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The Importance of Holding Suited Cards

Seems obvious doesn't it? Playing with suited cards holds far more value than a lot of players think, including me, who' completely forgotten about it!  There are a number of key reasons why.

According to Sklansky, Miller & Malmuth in Small stakes Poker (Winning big with Expert Play - the definite guide to crushing loose games and amateur opponents pages 58-59) they suggest there are several important points to consider when holding suited cards compared to unsuited cards.

'If you hold two suited cards, exactly three more cards of your suit will appear by the river a little less than six percent of the time.  This leads people to conclude that suited and offsuit hands run closely in value.' Sklansky, Miller and Malmuth continue, 'these people are mistaken.  While you usually do not make a flush, when you do, the reward is enormous.  In most of those hands being suited will turn into a loss into a win.'  

Main reasons for choosing suited cards like A ♠️ Q ♠️, A ♥️ K ♥️, J 💎 10 💎;

- A flush is usually strong enough to win even against six or seven opponents

- Such multi way pots can often be very large.

- Winning a few extra large pots can make a big difference.

- Suited hands have more value on the flop than offsuit hands.

- A pair plus a flush draw is very strong.

- You can flop a backdoor flush draw, adding value to weak drawings like mid pair or gutshot draws.

- The stronger your hand, the greater the latitude for playing aggressively after the flop.

- If your hand includes a flush draw you may bet or raise, rather than check or fold!

- You will win some hands when you are drawing into a flush, but backed into something else.

- You pick up pots with a bet when no one has made a hand even though you haven't made your hand yet.  When your hand is offsuit  (with no flush draw) you miss these opportunities.


Since playing suited cards therefore can put you at a big advantage, off suit hands can do the opposite and put you at a big disadvantage and even the top pros find it difficult to bridge this gap. Big suited cards like AQ become very powerful suited.

Wow what a chapter!  A refreshing insight into the reasons why we should play with suited cards and for the beginner if he or she I still in doubt it is recommended to play with suited cards and fold the others I feel they are in doubt.  Just a final quick word on flopping backdoor flush draws.  This book has taught me to consider these options on the flop, compared to the scenarios where I might have given up too easily because a opponent bets on the flop.  It's possible I've been giving up too many pots without considering backdoor flushes or straights.  This is one aspect of my thinking that I will adjust to my overall strategy.

Enjoy your poker.

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I have been playing poker for about 15 years. I play online currently and I've played poker in casinos, card rooms, local games and with friends. I play NL hold'em tournaments and cash games and can also play Pot Limit Omaha, a game I also love.
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Comments (3)
Vetal user
User's aura Vetal 1911

backdoor flushes or straights, a year ago, too, did not think about it

0 replies
Vetal user
User's aura Vetal 1911

suited plus connectors are very strong hands

1 replies
Maroonfish user
User's aura Maroonfish 767

I remember a while back I was considering it with my starting hands and I still usually do, but wasn't with the backdoor flushes and straights

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