While most people agree that the best hands in Texas Hold'em are high pocket pairs like AA, KK, or QQ, or even
two high cards such as A K, many people swear by a class of Texas Hold'em hands called suited connectors.
Suited connectors are two cards in the same suit with straight and flush possibilities, for
example, 8s9s. The value of these hands comes in the fact that if you do connect with the flop, it is unlikely your opponents
will suspect anything. For example if the flop comes 4s 7h Tc, you how have a powerful drawing hand and can call a small bet
from an opponent, even if you would know for shore that he is holding AcAh! Now if the 3s comes on the turn, your opponent may
continue to bet, not suspecting any danger. You can raise here, or flat call, confident that if a 6, a J, or any spade appears
on the river, you will win a huge pot. You can also win a nice pot if the flop is something like A 8 9, as an opponent with AK
will have to pay off any reasonable bet. Some people actually like small suited connectors, such as 4d 5d, even more than
bigger ones, reasoning that it is very easy to release the hand if you miss the flop, and even less obvious to your opponents
when you hit it.
While suited connectors have definite advantages, you should not overvalue them. Remember
that they will often fail to connect with the flop, and you will have to release the hand or try a bluff. This can prove
costly. You want to be sure that the amount you win when you make a hand with your suited connectors is greater than the
amount you lose seeing multiple flops with them and having to fold. Try to play suited connectors mostly in late position. If
you call a bet early with a hand like 4d 5d, one player raises, and everyone else folds, you will be forced to fold as well,
losing a bet for nothing. If you get to see a flop with your suited connectors from early position and make a big hand, it
will be hard to extract the maximum value since you have to check or bet first.
Also keep in mind that even if you hit with your suited connectors, you are not guaranteed
a win. Just because you made a flush with your 8s 9s doesn't mean someone else didn't make a bigger one. Anyone with the
suited A or K of spades is likely to have called pre-flop as well. Similarly if you make the bottom end of the straight, on a
flop like T J Q, you are in danger of losing to a bigger straight. These are hands that must be played very carefully.
If you are selective in your use and play of suited connectors, they can prove quite
profitable. The suited connectors are powerful weapons that belong in any Texas Hold'em player's arsenal.