Appropriate for Playing Suited Connectors

Situation 1: One situation conducive t o playing these hands is when someone has raised and two or three players have already called in front of me. Here I 'm investng two bets with at least three other opponents. I n this situation, I l ike to have at least 5 -6 suited or higher. I don't s ee much value in 2-3, 3 -4, or 45 suited: t he pairs, s taights, a nd flushes these hands might make are all too low. To show you what I mean, if I 'm playing a hand like 3-4 suited, I 'm hoping to make a straight. I t's not that I object to making a flush, but mine would be the worst possible flush, and I could easily l ose t o a higher flush. S o I'd rather make a straight, b ut unless I hit the hand absolutely perfectly with A-2-5, my staight i s probably going to be on the l ow side of what's available.

For example, if the flop comes 5-6-7, I have indeed made my straight, but I 'm vulnerable t o people who are playing higher suited connectors: 8 -9 j ust buries me, 7-8 gives my opponent t op pair with an open-ended straight draw that can easily beat me, and both 5-6 and 6-7 leave me vulnerable to losing to a full house. S omeone with pocket eights wiil b e touble, t oo. But i f my suited connectors are a little higher, I 'm not quite as vulnerable to losing a big pot. I'm not going to hit a suited connector hand too often anyway, a nd when I do hit it, I want t o be reasonably sure I'm going to win with it.

Playing suited connectors, I'm hoping to hit the flop pretty solidly; if I don't, I just surrender my two previous bets on the flop and fold the hand. I ' m also prepared to j am the flop i f I t hink I've flopped the best hand, in order t o protect it.

Situation 2: The second favorable situation arises when I have suited connectors in the blinds, because I get in for a discount. I n other words, c ailing two bets in the big blind amounts to calling j ust one bet, since it was I who posted the first bet i n the blind.

Situation 3: The third situation involves messing with other players' heads and making myself more unpredictable i n other players' e yes. In this s ituatton, I 'l make it three bets over the top of someone who I think is raising the pot with a weak hand in front of me. I may three-bet ( reraise) a jackal when I'm on the button with _ -| in order t o try to steal the pot from him.

If I am able to take the pot away, by forcing everyone to fold, then I'l j ust place my winning hand facedown. But if I get caught bluffing, then I'm more than happy to show the whole table my hand and say, "Six high." When the other players real-

c n ize t hat I r eraised with before the flop, t hen I c an expect to receive a l ot of extra action for a while! After I 've shown down six high once or twice, then it's time to play the top ten hands only, for a while, a nd wait f or t he players t o give me t heir chips. They'l stiil be thinking that I have nothing ( six high!), but I'l be showing them some real hands for a while. This pattern tends t o keep many players off balance, and eventually they may decide they don't want t o mess with me.

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