Suited vs Unsuited Hands

Red Chip PokerRed Chip Poker Posts: 98 -
edited October 2014 in General Concepts
This question was emailed to us and Brenna gave us permission to post it on her behalf:

Before I ask my question I would like to introduce myself a little bit because I will probably need a little help more than once… My name is Brenna and I am new to poker, I have been playing for about 6 months. I am pretty much a live tournament player (trying to improve at live cash…..) so I really appreciate when you mention in videos situations where tournament considerations are important to think about (example Ed Millers video on blind play and the difference that tournament antes make).

the importance of suited hands. I have heard it mentioned in more than one video that a suited hand is much better than a non suited hand. I do read poker books and I have run into conflicting opinions on this and I have read that it is a mistake to overvalue a suited hand and that there is only a 3% difference in equity, which is inconsequential.

can you please explain your reasoning on why suited hands play so much better than non suited hands?
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  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes the equity difference is not extremely great (but it is higher than 3%), but the "playability" is significantly better.

    -You will feel more comfortable semi-bluffing and continuing with suited cards.
    -You will have a blocker to a higher flush coming in when you do make a low card flush.
    -You will have a blocker in determining if someone is on a similar draw.
    -You will be able to potentially freeroll someone with the same non-suited draw.
    -You will naturally play less trash if you restrict your connectors to the suited variety.

    There are probably more reasons, but those work for my game.
  • al.eversonal.everson Red Chipper Posts: 15
    There are great thoughts about this topic on chapter 2 and 3 on the book Easy Game (by Andrew "BalugaWhale" Seidman).
    On these chapters, BalugaWhale explains very detailed how choosing a better preflop range can help you keep aggression postflop.

    For example, on the board 9s7d3cQs if you have A6o you have 3 outs, but with As6s you have 12 outs. That means you can keep firing.

    It's a great boost... after a big sample, these small PF choices can make a huge difference in your ranges, results and strategy.

    Easy Game is a great book, I recommend reading.
  • bocky7bocky7 Red Chipper Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    There are times when 3% can make a significant difference. Many times a marginal hand can be playable,being suited,opposed to being unsuited,because that (around) 3% can be enough make the difference.Say you are at a table with 4 players.You would want to have above 25% EV to be above average against them.Now take :6c:7d against these 4 players. You only have an estimated 23% EV. But :6c:7c will give you an estimated 27% EV. In this situation that 3% makes a huge difference of making your hand playable, because you now have an above average range over your opponents.
  • Ed MillerEd Miller RCP Coach Posts: 330
    I have three more points about suited vs unsuited

    1. In multiway pots being suited is extra important, because that 5% of the time you make a flush, you will likely beat everyone else in the pot. So the 5% might be the difference between winning 20% and 25% of the time which is obviously significant.

    2. Flushes can win BIG pots. It's not just that you win an extra 3-5% of hands playing suited cards. You create extremely high value turn and river situations for yourself (because you made a nearly unbeatable flush) where you can extract big value bets.

    3. How big do people think the edges are in this game? You can't just throw away 3% and say, "Hey, it's just 3%" and expect to do very well.

    Bottom line? Suited hands are so much better than offsuit hands that it makes offsuit hands largely unplayable in many situations.
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    Poker is a game of small edges... so take the edges you get.

    It isn't only 3% extra EQ.

    It's OMG 3% EXTRA EQ!!!!!!
  • tagliustaglius Red Chipper Posts: 290 ✭✭
    I would like to concur as to the importance of suited hands when it comes to semi-bluffing and maintaining aggression.

    If you're the PFR with say :Qs:Js on a 9 high board that contains one spade, and your cbet gets called, you will be able to keep up your aggression on not only any overcard (which either gives you a pair with a Q/J, a straight draw with a ten, or is a scary A/K overcard), but you can also double barrel any spade because it also increases your equity. Now we're talking about keeping aggression up with half the deck.

    Instead of thinking about the 3% that you'll actually hit a flush, think instead about the 10% of the time you flop a flush draw, which allows you to double barrel, or the times like the above where you turn a flush draw and get to do the same.

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