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Why You Shouldn't Slow Play Often

Jul 22, 2008
When you "slow play" a hand, you don't bet, or bet like you have a weak hand. This is done in order to hide a strong hand. If you get carried away, you can make a mess of a good hand.

This isn't to say that there aren't times when this move can be the right play. The problems arise when you do this move at the wrong time. Let's look at what can happen.

Here is a classic bad slow play. You have AA. It's early in the tournament and everyone has plenty of chips. You make a small raise looking for action. You get a couple of callers, and the on flop out comes A 6 10 rainbow.

Then you decide to make a small bet to hope for some action. You get one call. The turn card is an innocent looking 9. Again, you bet small, trying to milk this hand.

Now, you get what you think you're looking for. He throws in a big fat raise. You call, and the river brings an innocent 2. Now, your thinking, how much can I bet and get a call. You bet that amount and hope he calls. To your surprise he goes all in.

You're surprised, but thinking you've got this in the bag you call. You are shocked when he shows 7 8, making a straight. Did you just do that?

When you bet small pre flop, you let people in. When you bet small on the flop, you kept them around. When he pushes all in, you have to call, and you're done.

Were you a victim of bad luck? Or was it bad play? I think you already know the answer.

When you made your first bet you invited a lot of players into the hand. When you bet small on the flop, you keep players around. When he goes all in at the end you call planning to see two pair, or a small set. You wouldn't have to slow play to keep these hands calling.

When you get beat by his straight you should see the folly of the slow play. If he had a made hand, as you hoped he had, he would have called a big bet after the flop. A player with a gut shot straight draw should fold. This is even more pronounced if you raise more pre flop. Then when you make a strong bet after the flop it is a lot more chips to risk on a gut shot.

This is a good example of the risk of slow playing. There is a time and place for this tactic. Normally, just bet your good hands, and take what you can get.
About the Author
One of the hottest types of online poker is the turbo sit and go. These are fast paced single table tournaments, typically with six or nine players. These can be completed in about a half an hour. You can get a quick game it during lunch. Poker statistics software
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