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Hand Quality: Suited Broadways

February 22nd, 2016 by LD1977

Suited Broadways (excluding AKs and AQs, which were covered in the previous article) represent only 2.41% of all starting hand combinations. This is the same amount of hands as Big Aces combos (32 hand combos, of which 8 are suited).

They are strong and profitable hands even though there are certain ROI (reverse implied odds) issues in many situations because they make:

… strong flush draws / flushes but not (to) the nuts (except in case of AJs and ATs). This means they are dominated and can get coolered by Ax suited, however this is compensated by the fact they can dominate and cooler small and medium flush draws / flushes.

… nut straights, which are often very profitable against 2P or pair + nut gutshot hands if they are played fast

… decent TPGK hands which are dominated by TPTK hands

… strong 2P hands that are often up against nut straight draws (because other players also play Broadway hands)

It is necessary to accept that fact in advance, variance simply “goes with the territory”.

Suited Broadways

Suited Broadways

Every unpaired hand has the same basic odds for flopping:

… at least a pair (using the pocket cards) = 32.43%

… exactly one pair = 28.96%

… exactly two pairs = 2.02%

… exactly trips = 1.35%

… exactly full house = 0.09%

… exactly quads = 0.01%

Suited hands have the following basic odds for flopping:

… a flush = 0.84%

… a flush draw 10.94%

… backdoor flush draw = 41.6% (useful when we cbet / float and pick up a flush draw on the turn)

Individual Breakdown:

AJs

Hand strength = Weaker than 4.22% of hands, stronger than 95.48%. Equity vs. random hand* = 65.39%.

Speculative value = Flopped nut flushes seem valuable but pay off rarely (mostly against weaker flopped flushes). Opponents can’t have better than K high flush draw and there is always a danger of full houses if the board pairs.

Nut flush draw can be played aggressively since we will either have top pair or two good overcards in addition to the draw.

There is a 1% chance to flop the nut straight and 7.70% to flop a nut gutshot, which includes flush draw combos (combo draws are very powerful) but excludes flopped flushes. Flopped gutshot draws can also be played aggressively on the flop if there is a backdoor flush draw to slightly boost equity.

Most often AJs flops TPTK/TPGK, which will allow for 1-3 streets of value (depending on the opponent and any backdoor draws we might pick up on the turn). There are domination issues against people who do not 3bet AK/AQ so pot control is a good idea.

Position = Much better in position due to big sensitivity to domination in 3bet pots. AJs can be included in a merged 3bet range from the blinds, but it is too weak to be comfortable against 4bets (see Big Aces article for discussion on this topic in regard to AQs).

When heads up, barreling TPGK against Ax-heavy calling stations on dry Axx boards is profitable, but better players will not call down to the end with a worse hand. Getting raised is usually a bad sign, so many players prefer to pot control instead of barreling off when out of position.

Previous action in the hand = AJs does not play well against 3bet/4bets in normal situations. Open folding it against heavy previous action is best.

BTN vs. SB vs. BB battles are the exception. It can be folded vs 4bets from BTN or included in 5bet shoving range as a bluff against very frisky BTN 4bettors (fold equity somewhat compensates for fairly weak stackoff equity).

Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK** = 29%. This is actually very slightly better than AQs due to more 1-card straights with the Jack, but in reality, opponents will sometimes stack off wider so AQs is practically better (dominates AJ combos).

* This is important mostly in tournaments but is relevant in any game format. A huge majority of people normally don’t play a 100% range in cash games (at least for real money).

** Considered a standard stackoff range vs. unknowns/average player pool. Real ranges depend on a player and relative positions, widest being in BTN vs. SB vs. BB battles. This equity is important because the lower it is, the wider fold equity has to be.

ATs

Hand strength = Weaker than 5.28% of hands, stronger than 94.72%. Equity vs. random hand = 64.60%.

Speculative value = Same as AJs.

Position = Same as AJs

Previous action in the hand = Same as AJs, except including ATs into 5bet shoving range is justified only against really wide 4bets from BTN.

Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 29.3% (again, slightly better than AQs and AJs due to even more 1-card straights with the Ten).

KQs 

Hand strength = Weaker than 4.52% of hands, stronger than 5.17%. Equity vs. random hand = 63.4%.

Speculative value = Flopped flushes seem valuable but pay off rarely (mostly against weaker flopped flushes and nut flush draws which do not hit) and it is hard to feel safe if an opponent is shoveling money into the pot (Ax suited is a real threat). However, it’s still worth it to value bet strongly and accept the inevitable coolers. Check-raising flops will often provoke nut flush draw to stack off, so that is a valid option when OOP.

King high flush draw can also be played aggressively (except possibly on A-high boards where we may run into the nut flush draw) since we have two strong overcards in addition to the draw.

There is a 1% chance to flop the nut straight and 7.70% to flop a nut gutshot, which includes flush draw combos (combo draws are very powerful) but excludes flopped flushes. Combo draws (TP + FD or gutshot + FD + overcards) can usually stack it off on the flop with great equity unless the board is such that nut flush draw is crushing KQs.

Unlike AJs and ATs which can only make one 2-card straight, KQs/KJs/KTs can make two different ones. Obviously both are the nuts on the flop, but the lower one (KQ on JT9 board) can get outdrawn if K or Q falls (AK and AQ dominate KQ).

Flopped gutshot draws can also be played aggressively on the flop if there is a backdoor flush draw to slightly boost equity.

Most often KQs flops TPGK, which will allow for 1-3 streets of value (depending on the opponent and any backdoor draws we might pick up on the turn). Against players who do not 3bet/squeeze AK it is best to pot control. Against people who like to float, it helps us to have such decent hands in our more passive pot controlling lines.

Position = Likes being in position, but due to its raw equity and range width, it is normally included in opening ranges from all positions. It can be used for 3betting vs steals (as a part of a merged range) but does not play well against 4bets.

It is tricky to play postflop against multiple opponents when out of position with only a medium made hand like TPGK, so usually it’s correct to play it a bit more passively.

Correct strategy is highly dependent on the board texture and the opponent, but generally speaking, domination issues makes KQs (and other suited Broadways) a good bluffcatcher and a good hand to strengthen checking ranges with.

Previous action in the hand = KQs is normally not playable against 3bets/4bets except from the blinds who overdo blind defense (very wide and polarized 3betting ranges, when we can call in position and play it) and should not be stacked off preflop.

Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 25%.

KJs

Hand strength = Weaker than 6.49% of hands, stronger than 93.21%. Equity vs. random hand = 62.57%.

Speculative value = Same as KQs

Position = Same as KQs.

Previous action in the hand = Same as KQs. Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 25.76%. Slight increase over better hands is due to the more straights factor (this trend continues for the hands below).

KTs

Hand strength = Weaker than 6.79% of hands, stronger than 92.91%. Equity vs. random hand = 61.79%.

Speculative value = Same as KQs

Position = Same as KQs.

Previous action in the hand = Same as KQs. Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 26.10%.

QJs

Hand strength = Weaker than 7.09% of hands, stronger than 92.61%. Equity vs. random hand = 60.26%.

Speculative value = Same as KQs, except there are more flush draws/flushes that dominate QJs (realistically against tight players only KTs, but fish love to play hands like K9s-K2s).

QJs/QTs can make three different 2-card straights, which makes it slightly better than stronger suited Broadways (better chance to flop the straight). However, non-nut straights OOP get in trouble by the river fairly often (board pairs or a dominating straight possibility appears) so they need to be played fast on the flop. Check-raising is a possibility to get the money in against draws / sets / 2P hands.

Position = Same as KQs.

Previous action in the hand = Same as KQs. Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 28.43%.

QTs

Hand strength = Weaker than 9.20% of hands, stronger than 90.50%. Equity vs. random hand = 59.47%.

Speculative value = Same as QJs.

Position = Same as KQs.

Previous action in the hand = Same as QJs. Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 28.80%.

JTs

Hand strength = Weaker than 11.16% of hands, stronger than 88.54%. Equity vs. random hand = 57.53%.

Speculative value = JTs is famous as the hand that makes the most nut straights on the flop (whopping 4 possibilities!). Every other suited connector below it makes the same number of straights but not all are the nuts.

However, it’s worth emphasizing again that a large number of turn + river runouts either pairs the board or introduces Ace / King / Queen which opens up cooler possibilities (not to mention flush possibilities on many runouts). Therefore, it is usually best to play it fast and put the money in while the going is good.

Position = Same as QJs.

Previous action in the hand = Same as QJs. Preflop stackoff equity vs. range of AA-QQ, AK = 29.22%.

 

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