ace-x suited -- how valuable is it?
lets say you're at a 25$ table (blinds are .12/.25) and you hold ace-x suited (where x is lower than, say, 9).
you will hardly ever flop a flush, (less than 1%), and will rarely flop four to a flush (~10% of the time). even if you flop four to the flush, in online poker you will rarely be given the correct odds
to see the turn and river (so you will have to fold -- unless your opponent is a huge donk and will call your bets if you hit the flush, making your implied odds worthy of a call -- which is fairly rare even online.)
now, i am not in the business of betting at a pair of aces when i have a bad kicker (anything lower than a queen kicker and i am extremely cautious -- people will raise AK so you can be reasonably sure your queen is good if the pot was not raised preflop... but if you have AJ or A10, it is very possible you're up against the jack or queen that will break you)...
so, given that you are not that interested in pairing your ace or your lower card, and since hitting two pair or trips is so rare that it does not really effect your decision, statistically speaking...
ok, so with ace-x suited, you are definitely chasing the flush. but will it hit often enough to justify playing the hand? you have a 16% chance of hitting your flush by the last card...
a typical 25$ table will have about 50% of the players in, so in a ring game you'll be calling for .25 to get at a pot of about 2$. looks like you're getting the right odds for a call here, in an unraised pot. note that if the pot is raised, say it costs you .50 to get at a 2$ pot, you are not getting the right odds to call -- that means that ace-x suited probably shouldn't be played in early positions.
after the flop, you will probably be looking at bets between 50% and pot sized, so you won't be getting the odds to chase your flush down.
so, what does it all mean... ace-x suited can't be played in early or middle position, statistically speaking, and you can forget about fishing for a flush with K-x suited or Q-x suited. at least, that's what the data seems to tell me. i'd like to hear some thoughts on the matter though