How to play your suited connectors in cash games

Suited Connectors are the starting hands which some people love and others hate, a perpetual dilemma in your back yard whenever you pick them up. Suited connectors have players pondering whether they should play them or not, and how they should play them if they decide not to fold.

Let's look at 6-max NL cash games in order to illustrate a course of action deemed correct by the author of this article.

About the question "should you play suited connectors or not?": this one is a no brainer. Yes, you should definitely play them. These hands will give you huge pots whenever you manage to get something going with them, and remember that they do offer the possibility to make either a flush or a straight, both of which can be considered "big money" pots.

High pocket pairs are going to win you several smaller pots. A straight or a flush is going to win you fewer but much bigger pots. There, now you know why it pays to play suited connectors.

How should you play them though? That is the tougher part of the problem.

Given the fact that 6 max tables feature some extremely aggressive play, simply limping along to see what the flop brings about might not be the best idea for you. Limping is going to cost you lots of chips, and you have to keep in mind that you will make your straight or flush a very small percentage of the time. This kind of approach will put a huge leak in your game, one that you may well find impossible to plug by being good in other respects.

What's the right kind of attitude then? Raise. You may well ask me "how come I should raise when you just told me that limping was going to cost me money?". Well, raising is not like limping my friend. Raising opens up a whole world of possibilities for the savvy player. By limping, you shut the door on a bunch of possibilities to take down the pot. By being aggressive, you keep all these options open.

Be aggressive and you may end up winning the pot right there if no one stands up to your raise. If you see a flop and it misses you, you might still win it with a well-placed continuation bet, or second bullet as experts like to call it. In some cases, your continuation bet may end up to be a semi-bluff, and then you still have a chance to take down the pot by making your hand and winning it at showdown.

While the reasoning behind the aggressive approach you should take towards your suited connectors is generally sound, you need to be careful: all this doesn't mean that you should indeed raise on every single suited connector that you’re dealt. Your selection criteria should be position.

Early position is not a good one to be raising suited connectors from. The fundamental problem with being out of position is that you'll have to play by your opponent's rules, and that is something extremely difficult to do successfully on a drawing hand. The odds are stacked against you sky-high, therefore, with the exception of suited connectors like J,Q or Q,K, you should probably just fold.

If you're in late position however, and the hand is folded around to you, it makes sense to raise on just about any suited connector. Most of the time, your raise will result in your winning the pot right there and then. If you do get called, you’ll have to deal with an isolated caller, in which case the odds on your hand will increase.

Remember, play your suited connectors well to maximize your odds, and only play with a rakeback deal in 6-max NL cash games. Cash games are especially hard on the rake, and 6-handed ones are even more so because of the increased speed of play.