How to Slow Play a Hand in Texas Holdem Poker
We are going to discuss a very common, yet a very important term in poker –slow playing. Slow playing means to play a hand deceptively or secretly. When you are slow playing, you are not representing the strength of your hand. In fact, you are doing the exact opposite. When you’re slow playing, you are acting as if you are weak and want others to raise or just to come along in the pot. It can be said that slow playing is the opposite of bluffing.
I’m guessing that you have already done your homework and have learned about the basic ideas of how to slow play from googling or surfing wiki. Now, the question is – How do you slow play? More importantly, when do you slow play?
How to Slow Play?
It’s no rocket science. You are trapping your opponent(s). You are representing a weaker hand than the one you have making your opponent to believe that he might be able to steal or snatch that pot from you.
When you are slow playing, you are flat calling or checking a hand instead of being aggressive and firing at it. This strategy is very useful to grind fishes. It is also very effective against loose-aggressive players. Because sometimes you just need to trap!
Flat calling or checking with pocket Aces (AA) pre-flop can be considered as slow playing; because you want others to fire at the pot. Another good example of slow playing would be flopping a set (trips or three of a kind) and playing deceptively; because you are in a fairly strong position and you want to extract some value for the hand.
When to Slow Play?
Timing is the most crucial factor when it comes to slow playing. Whether to slow play or not depends on a lot of things.
Your Table Image
What sort of impression do you have on the table? If you are playing passive, then you shouldn’t get aggressive or act strongly right after you get a good hand. You should keep acting weak and let the aggressive opponents attack the pot. That is exactly what slow playing is.
If your opponents are tight-passive players, it might be very difficult to extract any value from them. In such a scenario, slow playing can help you squeeze out that extra bit of dollar.
You may want to slow play when you are a strong favorite to win the pot, but you think nobody else has hit anything. Slow playing in such a case and giving them a free card can make a lot of difference in the pot size that you hope to win. That’s why it’s good to slow play when you have flopped a set, but the flop appears to be a rainbow.
Remember slow play only when you think you have the nuts. If you are not sure whether your hand is going to hold up as the best after the 4th, 5th street or not, don’t slow play. It is always better to win a small pot than to lose a big one. Use these too on knowing how to slow play.
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