Playing Suited Connectors

Definition :
Suited connectors (or sc) are cards of the same suite and

connected. Example : 7

A couple of general thoughts:

There are different scs type. I’ll classify them in 3 categories :

– High sc, they go from QJs to AKs, their value mainly come from hitting pair, you obviousy will make the most profit with them, simply because a pair of ace if better than a pair of king which is better than a pair of queen aswell that a A high ace flush beats a K high flush. You see my point right ?

– Medium sc, 78s to JTs, those will be the gist of this CotW. They make good pairs and on a lot of boards, you’ll have decent equity.

– Low sc, 23s to 67s, those suck. Their playability mainly comes from hitting draws.

A couple of numbers :

– Suited connectors represent 4% of hands – With any suited connector, you will be :

Flopping a flush – 118/1 (0.84%)

Flopping a flush draw – 8.1/1 (10.9%)
Flopping a Straight draw (8 outer) 8.6 to 1 10.45% Flopping a Straight 75.3 to 1 1.31%
From : odds-69737/

When we make a simple addition :

You’ll flop a solid draw (flushdraw / str8draw) or a nuts made hand 23.5%.
And you’ll hit a pair/2pairs/trips 35.75%

In today’s games, implied odds are not as good as they used to be. You can’t stack a nit when you make a flush on the turn every single time he has a big overpair. This is why draws go down in value whereas pairs go up, which is why high sc > medium sc >>>>>>>>>>> low sc.

Preflop :

When you are the pfr (everybody has folded)

Early position (EP) : Your gameplan must vary according to the table’s aggressiveness. I’ll open 78s utg all day long if : 1) BTN is a 12/8 nit, SB and/or BB are fishes. Otherwise, don’t play low and medium sc in EP. You can raise high sc.

It’d increase your EP pfr and you’ll get 3bet light, you’d hit bad pairs and don’t know what to do because you are out of position, you’d hit draws but they play terribly out of position. Just don’t.

Middle position (MP) : The table is now shorthanded. I usually raise the high end of the medium sc (89s+) but you
can play tighter if : there are aggressive players left to act (especially in position), you have a crazy mother ****er image, you are not confortable playing postflop. Dump the low sc.

Late position (LP) : You now are 3 or 4 handed. Like before, it depends a lot of the blinds and btn if you are in the CO. I won’t get into details because this is pretty basic but the tighter blinds/btn plays, the looser you can open and vice versa. You can now start opening low sc’s.

In the small blind, I’ll usually open any sc’s there, I might fold low sc’s if the BB is loose.

When someone opens and you are in position :

Early Position: (utg opens, you are utg+1)
Fold. All of those, FOLD NOW. You’ll get squeezed a decent amount, this pot is probably going to be multiway and you’ll have to play more straightforward than not, your pairs might not be good and if they are, you still need to go to the showdown.

Midle Position:

I usually fold most of them except if bad players behind (preferably in the blinds).

Late Position :

this is the most interesting situation imo.

2 scenarios :

EP opens, he’s a standard regular (16/13, 10% opens utg). 10% opens utg = 22-AA, ATs+, AQo+, KJs.

You need to know what type of hands you can profitably play against that range.

Pokerstove tells us T9s up to KQs have 40.20% pure equity. But there is also time your opponent will check fold the best hand, cbet and give up on the turn the best hand which will happen way more than 10%.

On the other hand, 45s up to 89s only have 35% against that same utg range.

A couple of variables though :

– Our post flop skill (includes the fold equity we think we have on some boards against a specific opponent)

– His post flop skill

Don’t overestimate your fold equity. The intrasec value of sc’s (the time you’ll make 2pairs/str8/flush or anything that can beat AA) is generally not good enough so that you can play any sc profitably, even in position. You need to rely on fold equity.

Fold equity comes from aggression and your aggression should be based on your equity (the more equity you have in a pot, the more you can play a hand aggressively…). Here’s why I’d rather play JTs than 45s.

The better you know your opponent tendencies in specific spots, the more you can call with lower sc’s.

Against middle and late position opener (MP vs HJ vs CO vs BTN), most regulars don’t call 3bet out of position, therefore you want to polarize your 3betting range to premium hands and “trashy” hands and call everything between. Your calling range will include high and medium sc’s. You won’t make a profit
by calling low sc’s against a wide range (cf. playing from the blinds, you’ll understand why). BUT, they are pretty much the top of your bottom range, you can include them in your 3bet bluffing range along with what you usually 3bet.

Against fishy opponent, you need to 3bet a merged range (only for value but wider), you need to include high sc’s and even some JTs for isolation/slight value purpose.

Playing from the blinds :

Again, you already know that but playing out of position sucks, especially drawing hands. You’ll fold against EP and MP. Now, let’s talk about late position play (the difference between a losing and a winning regular mostly comes from late position play).

In late position, ranges are wide. Your goal won’t be to crack aces anymore. When ranges are wide, pairs value go up and draws value go down (because of the lack of implied odds).

You’ll call (or 3bet if your opponent defends with worse but I won’t get into that, it’s already covered by knn05) with your high and medium sc’s, and fold/3bet your low sc’s. No, you won’t make a profit calling with 5 high out of position but if your opponent folds a lot to 3bet, you can 3bet and still have a decent chance to flop gin.

Quick thoughts about post flop :

The more equity you have, the more aggressive you need to be.
Don’t be afraid of getting it in with a gutter and a flushdraw
on the flop. It might not be SUPER +ev but it’ll increase your overall aggression and it’ll be a huge step from being the empty seat weak tight nit to becoming the crazy loose regular nobody wants to play with.

Also, if we think deeper about it : your opponent knows
that you don’t play aggressively your fd+gutter on the flop. Therefore when you raise 5h6hTs, you only have 55/66/TT/56 in your value range. A standard player will think “okay, his range is polarized, I CALL or I RAISE (if he has air) .
When you do raise your fds+gutters/A high flushdraws on this flop, he won’t be able to call you down with 77/88/99/JT or even JJ because his equity just dropped down significantly against your range.

The best of you probably got my point and I’ll put an anti spoiler there because this information is so valuable

[The wider you raise for value, the more you can bluff!]

Conclusion :

I think this is hard to give a general plan on how to play suited connectors. The value of a given hand depends a lot of the situation/opponent and you’ll need to play a lot to get a feeling of what hand you can make a profit with.

Wow, only 1325 words. It looks short to me compared to the CotW relative to playing small pp’s. But I hope I covered everything to say about suited connector’s. If so, I’ll respond to your questions and edit the main post later.

To keep the discussion going, the best is, imo, to post hand histories to illustrate recurrent pre/post flop situations you feel you struggle with and we all talk together about why a line A is better than a line B.

If you notice any big grammar fault, please tell it on this thread or by PM asap. English isn’t my native language.

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