What matters the most in the world of Texas Hold ’em is what cards you get as your hole cards right at the start of a hand. As soon as you have a glance at them, you should be able to understand all the possible actions you can do.
Now, getting a pair is obviously the best thing at the start, especially if it’s a pair of high-ranking cards. However, even if the pair is not there, you need to analyze your hand and make sure to determine whether the pre-flop betting is worth playing at all.
One combination of hole cards you can get is called suited connectors. These may not be very attractive at the very start, but can actually help you a lot when playing Texas Hold ’em.
Let’s take a look at what suited connectors are and how to play them to improve your chances of winning in poker.
What Are Suited Connectors?
Suited connectors are basically two hole cards that are of the same suit and are usually very close to each other. For example, a J and a Q would be a perfect example of suited connectors.
Essentially, it gives you an opportunity to create either a straight or a flush when the flop cards are turned face-up.
Therefore, if you, say, manage to flop a 9, 10, and a K, you successfully made a straight on the flop and have a very high-ranking hand. The other things to get are, say, 3, 6, and A, paving the way for a flush.
Although it’s fairly difficult to immediately flop a straight or a flush, you get the point of how potent suited connectors can be.
The thing about them is that they don’t have to be cards that are next to each other. For example, there’s a similar hand that’s called suited one-gapper, meaning there’s a gap between the two cards in your hand.
A suited one-gapper is, say, 10 and Q. In other words, there’s a place for J to fit in there, but the possibility of landing a flush or a straight is also somewhat present.
What to Take into Account When Playing Suited Connectors
Making a straight or a flush is not an easy task, so playing suited connectors is always risky. However, it’s always better when you are in a late position as you’ll have an overview of other players’ decisions before you decide whether your hand is worth playing pre-flop.
If you’re brave, you’ll even raise on the pre-flop, making others think that you have a pair. This masks your hand, meaning you can make a huge profit if you actually get a straight or a flush on the flop. Those who believed that you had a pair will raise money, and that’s a perfect time to act.
Also, what you should understand is that the flop could end up in a draw, meaning you’ll need one card to complete your hand. For example, if you have a 9 and 10 in your pocket, and the flop shows a J, Q, and a 2, that means you’ll require to land either a K or an 8 to complete your hand.
At this time, it’s very important that you calculate your odds of how likely you are to land either of these on the turn or the river and decided whether to play based on how much money is in the pot. Make sure to scan your opponents to find out whether there’s room to bluff your way out.