Offsuit - Cards that are not of the same suit.
At the start of the hand, Hold’em players are dealt a two card starting hand. These are called you’re “hole cards.” Players may use
these two cards in any combination with the
community cards from the board to make the
best possible poker hand. The player who makes the best five card hand will win the pot.
Hold’em is a community card game. This means cards are dealt face up in the center of the table, for all players to share. In fact,
the only differentiation between each player’s hand is their starting hand. Because there isn’t much differentiation between hands in
a Hold’em game, it makes the content of the starting hand very important. Players only have two cards to define their hands with, so
they will need every edge available to them.
At the beginning of the hand, players must decide if their starting hand is playable. This decision is mainly based upon the content
of the hand, but other factors, such as position or the amount of the bet, often come into play. One thing that can make a starting
hand more valuable is if it is suited. This means
that both hole cards are of identical suits, regardless of which suit that may be. The specific suit is not important, because the
ranking of the suits is not considered at showdown.
Having suited hole cards greatly increases the probability that you will make a flush during the coming hand, and a flush is a very
strong hand. But you do not have to actually complete a flush to add
value to your hand. Most Hold’em hands are won by
betting and never even make it to showdown. If you flop a flush draw you have greatly increase the value of your holding, because if
you bet your hand correctly, you will win many of those pots without ever completing a flush.
If a player’s hole cards do not contain the same suit, but rather are composed of two different suits, the hand is referred to as
“unsuited,” or “offsuit.” Since there are four different suits in the deck, a majority of hands dealt will be off suit. Less than 23%
of hands dealt will end up being suited.
While there is a benefit to holding a suited hand over an offsuit hand, the benefit is slight. It increases your chances of winning
the hand by a few percentage points at best. One thing that makes your suited hole cards more valuable is if they in sequence in terms
rank, for instance Q♥ K♥. These cards are
known as “suited connectors.” Suited connecting hands are obviously more valuable than unconnected offsuit hands. Still, being suited
and connected is not a good enough justification, by itself, to play a hand. For the most part, in order to make suited connectors
valuable, you must have something else going for you as well. The most common thing that will make suited connectors playable is if
they are also high ranking. Another thing that may add enough value for you to play them is if you hold them in position.
Hands that are not of a high enough quality to be played are referred to as “trash,” or “slop.” Many offsuit hands fall into this
category. But whether or not the hand is suited is not the primary determinant of value. The ranking of the two hole cards is the most
important factor. In fact, most raising hands, including all of the premium pairs, are offsuit. Also, most of the suited hands you
will be dealt are trash. Do not put too much stock into a hand being suited, or even into it being suited and connected, if other
aspects of value, like a high ranking or quality position, are not present. You should be careful not to overestimate the value of
being suited, especially before the flop, or after, if you have not flopped a flush draw.
Usage: Ace King Off Suit, Off Suited Cards
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