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Connectors Definition

Poker Connecting Cards

by Jesse Knight
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Suited Connectors
Connectors - Cards of adjoining rank.

In a Holdem game, consecutively ranked hole cards are called “connectors.” If the connecting hole cards are of the same suit, they are called “suited connectors,” and if they are of two different suits, they are called “unsuited connectors.” For instance, if you were dealt 7♥ 8♥ you would have suited connectors, and if you were dealt 9♣ T♠, you would have unsuited connectors. The reason that hole cards are described this way is that there a significant advantage to being suited over being unsuited, and there is also a significant advantage to having connectors, instead of holding gap hands or unrelated cards. The advantage to being suited, of course, is that it greatly increases you chances of making a flush, which is a very strong hand in Hold’em. The advantage to having connectors is that it greatly increases probability that you will make a straight.

If you are playing low or middle cards, having them suited or connecting (or both) is of tantamount importance. If you are playing high cards, having them suited or connecting is a plus, but having the top kicker (often an Ace or King) is often just as important, if not more so. This means that a hand like 7♣ 8♣ is more valuable than 7♣ 9♣, but depending on the action, a hand like A♣ Q♣ may be much more valuable than K♣ Q♣. The reason for this is that high cards make high pairs, and one high pair is often enough to win the pot. This makes having the top kicker very important when playing high cards, because the kicker will often decide the winner.

On the other hand, low and middle cards will not win very often when making one pair. Even if they do, small differences in the quality of the kicker will not matter nearly as often as it will with hands containing high cards. In other words, a pair of sevens with a nine kicker will not win very many more pots than a pair of sevens with an eight kicker. Low and middle hands are far more likely to win if you complete a straight or a flush. So, when evaluating the strength of low and middle hands, keep in mind that the value lost from having a gap (as opposed to having connectors) is greater than the value gained from having your kicker be one point higher.

Usage: Suited Connectors, Unsuited Connectors

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