Slow Play Considerations
There are situations in the game of poker where a player may want to consider slow playing their hand in order to raise the value of the central pot but executing this in the wrong situations could see your hand falling behind should your opponent not fall into the trap or hit a card they require.
Slow playing your hands can prove to be very profitable but there is a large amount of risk that comes with this form of play, creating a number of factors that you should consider before deciding that you want to use this play:
How does the table view your play to the present moment?
Poker is a game of analysis and with that fact, a large number of poker players possess the ability to analyse your play and your betting style. Should you have given the impression that you are reckless through the heavy betting of a number of hands, something will click in your opponents head when you suddenly alter your play, making them suspicious of your hand, reducing the chance of a call.
How does the community board look?
Community cards offer a hugh influence to how you should play your hand. A great example of this when placed into concept with slow playing a hand would be that slow playing a hand when a board is draw rich, offers players the chance to chase a flush, straight or better, is a very risky play as your opponent could hit their outs.
Always look at the cards that are on offer to your opponent and think about the possible combinations of hands that your opponent/s could be holding at that given time.
How many players are there still active within the hand?
Slow playing a hand that contains a high number of active players will dramatically reduce the chances of your hand going uncontested and increases the chance that your hand could get out ranked.
If you are holding the nuts then there would be no issue here but if your not, one of the players could be…
What playing style does your opponent display?
If you are fortunate enough to catch a hand that could afford to be slow played, you want to keep the most aggressive player at the table interested in the hand. Keeping this sort of player in the game will increase the pot amount and the amount that you are able to win.
If you find that the only player who is willing to face off with you during the hand is a player who has been showing a tight poker stance, you should abandon the idea of slow playing. The reason for this is that a tight player is less willing to make bets into the pot, meaning that you need to take charge of the betting.
How did your last hand do?
The best situation for slow playing would be when you are dealt a hand after a loss of chips to another player. Often when this happens, players are more willing to increase their bets in order to bully you out of the action. In this situation the check-shove (move all in) would result in a call from your opponent if they are pot committed.
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