When to Slowplay

Generally in low limit poker, straightforward play is the best way to show profit. However, as you become more advanced in your play, you will find that adding techniques such as slow playing to your poker game can add to your profit margins. The key in slow playing is to determine when to and when not to.

What is Slow Playing?

Slow playing is when you check and call with a monster hand hoping to get more money into the pot on the more expensive streets, trapping your opponents and maximizing the money in the pot.

When to Slow Play

- Slow play when the opponents in the hand have a very small chance of catching you.

- Tend to slow play more at tighter tables where aggression could run the entire table off too early

- Tend to slow play when the board is not threatening, ie. all rags.

- Tend to slow play when up against an opponent that is aggressive and easy to trap.

When to NOT Slow Play

- Do not slow play when you only have a "strong" hand. You do not want to give free cards to players when they have a good chance of catching up and beating your hand.

- Do not slow play when you are at a loose table with maniacs. They will probably bet and raise no matter what you do, so the best method of maximizing the pot is to get as many bets and raises into the pot as you can.

- Do not tend to slow play against passive call station type opponents. If they will check and call, let them pay you off.

- Do not slow play when the board is threatening your hand. Example: You hold pocket aces and flop three of a kind, but there is also a flush or straight draw on the flop. You want to make those drawers pay to beat you. If you win the pot on the flop, so be it.

In conclusion, slow playing is taking a calculated risk. You are giving a free card to your opponents in hopes that they catch up enough to continue calling or betting, but not enough to actually beat your hand. There will be times that slow playing will allow another player to catch and beat you. You need to get adept enough at knowing when to slow play and when not to, such that the overall extra bets you win outweigh the rare times that you are outdrawn.