Pros & Cons of Playing Offsuit Connectors in Cash Games – Top Tips by Upswing Poker
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Unlike their suited counterparts, which provide a lot of playability, offsuit connectors are generally hands that you don’t want to get involved with in cash games.
However, nothing in poker is set in stone, and there are always some exceptions to general rules.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at offsuit connectors and focus on some special situations where these poker hands can be played profitably.
Offsuit Connectors in Unopened Pots & Facing a Raise
For the most part, you don’t want to be opening offsuit connectors lower than 8-7 from any position. Although these hands have some playability, they’re not strong enough to get involved with, and you have many better raising candidates.
The best two hands from this group, i.e., 8-9 and 9-10, you can raise with from the button or from the small blind when the action folds to you.
When you open these hands from these positions, the likelihood of facing a 3-bet is small, so you’ll have a good chance to see the flop and play the hand with initiative.
When there is a raise in front of you, the simple rule of thumb is that you should always fold all of your offsuit connectors from all positions except when you’re in the big blind.
This isn’t to say that you’ll want to defend all of your offsuit connectors in the big blind. The decision whether to call or not will depend on two main factors:
- The raiser’s position – the later the position, the more hands we’ll want to add to our defending range
- The open size – we want to defend more hands against smaller sizes
You can find the entire breakdown of hands and positions in the full Upswing article that we’ll link to at the end if you want to really build your game plan with offsuit connectors.
Finally, if you ever face a 3-bet with these hands, there is always just one correct play, and that’s to fold. Non-suited connectors are not strong enough to play 3-bet pots with them, so if you open and face resistance from another player, just fold and move on.
Playing Offsuit Connectors After the Flop
Knowing what to do with these hands before the flop is just one part of the equation. The second one is figuring out the strategy after the flop.
The main idea to lead you across different flops should be that you don’t want to always play your hands the same. So, for example:
- With an open-ended straight draw on the flop (i.e., holding 7♥6♣ on a 2♥5♣8♥, you’ll want to call about 50% of the time and raise 50% of the time.
- With a gutshot, i.e. 9♥10♦ on 6♥7♣K♠, you’ll want to just call for the most part, but mix in an occasional raise.
- You can use your offsuit connectors to bluff on low paired boards where you have overcards, and some backdoor draws (for example, 8♣9♥ on 6♣6♥3♦).
In the instances where you connect with the board and flop a middle or even a top pair, you’ll generally want to keep the size of the pot under control as much as possible.
So, to sum it up, offsuit connectors aren’t the most powerful hands, and you don’t want to get mixed up in too many pots with them.
That said, knowing how to recognize the situations where they can be played profitably can help increase your overall win rate.
If you want to know more about playing offsuit connectors and would like to see a few more examples, make sure to check out the full Upswing article.
If you want to dig deeper and learn a few more things about navigating rivers with missed flush draws, I recommend you check out the full Upswing article covering this topic!