Poker Articles

Suited Connectors

You may have watched high profile poker players playing 78 spades and 2 gappers like 35 hearts with no fear and take down pot after pot. But be careful, playing suited connectors requires awareness of the subtler side of poker. This introduction to suited connectors will get you well on the way to open up your game, make it more interesting, bring you more pots and profits.

It's important to know the fundamental math, the odds of making real hands with suited connectors.

The odds of making hands on the flop with suited connectors:

Two Pairs: 2
Three of a kind: 1.35%
Straight: 1.31%
Flush: 0.89%
Full House: 0.09%
Four of a kind: 0.01%

Total: 5.6% or 17:1

So you can expect to make a hand around every 18 flops so you shouldn't really expect to make anything by the flop. Most of the time you will be making drawing hands on the flop.

The odds of making a standard drawing hand on the flop:

Flush Draw: 5.2%
Straight Draw: 8%

Total: 13.2% or 6.5:1

Suited connectors can make the big drawing hands. In many of these situations you may be holding a drawing hand but will still be the mathematical favorite to win the hand on the river.

The odds of making big drawing hands with a lot of outs on the flop:

12 Outers, Flush Draw and Gut Shot: 2.664%
13 Outers, Pair and Straight Draw: 1.147%
14 Outers, Pair and Flush Draw: 1.45%
15 Outers, Straight Draw and Flush Draw: 1.424%
17 Outers, Gut Shot, Flush Draw and Pair: 0.153%
20 Outers, Straight Draw, Flush Draw and Pair: 0.077%

Total: 6.9% or 13:1

Including the made hands and draws, you could expect to hold a big hand on the flop with suited connectors around 12.5% of the time, so you can expect to miss the flop around 0.743% of the time (around 3:1).

Mathematically, playing suited connectors isn't as simple as playing AA or KK. Many medium players will start playing suited connectors by simply calling pre-flop and then folding on the flop when they miss any draw. This is a losing fish strategy.

To learn how to play suited connectors follow these rules:

Make sure that you and your potential opponent have a deep enough stack to give you good implied odds. Don't play Suited connectors with a short stack.
play suited connectors when you're in position.

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