Everyone loves to play suited cards, especially suited connectors and especially online. This is a point that I have hammered home time and again; the combination of cards is more deceptive online than it is at a live game. How many times have you seen someone at a live table make a big raise with suited cards? In all my years of playing, I have never seen anyone play them properly. Of course, many of you reading this already know the answer to that question, but I feel it necessary to root out the reasons why this happens.
First off, people tend to over value suited cards and tend to get way too excited when they receive them. This results in them not being willing to fold when the action gets back to them. They will happily take the risk of a big pot when they are holding high cards, but just won’t allow themselves to be blinded by the flush or straight.
Another reason is that when other players think they have a better hand than you, they are highly likely to fold due to being confident. If you played ace high and someone called you with ace five, there is a good chance you will still lose the hand. Since you won the blinds, as well, those who are still in the hand will think you played aces high, thus resulting in a lot of bluffs and suck outs.
With all of that said, you still shouldn’t play suited cards unless you are dealt a high card that signals the strength of your hand. If you are dealt ace high or one two, immediate action may be taken on your part to either keep the hand or bet aggressively in the future. If your opponents know you are working with connectors, you can bully them into thinking your starting hand is something like ace, two three, four nine, you will force quite a lot of players to have to think hard on their hand and many may decide to fold.
If you know you are going to be heads up with your opponent for a lot of the session, you will want to be raising when you are dealt suited cards. This is because most of the time, there will be a lot of raises and blinds to steal from your opponent. If you are unable to take his money from the blinds, his ability to call and chase will be greatly reduced, thereby forcing you to win those chips in every encounter. Regularly Observing Your OpponentTo get a feel for how the other players at the table play, you should observe your opponent’s play for a few hands. If you find that he is using many connected cards, you can almost bet with the odds that he has a strong hand.
When you first observe your opponent, you should keep the game general. Don’t think of your hand as strong just because you are holding suited cards. Think about your hand as a powerful hand, but also keep in mind that the way your opponent is betting may indicate that he may not have a strong hand. Also, if your opponent checks his cards after you bet, you should take that into consideration.
The next time you play these small potent hands, you should take note of your opponent’s betting. I know that this will not effect the outcome of the game, but it will help you in general. When you play these hands, bet hard, but be aware of your opponent’s reactions. Usually, they will begin to play back at you with any hand that is dealt. If you can smell diversion, you can pick your spots.