Suited connectors in poker
What are suited connectors?
Let's consider this concept in details.
Poker connectors are two pocket cards that follow each other in rank. It means that the first card is one rank higher than another card, and another card is one rank lower than the first one accordingly.
Examples of connectors:
9-10 (nine-ten), J-Q (jack-queen), Q-K (queen-king), A-2 (ace-two) and so on.
These hands are good for making the straights.
Suited connectors are two pocket cards of the same suit which follow each other in rank.
Examples of suited connectors:
These pocket cards are good for playing, as you have a chance to collect not only straight, but also flash.
The connectors of the same suit are indicated with the inscription "s" in the text ("s" – suited). For example T9s (ten-nine suited).
In Hold'em, there is a high chance to get connectors on preflop (15.7%). However, the percentage is not so high for them to be suited.
The chance for getting pocket suited connectors is only 3.92%.
In Texas Hold'em, the chance to flop the straight with connectors is 1.3%, and the chance to collect straight draw with a probability of its improvement on the following streets is 10.5%. At the same time, the probability to flop a flush with two suited cards is 0.8%, and a flush draw – 11%.
Since you can collect both straight and flush with suited connectors, your chances of making combination on the flop increase. However, you will have more chances just like at all streets.
At the same time, the chances of winning increase as connectors progress towards the ace. It is easy to calculate with the help of poker calculator.
The chances of winning with suited connectors on preflop:
- A,K – 20%
- K,Q –18%
- Q,J – 16%
- J,T – 15%
- T,9 – 14%
- 9,8 – 12%
- 8,7 – 12%
- 7,6 – 11%
- 6,5 – 11%
- 5,4 – 11%
- 4,3 – 10%
- 3,2 – 9%
- 2,A – 12%
The connectors from 5.4 to J, T have the maximum outs for making straight and straight flush. However, the connectors that are above J, T have more chances to make strong pairs.
It’s better to draw conclusions after seeing the flop.
There are good chances to flop draw with suited connectors. But it may have both positive and negative consequences.
How to play with suited connectors
You can find a lot of information on the Internet concerning how to properly play suited connectors, what to focus on, how to act on every street against certain opponents. We will consider the general rules.
Your first action
The general rules apply to the poker play with suited connectors. It means that you should focus on the opponents first. If there are more tight players among the opponents, then you can expand the range of open raises. If there are mainly loose players, then you should play less actively.
Also, it all depends on your position at the table. For example, if it is recommended to play with strong suited connectors in the middle positions, then in the late positions, you can play all connectors.
Most preflop strategies recommend raising if your opponents didn’t raise or limp to you.
Action after limpers
Most often, it will be favourable to limp or fold the cards after two or more limpers.
After one limper, you can act in the game in various ways. For example, if you see that opponents have a high percentage of fold to a raise – you can make a raise in order to knock them out of the game. If there is a loose player with an extended stack in the game, then you can limp in order to get more money from his action on the following streets. If the aggressive players or LAG ones are sitting next to you, then in most cases you need to choose between the raise and fold.
Action after raise
Again, you should focus on the opponents and position.
In most situations, it is recommended to fold cards on the blinds after the raise, because it will be difficult to play without position. However, you can call the bet on cut-off and button.
If you see that raiser often folds to 3bet according to statistics, then you can make raise. Thus, you scare away the other players and possibly knock the aggressor out of the game.
These are the general recommendations for playing with suited connectors on preflop. If you are interested in more professional tips – you can read the training articles on our website.
Pros of suited connectors
The most obvious advantage of suited connectors is that they give a chance to collect one of the two strong combinations – straight or flush, and at best – straight flush or even royal flush.
The second advantage is the high playability of the pocket cards on postflop. After the player with suited connectors sees the first three cards on the board, it will be easy for him to make a decision:
- if he didn’t hit the flop – the cards can be folded;
- if he hit draw or gutshot – he should continue to play in most cases;
- if he hit pair, two pairs or a set – he should act in dependence of situation;
- if the player hit a ready hand – a straight or a flush, then it should be played as profitable as possible based on the situation (either limping or playing more aggressively).
The third advantage is a good adaptability of suited connectors for playing in a multipot. When a lot of players take part in the hand, there is a big probability that combination higher than top pair will win the pot. In this case, suited connectors give more outs in order to collect the stronger combinations. It turns out that the middle pairs and the top pairs lose more equity in a multipot than the suited connectors.
In general, the connectors of the same suit are an excellent starting hand that should be often played.
Cons of suited connectors
The chance to get a ready hand with suited connectors on the flop doesn’t exceed 20%.
After getting a draw, you will play it in a semi-bluff manner.
When analyzing the session, pay particular attention to your play with suited connectors. This hand will be profitable for you in the case of right approach and elimination of mistakes. When playing even a very narrow range of hands, the players often include high suited connectors in addition to the top pairs.