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Slow Play

Slowplaying a Hand - Slowplay

by Shirley Rosario
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Slow-Play Poker
Slow Play - To play a powerful hand passively at first, until the pot is large or your opponent has committed a significant number of chips, and then to bet aggressively.


Slow playing is essentially the same thing as sandbagging. It is an attempt to maximize expectation by deceiving your opponents about your handís strength. When someone is slow playing, they will act passively even though they have completed a strong hand. Instead of betting and raising, they will typically check and call, in an effort to disguise the strength of their holding. The goal of the player who is slowplaying is to allow his opponents to initiate the action, while he sits on his monster hand, waiting for his opponents to commit, and for the pot to grow. When he is satisfied with the size of the pot, the player who has been slowplaying will suddenly switch gears and begin betting and raising. Even if his opponents now recognize the gambit, it will be too late, as they will have already committed to the pot.

Slowplaying is an excellent tool for maximizing EV in certain situations. It works best against aggressive players who you can generally count on to bet, if you have checked or shown weakness. It also works best as an occasional ploy rather than a standard play. If you attempt to slowplay every time that you have a big hand, you opponents will become suspicious when you check, and they will not bet your hand for you. If you fail to get anyone to bet your hand, your slowplay is likely to fail miserably. If nobody bets, the pot will remain small and this will discourage your opponents from chasing, the opposite of the desired effect. Additionally, if you check and it checks around, you will be giving all of your opponents a free chance to suck out on you. So, failing to get your opponents to bet when you are slowplaying can often cost you the pot.

Usage: He Slowplayed His Hand, Slowplay a Monster, He Was Slowplaying, Slowplayed Aces

Previous Poker Term: Side Pot
Next Poker Term: Slowroll

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(c) Shirley Rosario

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