To Slow Play or Not to Slow Play

Whenever you are dealt a good hand, the question you always ask yourself is, should I slow play this or not. Obviously the factors that you are weighing over in your head are the fact that by slow playing you have a chance to win lots more money, but you also have a much larger chance of getting sucked out on.

Lets go over when you should slow play and when you shouldn’t

Times you shouldn’t slow play

When your hand isn’t that good. A bad hand to slow play would be top pair or even an over pair. These hands are good, but they aren’t that good. They are very vulnerable to lots of cards that could come on later streets. Generally betting to thin the crowd is advisable.

When there are lots of draws. You never want to give free cards to someone on a draw. Make them pay to chase their flush or their straight. If they do call, they might win, making it more expensive for you, but any time they call when you have a higher percentage of winning it is +EV for you. That is often how much money is made and as long as you aren’t playing above your bankroll you shouldn’t mind people calling down with crap hands. In fact that is what you should look for in table selection.

Times that you should slow play

When you have a great hand that is unlikely to be beat. Lets say you flopped a full house when there is a flush draw out there, or flopped a nut flush. These times you should slow play. Give people a chance to hit their losing hand and lose their whole stack to you. You hit the nut flush? Someone probably has a lone K or Q of the suit. If they hit they will pay you off.

Other things to consider are the size of a pot. It is generally more advisable to slow play when there is a small pot, because the implied odds are large in comparison to the pot size. If there is a large pot you want to win the pot right then. Forget about milking it to the last dime.