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What is a Suited Hand & How Should You Play Them?

When you play or observe Texas Hold’em or Omaha, you’ll eventually hear the term “suited.” Hole cards of the same suit are referred to as suited, like A♠K♠ and 97 for example.

Suited hands can lead to making flushes, and a flush is often good enough to win the pot. How should you play suited hands? Let take a look:

How to Play Suited Poker Hands

Any two cards of the same suit make a suited poker hand. In Texas Hold’em, the aforementioned A♠ K♠ and 97 count as suited hands. In Omaha, A♠ K♠ 97 would count as an example of a double-suited hand.

Aside from pocket pairs, all possible hole card combinations have suited and offsuit versions. When looking at common poker hand notation, “AKs” refers to any suited version of Ace-King (A♠ K♠, AK, AK, A♣ K♣), while “AKo” refers to any offsuit version (A♠ K, AK♣, etc.)

Not all suited poker hands should be played the same. High-end suited connectors (connected suited cards like A♠ K♠, JT) make great candidates for a preflop open raise from any position.

The middle part of the suited-connector spectrum (T9s through 54s) can make for good open raise hands from later positions, and calls in position. Low suited connectors like 43s and 32s should generally be folded preflop.

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High-end suited gappers (like A♠ Q♠, A5♥, QT) also make great hands to open preflop. The more connected the hand, the better it will fare postflop.

Postflop Play With Suited Poker Hands

When you play a suited hand preflop, you’re hoping to either flop a flush draw, or a strong made hand. Hands like A♣ K♣ can lead to a flopped top pair with top kicker, two pair, straights, flushes, and flush draws.

Lower suited hands don’t offer as many opportunities to make strong hands. With a preflop hand like 97, for instance, you’re really hoping to flop a flush draw, straight draw, combo draw, or two pair.

When you flop a flush draw, your hand often works well as a semi-bluff. In many situations, you should continue betting on a flopped flush draw if you were the preflop aggressor. 

If you have a flush draw on the flop, and are facing a bet, consider pot odds before making the call. If you have JT♥ on a flop of A♠ 65, for instance, you have nine possible outs to make a flush on the turn or river.

With nine outs, you have 35 percent chance of making the flush on either the turn or river. There’s a 19 percent chance you’ll see the flush come in on the turn.

Chasing flush draws when the pot odds aren’t in your favor is a long-term losing play. For more information on this crucial poker concept, check out Upswing Poker’s guide on pot odds.

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