Thursday, January 22, 2009

How To Play Suited Connectors In A Poker Tournament

Suited connectors are hands of the same suit which are close in rank.

For example, if you had the 10 and Jack of clubs you hold a no gap suited connector. A one-gap suited connector is a hand like a 9 and J of spades since there is one rank missing between the cards you hold. A two-gap suited connector would be a hand like a 4 and 7 of diamonds since there are two ranks between these cards. The more connected the cards the better your chances of making a straight.

Since suited connectors can be difficult hands to play in a no limit tournament, here are the best moves:

1. Early on in a no limit poker event, you want to see a flop cheap with these hands, and play against multiple opponents. You are risking a few chips with your call for the opportunity to win a big pot.

2. Starting at the middle stages of a tournament, you should be more aggressive with your suited connectors and raise pre-flop when first in the hand and in late position. The objective of this play is to steal the blinds as players tend to tighten up in the later the stage of a tournament. Even if you are called, your pre-flop raise allows
you to win with a continuation bet on the flop.

3. You can call a pre-flop raiser with suited connectors (if you don't think someone will re-raise behind you) since you are giving yourself an opportunity to win a big pot. For example, your opponent raises your big blind with Ace-King and you are the only caller with 6-7 suited. If the flop comes 6-7-A, you are going to win a big pot.

4. If there is a raise in late position from a player who is loose (raises too often pre-flop), you can even re-raise this player from the button or blinds with suited connectors. This play is an advanced move, but your opponent probably has a weaker hand than he is representing and your re-raise represents a premium hand. Therefore, you will win a bigger pot as he is most likely going to fold.


Neilc999 said...

hey mitchell hows it goin?

A move i like to make when im a big stack in a tourny and im not playing too loose. Is to limp utg or utg+1 with sooooted connectors then if theres a raiser i repop it. usually results in them shoving (bad) or playing to scared post flop (because i have aces....honest).

How come you dont post on razz anymoere? this being the razzchallenge blog and all. Just wonderd if you could spare a minute to spare me some BR management advice regarding razz or any drawing limit games for that matter.

cheers mate

Mitchell said...

Neil, an excellent move. I've seen this play done with A-K alot playing online, but rarely at the card room.

I've used it with A-K, and you are right that looks like you have Aces.

As to razz. I was going to have 2 blogs--one for each book--but there was no interest in the Razz blog.

I finally decided to put everything in the razz blog since it already included so much more information.

I really don't know when I'll add more info on Razz. I usually like to blog on Razz after I play online. And I'm a little fearful right now about online poker given there are rumors about US players having issues with getting money out due to UIGEA law.

Everyone hopes Obama changes things, but he may have more important issues than poker...

Therefore, I am sorry to say that I may not be posting much on Razz for a while...until I know the "coast is clear."

OhCaptain said...

Suited connectors are hands I play more frequently at the points in a tournament when my stack is deeper. I will rarely play them except in the best of positions early, but at this point, I really prefer to open with a raise.

I almost completely abandon them at shorthanded final tables when the blinds start catching up to stack sizes. It's way to easy to get in trouble with them.

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