Tag Archives: Slow Playing In Poker

Slow playing in poker

Poker is without doubt a game of highs and lows. We’ve discussed in a previous article how suffering bad beats can take you to the depths of poker, so I thought it was only fair that we cheered everyone up by talking about one of the best feelings in poker: being in a pot with the stone cold nuts, knowing that you can’t lose the hand.

This is a great position to be in, because the only issue you have to worry about is just how much you’re going to win. Generally players have two options in this sort of situation: they either bet out or they slow play the hand. We’ll have a quick look at each of these strategies and try to highlight how you chose the best way to play.

Slow playing in poker

So what is slowplaying?

Slowplaying is the art of hiding your strength to make you look weak. Players generally do this by checking to an opponent or simply calling a bet that has already been made.

The idea is that if your opponent has a mediocre hand, he’ll probably be willing to throw a few extra chips into the middle of the table in the hope that he might be able to steal the pot without having to show his cards.

This is obviously great news for you if you’re sitting opposite him/her with a monster hand. After all, you want to encourage your opponent to throw as many chips into that pot as you can.

Let’s say for example that you’re dealt an A 10 before the flop. You limp in and the flop comes down A A 10, giving you a very strong full house. In this sort of situation though you need to be aware that it’s highly unlikely your opponents will have caught any part of the flop. Therefore, if you decide to go with a large raise, the chances are that everyone else will simply fold their hands and you will win nothing more than the blinds.

However, if you check your hand you’re not showing any strength at all. In fact, quite the opposite: you limped in before the flop and now that some pretty scary cards have come up, you’re quite willing to pass.

It’s quite possible that one of your opponent limped in with a medium pair or perhaps something like a K Q. In which case, they’re probably going to believe that their pair or straight draw is still the strongest hand and worth a bet. If only to try to push players out of the hand.

That’s great news for you, as you’ve already picked up more chips than you would have done if you had decided to raise. Ideally, you’d be praying that they make their straight so that you can really cash in!

However, you need to be careful. Slow playing at the wrong time can lead you into a lot of trouble.

Let’s say for example you’re dealt a medium pair in the hole and go on to complete a set on the flop. In this sort of scenario, I’d suggest a fairly strong raise – especially if there are connecting or suited cards out there.

The reason for this is that your opponent may well be on a draw and you’re effectively giving them a free card to complete their straight/flush. You need to bet out to protect what is a very solid hand for you at the moment, but could turn out to be a nightmare if the wrong card comes up. Read More →