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Discussion Topic: Suited Connectors and Optimal Play

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Discussion Topic: Suited Connectors and Optimal Play - Tue Apr 12, 2011, 04:49 AM
(#1)
PanickyPoker's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,168
Hi all! My name's Panicky and thanks for reading my post.

I've been playing a bit of poker lately, and I've come across a somewhat new concept. In micro-limit games, straightforward play is better than fancy multi-level thinking play. That's because in micro-limit games, players are less skilled, less predictable, and ultimately less susceptible to being 'read' and counterstrategized against. For that reason, the simplest correct play is often the best one.

Now, this relates to suited connectors in one big way for me. I'd like to know what you all think of opening them preflop. The reason pros like Daniel Negreanu play them, I've heard, is for a number of reasons:

1) They like to balance their range of hands, so people can't necessarily put them on strong hands like AK or big pocket pairs early in the hand,

2) They like to have multiple ways to win a pot. For example if they're holding 67 of diamonds, then 468 with two diamonds could be a better flop for them than for someone who's holding pocket aces,

3) They like to have a good chance of being able to win if only one of their cards pair with the board, because hands like 67 are less likely to be dominated than hands like AJ or KT.

Now, I have one big reason for posting this thread. It's to ask, are suited connectors worth opening at micro-limit tables, where you should just play for straight-up value? More often than not, suited connectors will fail, so is it profitable to open them preflop at all if they tend to fare poorly after the flop? In the hands of a high-level pro, they can be great, and a necessary tool if they're playing against other observant pros (I don't know if anyone here has read the 2+2 thread about 'Shania', but that comes to my mind). The point is, if we're playing against people who just aren't that good, should we be opening them at all? Should we blend them into our ranges, or should we stick to pairs and high cards? Lemme know what you guys think.
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 05:16 AM
(#2)
NoNeedBackUp's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 150
BronzeStar
Chris Ferguson says that any PLAYABLE hand = RAISE-ABLE hand

calling is gonna cost you more money because the origianl raisers are likely to lead you out.

you may hit the board and still be dominated a LOT of the times and you're in a situation where it's hard to laydown your hand

so what i do is... when BB is lesser portion of your stack (beginning of tourney) I'd be VERY tight and be VERY selective but be way aggressive.

that way you're making other players to have difficulties making decision
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 05:19 AM
(#3)
NoNeedBackUp's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 150
BronzeStar
My style is that i'd play selective hands, play tight, be aggressive. try to have a read or put my opponent on specific hands according to the action provided by my opponent and NEVER WASTE BETTING OPPERTUNITY!
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 05:25 AM
(#4)
NoNeedBackUp's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 150
BronzeStar
Welll ok i guess i missed your point!

if you're gonna open up try to raise instead of calling because playing passive is not gonna win you that much money if you want to conceal the value of your hands everytime you play :/
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 05:48 AM
(#5)
PanickyPoker's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,168
I'm not asking whether or not raising is better than calling, I'm asking if playing is better than not playing. Overcalling with good pot odds just makes sense in plenty of situations, but I'm asking if open raising a suited connector is generally optimal at all.

As a related point, to the extent that suited connectors play well if you can see a cheap flop, but might not play so well if you raise with them preflop, I'd say that the raising is always > folding rule does not apply.
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 06:40 AM
(#6)
Darkman61's Avatar
Since: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,225
BronzeStar
At mid stakes and below I wouldn't consider open raising unless you were at least looking at J10. Anything less gets mucked unless I have a minimum of two limpers ahead of me. If that's the case and I have chips to play with I'll come along for the ride, but I'm essentially treating them in the same way as I would a small pocket pair. Flop big or fold.

And it goes without saying that neither are an attractive play unless I'm in late position.

Hmm. Another facet of my play exposed. I'll have no secrets left soon
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 07:32 AM
(#7)
topthecat's Avatar
Since: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,962
Off course I follow Darkman's line as well but since I am freerolling a lot I have found that I can change my tactics with suited connectors, especially when I have built a tight image and it is later in the tournament and I have info on my opponents.

I think it can be another weapon in your arsenal but one that should be used sparingly.

TC
 
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Tue Apr 12, 2011, 12:00 PM
(#8)
RockerguyAA's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,089
BronzeStar
Suited connectors have the potential to turn into deceptive monsters so they do have value. You want to keep the pot small until your hand has improved to a strong hand. Of course, if your going to be opening you might as well raise. If someone else has already opened, consider exactly how much they have raised and your position. In general, the better your position the more suited connectors you should play. Raising with 34s UTG may not be profitable in the long run...

If you decide to only play premium hands for value a lot of players are going to notice that and completely shut down any time you enter the pot. Instead of reraising you preflop with QQ they will call your small opening raise and only continue post flop if they hit their set and have you dominated. Theres enough random casual players in the micros that you can still do ok playing like this, but it won't really get you anywhere in the long run. Playing 100% straightforward works in micros but it isn't really good poker in my opinion.
 

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