How to Play Suited Connectors and Gaps

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Playing poker requires an arsenal of techniques and strategies. You must think about how you will play hands, and handle situations before you get into the heat of battle.

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Two sets of cards that can be exceptionally rewarding when played carefully and tactfully are: suited connectors and gap cards.

One example of such a starting hand is a suited 7-8. This hand does not have the potential to win on its own at showdown, however, it can become an extremely strong hand if allowed to improve. Nevertheless, when the hand does not show the potential to improve during the game, it should ideally be discarded.

 

Two types of poker in which suited connectors and gap cards are extremely valuable are – limit and no-limit. Here are some aspects you should consider when playing suited connectors and gap cards:

Table texture and player position

When playing suited connectors and gap cards, a player should pay attention to two aspects: table texture and position at the table. Ideally, it is best to avoid opting for a raise when you have a hand with a suited connector. An exception to this is if you are in the late position. Then, you can opt to limp to the flop and see it inexpensively. This will give you the opportunity to discard the hand if it is not profitable to continue. Also, it will allow you to hide the strength of your hand if your cards match with the flop. Mostly, opponents who catch the top pair at the flop will bet into you. This way, the flush or straight draw that you have will be disguised under the texture of the cards at the flop.

When playing suited connectors, you should consider the possibility that an opponent can have more powerful suited connectors than the ones you have. This way, your middle flush will offer them a flush with the nut or better. To ensure that you are maximizing the potential of your suited connectors while minimizing the challenge that it brings, study your opponents’ betting patterns and also the table texture. This will give you the opportunity to leave your middle suited connectors when the opponent’s hand is considerably strong.

Enhance understanding of opponents and table texture

Ideally, these hands should be explored only when you are familiar with the table texture and opponents. So, wait for a few hands after the game begins, to do this. If, very few hands have been raised pr-flop, playing with suited hands like a suited J-9 can be challenging. This is because, at such a time, an opponent is likely to challenge your attempt to see the flop cheaply. On the other hand, if there are several limpers at the table, suited connectors and gap cards can be played well here. This is owing to the possibility that at such a table, you will be able to call with the right odds and continue using the hand in the game.

Utilize the ideal flop

The type of flop that is ideal for gap cards and suited connectors is one that makes the draw or holding strong. The flop will, in addition to this, be able to hide the draw from your opponents too. For instance, the 7-8 suited connector has the potential to become profitable when the flop brings in a 6-9-A. With your hand, you can make both a flush and straight draw at this flop, as there are thirteen cards with which you can make the draw. In addition, the hand also has the potential to make a three-of-a-kind or two pair. With the flop offering as many outs, you can call a sizeable bet there and stand the chance of catching such a card at the turn.