in poker that you will ever see. You can even play suited connectors as a drawing hand in some cases if you are up against opponents who have picked up on them, like in Phil Ivey’s case where he would make a continuation bet in order to induce a call from his opponent holding Ace King.

First of all, playing suited connectors is profitable in that you have a very strong hand or a very strong draw. You can either bust out quickly with a big raise if you suspect someone has connected with a big hand like a Queen or think that your hand will just run into a better one. If you are in early position, you can steal the blinds with ace high hands from middle position. If it turns out that no one behind you has a big hand, your ace high hand can be very strong if you hit the flop, particularly if it is played heads up.

Suited connectors are best played against one or two opponents, especially suited high face cards. This is because a wide range of hands will be heads up, and more of them will be raising than normal. If you are up against more than two opponents, you should fold suited connectors. They are risky hands, as your only option if you are drawing dead is to go all in, and a raise of 3-4x the blinds should be enough to push them off the hand.

Suited high face cards, especially ace high hands, are more tricky. How can you play them well? Well, you have to pay attention to how high the card is, and which way your opponents are shoving it. A lot of internet players will push hard when they have ace high, or good cards. How you play these is that they are still fairly high but not high enough to be a guaranteed guaranteed home run. Raise 3x the blinds and play it like you are playing a smaller pocket pair. These are still good hands, but not guaranteed to win hands against good players.

Therefore, suited connectors can be dangerous. If you have pocket tens and you are on a flush draw, you can be busted if you fire a third barrel hit. These hands can win hands against good players, but if you are not getting the right hands, you will be busting more often than not. Play these types of hands more aggressively in a multi way pot, against tight passives, and in terms of middle suited connectors. They are not good hands for Guaranteed rounds.

Suited two point connectors are good hands to play in any position. They are fairly strong against 2 and 4 offense, and can easily handle a flop like 6-7-8 or 8-9-9. Most of the time you will see players firing two barrel bluffs which should dictate that you play these hands strongly, however.

Suited aces after a flop should be played with a lot of aggression. You still need to be aggressive, but if there are no cheap raises in front of you, a raise of three times the big blind feels a lot more comfortable. It is a fact that most aces lose money in the long run when played against weak hands, so if you are up against opponents who raise very little, throw your aces away.

All of these remarks are even more forcefully true if your aces are cracked by any cheap drawing hand. Even if you have only cracked top pair, you have a huge problem if an ace or king hits the flop. Even if you discount those hands entirely, you have a monumental trap set. Ideally you will not get called on a huge amount of chips by your opponents, but you will almost certainly have to play a huge pot, which can be bad.

Suited connectors can be good hands to play, but only in the context of a multiway pot. On their own, they are not Miracle Hands, and are very vulnerable to many different combinations of opponents. Realize that suited connectors lose a lot of their value in a heads up situation.

They are best played in almost any situation, however, and are almost always a profitable hand to play. Play them aggressively, and you will not be disappointed.