When you play ABC poker, you always want to start with a high hand. A suited hand like Ace or A-K is solid, not crazy, and relatively easy to tell if you have the best hand. Once you have mastered these basic starting hands, it’s time to expand your range. This means you will learn how to get the most value out of hands like 9-8 or 6-5, also known as “suited middle connectors”.
If you have a middle connector, wearing the same color will make most beginners feel intimidated or overconfident. Both of these settings will cause the game to leak. To play these hands correctly, use caution and confidence.
The first thing that matters is location. I like to play connectors of the same suit as much as possible (assuming my opponent doesn’t have enough chips to go all-in), but playing in position is best. You don’t play a lot of big hands with these hands – expect to play second or third pair often – so position can give you more information and allow you to make better decisions.
I want to see a cheap flop with as many players involved as possible – the more the better. This is a key factor in my decision to play or fold. 8-7 can’t play against K-K – you’re pretty much a 4-to-1 loser, and you won’t win the pot often enough to warrant a call. However, when there are more players in the hand, there is more money in the pot. If you can see a hand flop cheaply, your potential recovery outweighs your chances of not winning the hand.
On the other hand, when more hands pay off very well from weaker hands, the chances increase. The players are in sight. They also increase your chances of playing against weaker players. This is an advantage to always be aware of, especially if you have midports on the same set. Weaker or inexperienced players often find it difficult to determine their hand when forming a hand. So if you play your best, you get paid handsomely.
Correct play of the same suit requires certain skills and good card reading ability. When you’re willing to give your opponent a limited range of hands that are good enough most of the time, you’re ready to play those hands more aggressively and more often. I play a lot of middle connectors of the same suit, especially against opponents who put too much money into top pair or top pair hands.
As I said before, play carefully and confidently. Once you have position, use this information to determine if you have a strong hand. The worst case scenario is hitting a small to medium flush and losing a bigger flush. I see a lot of people being devalued out of fear. Don’t worry – if you play middle connectors of the same suit and just hope for the best hand and don’t play or call timidly, you won’t win big money.