Playing Pocket Six-Five Suited in No-Limit Texas Holdem

If you have by any chance been following the series of hand suggestions for Texas holdem, you may have noticed my fondness for suited connectors. If you haven't, suited connectors are hole cards that are suited and can be used to form two parts of a straight. Of course the closer they are together the better, so 65s is much better than 64s is much better than 63s, etc. 65s is the last suited connector we will be covering. As you will see, it can only be played profitably in a few situations, and none of the suited connectors below it can be played at all in my opinion from any position with the exception of the big blind in an unraised pot. This includes 64s, 63s, 62s, 54s and any other hand that starts with a five four or three.

This hand is such a borderline case, that if you decided not to play it at all, particularly as you are gaining experience and learning, you would probably not be incorrect or cost yourself enough profit to make much of a difference.

Early Position

65s cannot be played for a profit from early position in any game or situation.

Middle Position

I also do not recommend playing this hand from middle position in any game.

Late Position

Late position gives you the best opportunities to play 65s profitably. I don't play it in limit play very often, as it is difficult to build a large enough pot after the flop to make it profitable when the flop improves your hand. In no limit play, I prefer a chance to limp in or call a small raise against a player whom I know will pay me off even if their hand is clearly beaten after the flop.

The type of flop that I hope to see is one that may give me multiple draws, like a flush draw or straight draw, either with a back door or better draw to the other. For example, a flop of 3 4 Q with two cards of my suit gives me a flush draw and an open-end straight draw. However, if there is only one card of my suit on the flop, I still have an open-end straight draw that will give me the correct pot odds to continue in most cases. The significance of having one of my suit on the board is that the back door flush draw can add an additional out when determining the outs, depending on who's theory you follow. I add one out in this situation.

Blind Play

I generally do not play 65s from the small blind in any game, or from the big blind when there has been a raise. This is a hand that you must have positional advantage throughout the hand to play for a profit. Calling a raise when you have to play the rest of the hand out of position is a steady drain on your bankroll, and should be avoided at all costs.