This has been a tricky hand for me. It seems like folding 34, 45, 65, 32, suited is somewhat of a waste but then again it isn't often you hit the flush or straight you need. What's the best way to play these kind of hands?

  • 1
    Does this regard cash games or tournaments? Generally I would advice not to play these low suited connectors. You don't need to.
    – Raymond
    Jun 19, 2017 at 5:58
  • 1
    I agree with Raymond, you don't need to play them, and often when people do play them, they overplay these type of hands.
    – Grinch91
    Jun 19, 2017 at 7:52

3 Answers 3


Generally, low suited connectors don't have enough value to be played consistently and they have high reverse implied odds, meaning that even when you hit two pair, a straight, or a flush, it's still a second-best hand and you lose more than you should.

One time to go ahead and play them is when it's cheap to do so and you're capable enough to not lose too much on a second-best hand. For example, if somebody min-raises, there's a few callers and you're in the big blind--it's probably OK to throw in the one extra big blind and see a multi-way flop.

The other time where I think low suited connectors are useful is when you need to mix in some extra hands. This could be because your image is super tight and your opponents have picked up on it (leading to them never paying you off) or to be able to play back at aggressive players who have been taking advantage of your tightness. Another time might be in a tournament where the situation calls for you to be stealing blinds, and although you might end up seeing a flop, you're not expecting to go all in or anything preflop.

So in the examples where you want to mix in some extra hands for aggressiveness or to portray a looser image, while you could do this with random hands, the small suited connectors do have some extra intrinsic value over something like 94 offsuit and they're common enough to be able to use them in these spots rather than the more "garbage" hands. That doesn't mean you should play every low suited connector, but being dealt one can be a good stop-and-think moment where you evaluate whether you're in a good situation to "mix it up". The key is to not get too attached to the value of your hand, but rather taking advantage of a good situation with the secondary benefit of hitting a hidden monster. That's the other positive about low suited connectors--when you do hit with them, it's with something that nobody expects you to have and you could possibly get paid off for that.

  • 1
    Good points! Two more cases lots of people use them: 1) As the original raiser, especially in short-handed games at late positions, firstly to steal some blinds and secondly, to play with them in position if called. Moreover, people will not put you in such hands most of the times, so you get a ton of value if you "hit". 2) You can also use them to defend (by calling or even 3-betting), especially against aggressive players in deep stack situations (>150BBs) Jun 27, 2017 at 11:34

Best way to play them in my opinion is to play them cheaply. The type of situation where you're on the button or are the big blind, theres a few limps and you can close the action.

Pretty simple to play them, get in cheap or when you have a crazy good price to call, you miss you're done. You need to be able to release the hand and not start thinking of something like "I have a pair of threes maybe I'm good?" These type of hands pay of well when they hit as they're well hidden. The problem is they don't hit often because you need to pretty much hit perfectly, i.e. get the flush or straight, or trips, etc. Your pair of twos, threes, fours, etc are still trash.

Biggest thing to remember with these type of hands is don't overplay them!


NOT hands you play short stacked.

You should not play 23, 34 as less ways to make straight as you don't have 3 below.

I don't play 45 because of card removal - if people are in the hand the most likely card they hold is an ace.

The risk of 56 is if the board comes up 789 someone has TJ. If it was an early open then JT is not likely.

When you get into 78 board 9TJ people play KQ unsuited so you have lot more ways to be beat.

I still play them if I can get in for the right price with position as when you hit you typically know where you stand. I just call - you could be calling with a big range so it should not be giving away you hand. I don't typically open with them unless it is the BB for a steal with some equity. Yes you can get beat by higher straight or flush but that is poker. Don't look to get all your chips in the pot with this type of hand unless you have the nut end. You are looking to get value from 1 pair, 2 pair, and trips. Your opponents are likely to bet 2 pair, trips, and a bigger straight the same so you kind of need to stand the heat. If you have players that will bet the pot on the flop with 2 pair then you are not getting the odds to play. But unless they are playing

Hit a flush on the river is scarier as people play Ax suited so still don't look to get all your chips in the pot. But you cannot fold to a big get or you will be exploited.

If you hit the flush on the flop or turn you need to get aggressive and bet like the a full or 2/3 pot. You do not want a 4 flush on the board as then you are like 50 50. You need to bet some sets and 2 pair the same way.

Cannot play these cards in a discernible way or you will get blown off pots. If you like to come in for 5 bb with a strong hands to steal blinds then cannot afford to play these speculative hands. So you need to come in for like 2.5 bb with QQ+ to balance it out. If your QQ+ gets re-raised pre you can fire away. If 78s gets re-raised then you can get out of the way.

I like these more in a tournament as you can put your money is situations where you are pretty sure you are ahead. Daniel Negreanu plays these type of hands. A weak home game that does not raise much pre misses even seeing straight draws then very playable.

I like 1 gapper as if I have 57 and the board hits 689 it is not likely someone was playing 7T. Plus it 1 gapper is MUCH better disguised. yxyxx
You can only lose to a larger if they are playing 2 gapper

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