The influence of the chain conformation on the formation of polymeric supramolecular complexes as well as the influence of the complexation on the conformation of the polymer chain has been studied. The complexation of pyrene into the cavity of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) was investigated in aqueous solutions of β-CD substituted poly(allylamine) (PAA) under variation of external parameters, i.e. temperature, pH, ionic strength and addition of urea. The observed changes of the complexation constant K for the formation of the 2:1 β-CD/pyrene complex can be explained by a change of the chain flexibility which leads to a variation of the mean distance between neighbouring β-CD-moieties along the polymer chain. The intra-chain association of the decyl group with β-CD in PAA with co-pendant decyl and β-CD is disrupted by the addition of 1-adamantanamine HCl resulting in a more extended structure of the polymer. The β-CD moiety in PAA-CD shows one order of magnitude greater affinity to 2-(p-toluidyl)naphthalene-6-sulfonate than the native β-CD and the affinity increases further by the presence of decyl side groups.