Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Playing Suited Connectors in Holdem

Suited connectors are hotly debated by online Texas Hold’em players. Some players swear by these hands, which consist of two cards of the same suit that are consecutive or close to it. Others never play them.

Naturally, there are both advantages and disadvantages to these hands.

Advantages to Suited Connectors in Online Texas Hold’em
1. They Can Make Powerful Hands
The reason you play suited connectors in online Texas hold’em is because they can make both a straight or a flush. If the board isn’t paired, a flush is the best possible hand you can have, although you won’t necessarily have the best flush. If no flush is possible, a straight is the best possible hand, although again you may not have the strongest straight.

2. They Can Make Disguised Hands
Since Texas hold’em players are accustomed to expecting raises with pairs or big cards, they may not see your hand coming when it hits. If you raise with 5h 3h and the flop comes Ad 2c 4h, you’ll probably get paid off by anyone with an ace. Disguised hands can take down very big pots in No Limit play!

Disadvantages to Suited Connectors in Online Texas Hold’em
1. They Can Make Second Best Hand
If you’re coming in with small suited connectors, sooner or later you will hit your straight or flush but still be behind to a higher straight or flush. When this happens, its tough to get away from the hand and you risk losing your entire stack. So play these types of hands carefully.

2. They Can Be More Trouble Than They Are Worth
Most of the time when you enter a pot with these hands, you will miss the flop and have to fold. You can waste a lot of chips this way, especially in a tournament setting. If you don’t make more money when you hit your hand than you do all the times you miss the flop then playing these hands is a negative expected value play.

Big risks and big rewards can come from playing suited connectors. You really need to gauge how well you play after the flop and how disciplined you are to get maximum value when you hit before determining whether they are right for you.

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