Suited Connector Theory

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jasondavies

jasondavies

Guest
Why is the theory of playing suited connectors such a big topic, why are they so great a starting hand???

also,

why is it that if i win a hand with suited connectors people say good hand, but if i win a hand with suited 1-2 gappers, i am frowned upon, 9-10 diamonds is a good hand, why isnt say 9-J diamonds or 8-10 diamonds? dont they have the same straight possiblities?could someone shed some light on this subject for me please?

Basically i am asking the question

What is the difference in strength between suited connectors and suited 1-2 gappers?
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Connectors (no-gap) can make four straights. For example, 6-5 can make

2-3-4-5-6
3-4-5-6-7
4-5-6-7-8
5-6-7-8-9

One-gap connectors, say 6-4, can only make three straights:

2-3-4-5-6
3-4-5-6-7
4-5-6-7-8
 
jasondavies

jasondavies

Guest
F Paulsson said:
Connectors (no-gap) can make four straights. For example, 6-5 can make

2-3-4-5-6
3-4-5-6-7
4-5-6-7-8
5-6-7-8-9

One-gap connectors, say 6-4, can only make three straights:

2-3-4-5-6
3-4-5-6-7
4-5-6-7-8

Very well put, one other little isue, why am i playing these hands, for the straight or the flush? coz if a flush hits, shouldnt i be scared that i am beat by a higher flush card/cards
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
jasondavies said:
Very well put, one other little isue, why am i playing these hands, for the straight or the flush? coz if a flush hits, shouldnt i be scared that i am beat by a higher flush card/cards
The theory behind suited connectors (which is a very advanced theory) is to either raise pots, or call raises with them, like you had a decent hand (by that I mean premium, or 2nd class hand).

The situations they become the most valuable is when your opponent holds a hand that gives great implied odds, ie AA or KK, or maybe TPTK. By this I mean that they will pay you off big time when you do hit a hand with suited connectors. The hands you're looking for are 2 pair, straights, flushes, full houses etc.

The key with these hands is that they're very well disguised. Say you raise from late position with 76s and are reraised a small amount by a player who you know to make small, inviting raises with big hands. You call knowing that you're well behind, but hoping to catch an excellent flop (possibly one of the aforementioned hands, or maybe an open-ended straight draw, possibly with a pair aswell), and get one. Say the flop comes 66T, and knowing well that your opponent probably holds AA, KK, QQ, JJ or AT or something like that, he will definitely pay you off. Big time. If you're playing in a raised pot, your opponent will definitely not put you on a 6, and will probably stack off with you.

It's a very advanced strategy; I don't think unless you're extremely confident in your hand-reading skills and reads etc, that you should adopt this strategy - it's definitely a chip burner, or so I've read :)
 
jasondavies

jasondavies

Guest
yes i agree about the chip burner comment, i knew most of what you said chuck, which makes me feel a bit better about the hands i have lost while playin 7-8/8-9 suiters, i thing i didnt know, am i supposed to raised decent suiters from late position???? or any position for that matter,

could we talk a little about pre flop stratedgy maybe?
 
blankoblanco

blankoblanco

plays poker on hard mode
F Paulsson said:
Connectors (no-gap) can make four straights. For example, 6-5 can make

2-3-4-5-6
3-4-5-6-7
4-5-6-7-8
5-6-7-8-9

One-gap connectors, say 6-4, can only make three straights:

2-3-4-5-6
3-4-5-6-7
4-5-6-7-8

Yep. I think the best way of looking at it is this: 6-4 is gutshot, 6-5 is open-ended. 6-4 requires that middle card 5 to hit, not to mention the other help you need. Makes it harder to hit than you might think.
 
poettic1

poettic1

Guest
the big reason i play suited connectors is the ability to get off them. it's flop the 2piar or better, or dump very ez hands.

the better flush is one to rarely worry about unless the board 4 flushes. if you have two suits you can see a total of 5/13 making your opponents need 2/8/47 something like 10% ten handed and droping .5% for everyplayer less than ten. nine times out of ten your flush will win
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
combuboom said:
Yep. I think the best way of looking at it is this: 6-4 is gutshot, 6-5 is open-ended. 6-4 requires that middle card 5 to hit, not to mention the other help you need. Makes it harder to hit than you might think.

No-gap connectors (6-5) are 33% more likely to make a straight than one-gap connectors (6-4). That is quite a difference, yup.

poettic1 said:
the big reason i play suited connectors is the ability to get off them. it's flop the 2piar or better, or dump very ez hands.
They're like small pocket pairs in that regard: You know where you stand when the flop comes. AK and J-J are hands that MAY be the best, but you're not sure. The fact that you don't know if you're likely to have the best hand means that you're likely to make mistakes - and mistakes is what costs us money. Suited connectors and small pocket pairs can often be played perfectly after the flop.

Chuck has already covered the fact that suited connectors can get great implied odds, so I won't rehash it, more than just to say that I agree with it.
 
Beriac

Beriac

Guest
poettic1 said:
the big reason i play suited connectors is the ability to get off them. it's flop the 2piar or better, or dump very ez hands.

Bingo.

Personally I prefer to limp with these and only occasionally disguise with a raise (maybe 25% of the time), and if the flop doesn't hit me massively hard I fold. If it does, I trap.
 
HoldemChamp

HoldemChamp

Rock Star
You see it over and over. Great players limping in with suited connectors on a cheap flop. Where as they are not good hands preflop the potential to win a hug pot if they hit good on the flop is what makes them playable. They are easy to fold when they miss.

Think about it this way. You have 109 suited and the flop is AK5. The preflop raiser comes out for a sizable bet. Pretty easy to fold here. You have to get either runner runner 10s which maybe still not be the best hand. Or QJ to complete your straight. What if when that happens their are 3 suited cards on the board? That is if it happens at all.

Now take something like JJ. You raise and are called by let's say 2 people. The flop is A95 2 suited. You are in a pickle now. You had a pretty decent hand preflop. But, what do you do now. If you bet out now and someone raises you really need to fold. You really can't check because of the possibility of giving a free card to someone on a draw. That is never a good thing. This is a much more complicated situation. Even though JJ is a better hand thand 109 suited.
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

Legend
Lots of good posters here now ;). Glad I have more time to contribute again.
 
don8ions

don8ions

Guest
Ironic

It's funny as I was reading this forum I limped in with 5h 6h and had a gutshot straight draw right off the bat. The king on board was a perfect diversion...the king actually checked the flop so I made my straight for free on the turn 2-6 and bet...so he raised and I called. Showed him my straight on the river and won a nice $35 pot. You guys really know your sh*t it seems!
 
U

unlucky

Enthusiast
I'd have to say suited connectors are my favorite hands to play. Especially late position when you have a raise and a couple of callers in front of you. Lets say you have 7,8d with a flop like 6h,9d,Kd, and your up against A,K,offsuit. When you call his/her bet and turn the 5 or 10 do you think most people would never guess you were on that straight draw just a flush draw. You have a lot of outs with a flop like that and you were getting 3 to 1 to start but if you were playing a 10,8,d now all you would of had is the flush draw 9 outs compared to 17. 35% to 68%. Also how many flops do you see that if you had the right two suited connector cards would you made a 4 straight on the flop, or how many times have you seen a flop blank of paint. Low suited connectors are easy to let go and can be very sneaky with a good flop.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
When you call his/her bet and turn the 5 or 10 do you think most people would never guess you were on that straight draw just a flush draw.

What you do then when it is a pot bet or higher? you are getting incorrect odds to call then what?? You've made the wrong play by chasing for incorrect odds.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
If anyone's curious about suited connectors, try downloading the odds calculator on this site. Give everyone random cards (there's a random button) and make sure one has suited connectors. Remove the junk hands that would obviously fold. You'll find that quite often the connectors have higher odds of taking the pot than "higher" hands like AT, depending on what the other hands are, as fewer people will be in the hand with these cards, giving you more outs.
Just plugged in a random hand and was going to give my results showing how good 56 suited is, but, :confused::confused::banghead:, have found that if you click the calculate button more than once it gives you different results each time with the same cards! Ignore what I just said and DON'T USE IT! Alternatively give it a try with a different odds calculator.
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

Legend
it does that because it uses the monte carlo method and only uses a sample of 1000 hands
 
T

TheAudition

Enthusiast
HoldemChamp said:
Now take something like JJ. You raise and are called by let's say 2 people. The flop is A95 2 suited. You are in a pickle now. You had a pretty decent hand preflop. But, what do you do now. If you bet out now and someone raises you really need to fold. You really can't check because of the possibility of giving a free card to someone on a draw. That is never a good thing. This is a much more complicated situation. Even though JJ is a better hand thand 109 suited.
With a marginal hand you should not be worrying about charging draws but rather getting to a showdown as cheaply as possible.
 
F

fomoppy

Guest
suited connectors are better when you are in position and showed aggression with the hand pre flop. i will often raise with it on the button, cutoff or plus 2. if i'm on the button and just one late raiser then i will often reraise and then bet on flop if checked to me. they are great because you can easily continue bet with them but if you did hit, say two pair or trips. ect. then you can rake a big pot
 
Chris_TC

Chris_TC

Cardschat Elite
it's definitely a chip burner, or so I've read :)

I think it was Phil Hellmuth who advised in his book to never spend more than 5% of your stack on seeing a flop with a suited connector. This is definitely one to keep in mind.
 
D

Dashir

Enthusiast
It's 5% of the smaller of the stacks involved. Since that's what limits your payoff and you need a big one to compensate for the odds.
 
D

dylan626

Guest
Per Harrington

From Harrington on Hold 'em, Vol I:

throw suited connectors away from early, and maybe mid position....depending on style of table. Limp in from late position. As said before in these pages, it can be a powerful hand when it hits.

Also, interestingly, Harrington will raise with suited connectors from the button 25 % of the time.....as he put it, "you have to bluff some time in poker". He wants his bluff raises to be random, so he chooses this sort of hand, which can turn into a monster.

Since adopting Harrington's style, my play has improved drastically. I play $400 NL in LA cardrooms. Tight aggressive has proved to be very profitable, as long as I throw in a few calls now and again.

Other Harrington quirks....throwing away small pocket pairs in early positon, folding KJ unsuited most of the time.

The book is written for torunaments, but I found applying many of the concepts to a cash game to be very good indeed.
 
G

Gandalf

Guest
Yesterday I was playing small stakes 6max NLHE and was chatting with a regular at the table on how tight the table was. "Yes", he replied. "No one has made a donkish move in 200 hands". "Yah but there's a cure, you know", I said. "It's playing like a donk yourself lol", he stated. I didn't say anything.

Couple of hands later a weak tight player who had 5 PFR% opens from MP. I immediately put him on middle to high PPs and AK/AQ. I have a solid TAG image. I'm sitting on CO with Td7d. I call and the rest of the table folds. Flop comes As4d6d giving me a flush draw. He bets 3/4 of the pot and I call since the effective stack size is ~100bb giving me good enough implied to call. 5c lands on the turn. I'm putting him on AK/AQ or even AA now and he 3/4 pots again thinking "No way I'm letting the fish draw to the flush". Since I now have OESD + FD I happily call the bet. 3s lands on the river giving me a 7 high straight. Weak tight bets 2/3 pot for value and I think for 2 sec and shove over. I could almost hear him thinking "Now he's trying to bluff me with a missed draw what a fish!". He immediately calls, shows AKo and I get his stack, he pukes and I ejaculate.

"I told you there's a cure", I said to my friend reg at the table.

Sorry about the long story but I'm at work atm. :D

Suited connectors and gappers are golden but you need to know who you're playing with them against. Cold calling a single maniacal LAG with SCs is hardly profitable. Also avoid playing them out of position and from early position. Never open limp with them, open with them from late position instead.

Gandalf's two cents.

PS. I'm new to the forum and I'm not sure if long strings of bold characters are found offensive here - if so - I beg your pardon.
 
G

Gandalf

Guest
Oh forgot to say my advice on how you should play SCs is for cash games only. They play differently on tourneys where you don't need to push so small edges and need to protect your stack. I don't play tourneys. Can't you edit your posts here or do I just have wooden eyes?
 
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