• August 1, 2021

Online Poker Dictionary: Suited Connectors

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Suited connectors are cards which link together and they are very useful
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The strength of connectors is that they can become straight draws more easily than unconnected cards and the closer they are to each other, the more opportunities there are for straight draws. Unlike off-suited connectors, which have different suits, suited connectors also have the advantage of becoming a strong flush draw more easily.
The advantage to having connectors is that it greatly increases probability that you will make a straight.
If you are playing low or middle cards, having them suited or connecting (or both) is of tantamount importance. If you are playing high cards, having them suited or connecting is a plus, but having the top kicker (often an Ace or King) is often just as important, if not more so.
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This means that a hand like 7♣ 8♣ is more valuable than 7♣ 9♣, but depending on the action, a hand like A♣ Q♣ may be much more valuable than K♣ Q♣. The reason for this is that high cards make high pairs, and one high pair is often enough to win the pot. This makes having the top kicker very important when playing high cards, because the kicker will often decide the winner.
On the other hand, low and middle cards will not win very often when making one pair. Even if they do, small differences in the quality of the kicker will not matter nearly as often as it will with hands containing high cards. In other words, a pair of sevens with a nine kicker will not win very many more pots than a pair of sevens with an eight kicker. Low and middle hands are far more likely to win if you complete a straight or a flush. So, when evaluating the strength of low and middle hands, keep in mind that the value lost from having a gap (as opposed to having connectors) is greater than the value gained from having your kicker be one point higher.
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Steve Carr

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