Holdem: important to be Suited

In these loose games, if your hand is suited then it is a great advantage. One good thing about raising with suited cards before the flop (particularly an ace suited) is that when you flop a flush, or a four-flush, you invite all the lower pairs calling. They may be correct to call but it doesn't hurt you. They may be making money by calling on the flop because there are also other players playing. But they are not taking the money from you. They in fact are making money for you.

The Fundamental Theory of Poker expresses that if someone is gaining money they are taking the money from you. (Refer The Theory of Poker for more in detail.) That's true in heads-up pot, but there are exceptions in multi-way. Suppose in a four handed pot it could be possible that the fourth player in is gaining $1 from the second player in, $1.50 from the third player, but giving you $0.75 of it back to you.

Thus if you flop a four-flush, especially an ace-high four-flush, and a player calls getting 12-to-1 with low pair, he may be costing whoever holds high pair money because of the odds that he is getting and maybe costing someone who holds middle pair a little money but he is not costing you anything. He is instead making money for you.

One good reason to raise with flush cards is because if you flop the draw, by making the pot bigger, people now play hands that can't win against your hand if you hit it. (That is, if there are many players in, it is right to raise with small pairs on the button.)
For example you hold



And there are five or more people in front of you. If they call, you should raise in a game where the players are weak. However, if they are tough, you should just call, and if they are worse, you should still call.
When the other players are worse, there is no reason to make this raise so as to attract their call on the flop because they will stay in anyway. If they are tough then the play is not tough because they won't play that badly on the flop and they will have better hand.

When several players have limped in (before the flop) a raise with an A8 would be tough decision if you were all in that point. If you gave yourself an A8 and play against their hands, you would possibly break even whether you raised or just called. However, the reason you should raise is because of how it affects future play. If the raise will get people involved so that if you do flop a four-flush and then complete it you win the huge pot then there is a valid reason to do it. But if it doesn't achieve the expected effect or if you don't build up the pot to get extra calls, then you shouldn't do it.

Playing AQ

We will see how to play AQ (and other similar hands). If you hold hands like AQ in an early position, you should not raise if you are in a game where your raise will not eliminate the players. In fact, if you are in a good, loose game, you are under the gun and you decide to raise with hands like big suited connectors that play well in a large multi-way pots, there is nothing wrong with it.

To know why it is correct you need to ask yourself a question when you are in a game like this "What am I trying to achieve by raising?"

To make AQ raise correct, you should be able to limit the pot to only a small number of players. If you cannot do this, then you should hit the flop to win. You will need to flop an ace or a queen (or some other decent hands) to continue. The play would be different if you could limit the field and thereby sometime hope to win with just ace high. But when the game is loose this will not be the case.
For example, you raise with

Other players call but your raise makes one player with a hand like

to fold.

Are you happy with his folding?

If you were heads-up then you would be happy of folding his hand with 87. But once several players are in, you have to flop an ace or a queen, and he is going to hurt you if he catches two his cards while you also catch. Hence he has to hit two out of four cards rather than one out of five so you so longer really want him out.
Hence if you knew that your raise will force fold but a call will not, so that's the main reason for you to raise.
(Of course the case would be different if your AQ was suited. Now you should raise with the reasons which were discussed earlier. The main aim is only win the large multi-way pot.)

continue here: An Adjustment based on player's skill