Suited Connected Cards: Meaning, How to Play, & Tips To Win
Table of content:
- What are suited connected cards?
- Preflop suited connected cards strategy
- Postflop suited connected cards strategy
- 2 key factors to consider while playing suited connected cards
- The best suited connected cards strategy tip
Have you been trying to learn the best way to play suited connectors in a game of poker? Rightly so, because they hold a lot of potential. They make that one set of cards, which can be diversified in a number of ways to make the best hand possible. Therefore, in this detailed guide, we have covered everything, right from what are suited connected cards, the pre-flop and post-flop suited connected cards strategy. To the major factors and strategy tips that are sure to come handy when you are playing a poker hand consisting of suited connectors.
In poker, a suited connector is a type of hand that comprises two cards both of which are consecutive and belong to the same suit. For instance – 10 and 9of clubs and 8 and 7 of hearts are some common examples of suited connected cards in poker. Now, the question arises, how are two cards designated as suited connectors in poker? Let us help you understand this with an example. Let’s say you are currently playing a game of Texas Hold'em wherein you have been dealt a hand consisting of 8 of hearts and 9 of hearts. As per poker terminology, this pair of cards is known as a suited connector. Because, the cards here are consecutive i.e. 8 and 9 and belong to the same suit (hearts).
The suited connected cards generally enjoy a significant importance in the world of poker. After all, these cards generally give the players an opportunity to create a straight, a flush or even a straight flush. A straight is a type of poker hand that usually comprises 5 cards in sequence. A flush on the other hand consists of 5 cards all of which belong to the same suit. Lastly, a straight flush generally consists of 5 cards that are in numerical order and belong to the same suit.
The pre-flop is that stage in any poker tournament where players are dealt two cards, both of which are only for their eyes. Then comes the flop round, where 3 community cards are dealt face-up. Most players who are allotted suited connected cards during this stage commonly make the mistake of not being aggressive enough. They thus follow the strategy of limping and raising rather than outright aggression more often than not. So, what is limping? Well, a player is said to be limping in poker when he places the bare minimum bet that is required to stay in the game
When it comes to poker, a hand consisting of suited connected cards is generally considered pretty strong. Yet, at this stage, it is not strong enough to make you win the entire pot. Due to this reason, when people are dealt suited connectors such as 9 of hearts and 8 of hearts, it is generally advisable that they must follow the strategy of aggression and try to take control of the pot as much as possible. Controlling the pot usually helps people establish a clear betting lead and as such provides them the opportunity to win the pot, even if they do not hold the best hand currently. Thereafter, when they continue with this aggression in the post flop rounds, it often compels their opponents to fold at a later stage. Let us understand the pre-flop suited connected cards strategy with a short example:
Suited connected cards Example
You are currently playing a game of Texas Hold'em where you have been dealt a hand consisting of 9 of hearts and 8 of hearts. Now, during the pre-flop betting round a player raises the amount of big blind. What should you do? As an astute poker player, rather than just calling the bet you must 3-bet. A re-raise before the flop round is commonly known as the 3-bet. In other words, in any game of poker, the big blind is usually considered the first forced bet. When the big blind is raised it is called a 2-bet. Now, when the 2-bet is re-raised it is known as a 3-bet. By 3-betting here, you are essentially giving yourself not one but two ways to win the pot. Firstly, you can make the best hand at the flop round itself which will likely help you win the pot before the showdown. Secondly, you can continue your strategy of aggression and thereafter try to take down the pot with a bit of bluff.
Here, you need to understand that suited connected cards are not the strongest cards in the poker world by themselves. Instead, you need to play these cards tactfully and aggressively to make the best out of them. This is not to say that limping and raising with suited connected cards in an absolute NO. What we mean is, as a good poker player, your intensity and frequency of aggression should be more than limping and raising. After all, aggressive play in general always gives players more ways than one to win the pot.
So, we have discussed the right suited connector strategy that you must follow during pre-flop. But, what about post-flop? What should be the ideal strategy that a player must follow during the flop, river and turn rounds? You can’t just keep placing bets here and there hoping in vain you will hit a big hand. Here on, to turn the odds in your favour with the suited connectors you need to indulge in – bluffing and semi-bluffing.
Bluffing and semi-bluffing
To begin with, if you have reached the flop round with suited connected cards, then, let go a little if you do not hit the jackpot at the flop itself. If you were following the strategy of aggression during the pre-flop round, and haven’t been dealt good cards on the flop then it is okay to take a step back. On the contrary, if you had a good read of your opponent and are likely sure they will fold to your continuation bet. Then, go ahead, bluff a bit and get hold of your opponent’s chips. When a player places a bet in the pre-flop as well as in the flop round, he is said to be placing a C-bet or a continuation bet. A bluff based on a continuation bet is a common tactic used by most poker players to compel their opponents to fold to their bet. However, if the opponent does not fold, do not get stubborn. Just move forward as you will likely get better spots ahead in the game.
Now, it might be possible that you are able to create a good drawing hand by the flop or turn rounds. A drawing hand is a poker hand that is currently incomplete and thus needs more cards to be deemed valuable. You are likely just 1 more card away on the river round to create a straight flush (the highest ranked poker hand as per official poker hand rankings). In such a situation, you should consider semi-bluffing with your suited connectors. This is because even if you semi-bluff with a half-made hand and somebody calls. You still hold a fair chance of improvement and potentially winning the hand at the later stages. Let’s understand the strategy of post-flop suited connectors better with a short example:
You are playing a game of Texas Hold'em wherein you hold a hand consisting of 7 of hearts and 8 of hearts. The flop round comes and three community cards are dealt face up on the board – 6 of hearts, 5 of hearts and king of spades, and you semi-bluffed in this round. Now, two things will likely happen – your opponent will fold to your bet and you will win this round without having made a straight flush or your opponent will call your bet and might check the action to you, expecting you to bet again. When a player checks in poker, they usually pass the action of betting to another player. Moving forward, let’s assume you were successfully able to create a straight flush at the river round. Thereafter, you successfully won the pot at the showdown. Now, think about how this will impact your table image? Here on, your opponents have learnt two things about you:
1) You were willing to place a pre-flop bet with a 7,8 hand
2) You successfully semi-bluffed and placed a bet during the flop round even with a half-made hand.
Going forward, your opponents will always remember you as someone who doesn’t need strong hand to bet or win at poker.
So, we have discussed the ideal pre-flop and post-flop suited connected cards strategy for any poker variant. Now, in this section, we have covered the two most important factors that can help you successfully execute a suited connected cards strategy. Just use these two areas while playing any poker hand, and you shall face no trouble in taking down the pot with your suited connectors.
Needless to say, position is by far the most important factor that one must consider when playing suited connected cards. Vital to this, you must only consider playing suited connectors when you hold the advantage of position on your opponent – i.e., when you are the last to act in the pre-flop round. This is because suited connected cards generally stay absolutely static from early to middle positions. Thereafter, by the time these cards reach the late positions, their value usually skyrockets. So much so, that if you have the option of either choosing 4,5 suited in position and 8,9 suited out of position, then you must choose 4,5 suited in position all the time
This is because, suited connectors are essentially drawing hands in any game of poker that still require a requisite number of cards to be called valuable. In such a situation, when you have a position on your opponent, it becomes easier to decide whether to call or fold. After reading your opponent, if you decipher that your opponent holds a strong hand then it is up to you to decide how much you are willing to risk when chasing the best hand for the current round of poker.
Vital to this, if you are ever sitting in an early or middle position, the you must simply fold the suited connectors. Many players think that if they are in an early or middle position with a pair of suited connectors, then they can comfortably make their way to the pot by limping or raising. This is something that you must avoid because limping in general sends a clear signal that you currently do not hold a strong set of cards. In such a situation, even if you do succeed in creating a strong hand. There is a high probability you will be called out by your opponent at some point during the game. This in turn will make it even more difficult for you to take down the pot.
Besides position, stack size is another factor that you must consider when playing suited connected cards in poker. This is because when a player decides to play a big pot with suited connected cards. Their aim is generally to win big. It is not considered worth raising if you happen to be short-stacked. When it comes to tournaments, raising or shoving with an average pair of suited connectors is generally considered a bad idea, especially when you can wait for better cards. This is because raises in general eat away a significant amount of chips from a player’s chip stack. Instead, the better idea with the suited connectors is to see off a flop cheaply in order to win big in the long run.
We have gone over the top 2 factors that you must consider when executing a successful suited connected cards strategy. Now, for our last bit, we have covered that one golden tip that will surely help you turn the tables in your favour.
Open your betting range
Whether you are playing poker in a live casino or online, always make it a point to open your betting range when you have been dealt a hand consisting of suited connected cards.
But what is a betting range? A betting range is usually described as the number of actions such as bluffs and shoves that a certain player employs during a game of poker. In this regard, when it comes to poker, a player’s table image often makes a huge difference. If you generally hold a tight image on the table, it usually makes you highly predictable to your opponents. Instead, open your betting range as this move will likely help you overturn your image as a tight rock, who only plays big hands and bets when he is sure he will make a top hand.
Players who fold when they do not have a good hand and place a bet only when they hold an incredibly great starting hand are often said to follow a “fit-or-fold” strategy. The “fit-or-fold” strategy to put it simply, isn’t necessarily bad for a one-off game. However, if you are planning to play a poker tournament then playing such straightforward play is generally not considered a good option. Instead, to win any poker tournament, you must include a mix-and-match of bluffs, semi-bluffs, checks and betting ranges.
Opening your betting range with suited connectors will not just help you diversify your play but it will also help you gain more exposure during the pre-flop and post-flop strategies.
The thing with suited connected cards is that these cards actually look too pretty to fold but are not considered good enough to win the pot all the time as well. But, hey! It is imperative to understand here that these cards usually play a vital role in balancing the big value hands and thereafter help the players win big amounts in quick time. So, just add all the information detailed in this article and get ready to make the most out of your suited connected cards.
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