Limit Texas Hold'em: Being Suited

When playing Limit Texas Hold'em, it's sometimes correct to play suited connectors like K-Qs, Q-Js, J-Ts, T-9s, 9-8s, 8-7s, 7-6s, and so forth.

Usually, the time to play suited connectors is when you get a good price on your hand, such as when you're sitting in late position and have four callers in front of you. But why is it so important that the hands be suited? Is the difference in value really that big between a J-Ts and a J-T?

To answer these questions you need to consider a few factors:

  1. Suited connectors are marginal hands in Limit Texas Hold'em, meaning they shouldn't be played too much and only under the right circumstances.
  2. You will be dealt an offsuit connector more times than the corresponding suited connector. This translates to playing many more marginal hands than you would if you only played them suited.
  3. A flush draw is a draw to a stronger hand than a straight.
  4. A flush draw has one more out than an open-ended straight draw (nine outs compared to eight).
  5. A flush draw is easier to play and you won't make as many mistakes with them as with straight draws.

The basic problem with playing the offsuit connectors is that you'll be entering more pots with a marginal hand than you would if you only play them suited.

You will invariably flop a straight draw and lose to a flush. Even on a rainbow flop, you might hit your straight on the river only to see your hand lose to a runner-runner flush and be forced to pay your opponent off.

You'll also be in more situations where you are forced to make tricky decisions, like calling a bet on the flop with only a gut-shot straight draw because the size of the pot warrants it. You'll have to split more pots with other straights.

Finally, you'll find yourself in more situations where you end up losing to a higher straight.

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