Slow Playing Strategy in Texas Holdem

The often misused strategy in texas holdem of Slow Playing a hand. Is a deceptive tactic used to hide the strength of a strong hand like two pair or better usually by checking. This can be done to encourage opponents to bet, stay in the hand, or to let opponents catch a card that will make their hand second best. The bottom line is to get a big hand paid off, for as much as possible.

Slow Playing in a Multi-Way Pot

If an opponent has shown serious aggression preflop then slow playing would be correct up to the point of a check raise since most preflop raisers will bet on the flop the majority of the time.

If there was no preflop raiser slow playing a strong hand like two pair or better is not recommended in multi-way pots. Especially a hand lower than a full house. It's dangerous and will lower the value that should be extracted from the hand.

Since there will be many hands in play, there will be plenty of players with draws that will call a bet. So it is correct to bet which starts a snowball effect. More players will come along as the pot gets bigger. Some will be calling all the way to the river. My strategy for building a pot is much more profitable and deceptive than slowplaying.

Another reason is with this many players in the pot someone is likely to have a strong hand that is second to yours. If you slow play and they do too, you will be losing value for the hand. Since they may raise only once someone bets and so on.

Also if a hand is checked in an attempt to slow play and then checked by all players on the flop. The pot will remain small. Now a bet on the turn may drive away players with a weak hand or drawing hand since there is only one more card to come or a card hits that scares them. Which is defeating the goal of getting the hand paid off. Giving free or inexpensive cards to multiple opponents is just too dangerous and incorrect holdem poker strategy.

Slow Playing in a Short Handed Pot

Slow playing a hand should usually only be done in a shorthanded pot with an aggressive opponent. Although it is less likely to work if strength has been shown before the flop, some players will automatically bet if checked to. If it is shorthanded with a calling station, to bet is optimal.

There is an exception to every strategy in texas holdem including when to slowplay a hand. For example, if I have not played a hand in two hours and flop four of a kind with 33. Slowplaying would be my only option. Since it would be obvious I have a hand if I bet. But if I have been bluffing alot or over aggressive, coming out with a bet would be best. Just use your best judgment and plan ahead, keep in mind your table image and who your opponents are.

I have seen practically every situation possible. And in general remember, when a pot is small players tend to fold. When a pot is big players chase to hit anything they can. This is why the slow playing strategy in texas holdem should generally be used in shorthanded pots or if there was a preflop raiser.

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