Playing Suited Connectors in No Limit Hold’em Cash Games

Suited Connectors are one of the most profitable hands to play in No Limit Hold'em Cash Games. However, they are also one of the most overrated hands in poker. Before this article was written, I talked to a couple of my friends who play poker as a hobby and all of they agreed that folding a hand like 89s before the flop is quite a challenge. It looks so good, doesn't it? Well, it also plays well and can be profitable to play, but not in all occasions. This is exactly what we are about to discuss in this article.

Raising Before the flop

Suited connectors are a great hand to raise before the flop, regardless of your position. You can raise them from the UTG or from the button. Even if you get called, you'll often be able to take down the pot with a continuation bet on dry boards.

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Adding these hands to your pre-flop raising range is also good because it widens your hand range of playing. Nowadays people are using modern tools to track each others play, the so called HUD. They can check how many hands are you raising from specific positions in a couple of seconds. You won't get much action at the time you get a really big hand, if you don't play many speculative hands in between.

Calling before the flop

When someone raises before the flop and you have to act, there's a decision for you. Should you fold, call or re-raise? It all depends on a couple of aspects.
  • What the effective stack sizes are? If your opponent is short stacked, there isn't much merit for calling or re-raising before the flop. On the other hand, if you both are deep stacked and you are in position, you don't mind calling or 3betting before the flop.
  • Who are you up against? Is your opponent a loose aggressive player or is he playing only monster hands? I wouldn't want to get in a 3betting war against maniacs and would simply prefer to call whereas I would almost always 3bet nitty players, as they will fold majority of the time unless they have a really strong hand.
  • The thing is that if you do just call before the flop, even in position, your opponent will hold the initiative and will likely fire another bet post-flop, if the flop comes good for doing so. You'll often be in a guessing game. If you 3bet before the flop, he will either call or fold. Very rarely he'll 4bet, but almost never as a bluff in Micro Stakes. So I would suggest calling with suited connectors only if the effective stack sizes are 150bb deep.

3Betting Before the flop

Now lets get to the favourite part of mine – 3betting suited connectors. These are simply amazing hands to 3bet with, as they feature huge implied odds and can flop big draw hands. Your opponent also will have a hard time putting you on a hand with flop texture not featuring any big cards.
There's also the aspect of having a balanced 3bet range. If you 3bet only your top hands such as Aces or Kings, your opponents will adjust to that and fold worse hands. You won't get a whole lot of action unless it's a cooler like aces versus kings. However, when you add speculative hands like 56s to your 3bet range, your opponents note that. There are a lot of players at micro stakes who will immediately think that you have that 56s every time you 3bet and they will happily put a lot of money into the pot with mediocre holdings.

Implied Odds

I mentioned that suited connectors feature huge implied odds. This relates to a potential of flopping a big hand and getting paid off. When you call a 3bet from a nitty opponent with 56s, you are well aware of what his hand range is whereas he won't have a clue that you're holding a hand like this. However, for you to do this profitably, both of you have to be deep enough in terms of big blinds in your stack.