Secrets of poker Poker

The real value of suited connectors

Written by Ben Blaschke

There is no doubt that suited connectors are some of the prettiest cards to be dealt. Not as pretty as two black Aces, mind you, but certainly very attractive.

You can't always make big hands

You can’t always make big hands

But there is a problem. A lot of players have been told for so long how great suited connectors can be when it comes to cracking an opponent’s big pair or making a hidden monster that their real value seems to have been lost in translation. A player will look down at their 6-7 suited and their immediate reaction is to either come in for a raise or call a raise before them no matter what the situation. Of course, there are plenty of times when these really can be great hands, but there are also some commonly held misnomers.

The main one is that suited connectors play best in multi-way pots. This might be true on those occasions when you actually make your hand – a straight or a flush being the ultimate goal – but those occasions are rare.

Just as you are more likely to be paid off with a made hand against multiple players than you are against just one, you are less likely to be able to push multiple players off of their hands when you miss. In other words, for the most part, it is better to play suited connectors against a single opponent than against four or five of them.

And when the opportunity arises, play them aggressively. You’re only going to make any sort of hand about a third of the time, but so is your opponent, so pick your spots wisely and avoid putting yourself in too many situations where the only way to win the pot is to make a big hand.