Suited connectors in the blinds

We have all learned that holdings like 8:c: 7:c: are supposedly better starting hands than K:h: T:c: in No Limit Holdem....

Posted Sep 22, 2014

Contributor

Bart Hanson

Bart Hanson

Owner and Lead Pro

We have all learned that holdings like 8 7 are supposedly better starting hands than K T in No Limit Holdem. And in a deep stack cash game usually this line of thinking is correct. Suited connectors have a lot of value because of the implied odds nature of their holdings and the fact that you can win big over a pre flop raisers strong starting hand. You can also drive powerful draws and put a lot of pressure on your opponents through semi bluffing if you have proper stack depth. Usually it is very difficult to win a big pot with an off suit broadway type hand versus another type of strong starting hand. However, what people do not realize is that most of the time when you flop well with a suited connector you flop a draw not a made hand like trips or two pair. And draws are very difficult to play out of position.

This is where a lot of beginning and intermediate players get into trouble. They see a hand like 8 7 in the big blind and think that they easily can call a raise because they are closing the action preflop and they are getting “odds to call” because they are already in for some portion of the raise. Even though this thinking is partially true it really does not make up for the positional disadvantage. Especially in smaller games, where fold equity is very limited against over pairs and top pair and also where the stacks are restricted and thus short, driving these types of draws through strong semi-bluff lines can be just throwing money away. Thus you are forced to just fall into a check-call shell and it can sometimes can become obvious what you have making it less likely that you will be paid off when you hit your draw. I know I am playing bad when I flop some sort of draw and realize that I have to play the hand rather passively because of my position or the effective stacks.

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