Texas Hold’em Tips: Play Big Suited Connectors

Starting a hand with big-suited connectors can almost be as good as holding pair as there are plenty of options you face before and after the flop.

ace of clubsking of clubsBig suited connectors, which are suited combinations of A-K, K-Q, Q-J and J-10, offer many possibilities. They are powerful because of their straight and flush potential. With these connectors, good flops would include four to the flush, an open-ended straight draw, trips or two pair. Coming away with a high pair of aces or kings wouldn’t be bad either, depending on what the other two flop cards are.

The flush is one of the more attractive possibilities here.  Being dealt two suited cards to start the hand gives a player a five percent chance of hitting the flush. In a 10-player pot, the win rate for the average pot is 10 percent, making the five percent advantage a big plus over the unsuited connector.

Your position always has meaning during a game of Hold’em, but when you’re playing with big suited connectors it takes on even more significance. It’s always preferable to be dealt big suited connectors in the late rather than early position. If you come away with top pair, two over cards, four to a flush, or an open-ended straight, you are left with plenty of outs, and playing to the turn is often very tempting.

For example, if you start with K-Q of clubs and the flop is 10 (clubs)-9 (hearts)-4 (clubs), you’re looking at a flush and straight potential. Remember though that this hand only holds potential, and you will have to work the hand without sacrificing too much of your stack.

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Depending on your position, you’ll have to take into consideration a few things when playing the big suited connectors. If you are close to the button and no one has raised in front of you, this is a must-raise situation as it is likely you have one of the best hands. By raising you’ll chase some of the players holding mediocre pairs, or high cards with small kickers, out of the game.

Another high suited connector consideration that may not be so obvious is the Q-J connector, which can have as much power as an A-K connector. With the queen-high connector you have the opportunity for an open-ended straight if you can pick up an A-K-10 or 10-9-8.  The power of the A-K, of course, is that they are high cards and will often give you top pair.

Like all hands in poker, big suited connectors should be played according to how your opponents are playing the hand. Just because you start out with big suited connectors, it doesn’t mean your opponent isn’t also holding a pair of powerful pocket cards.

Play smart, and big suited connectors may just make you a lot of money!