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What is Slowplay in Poker?

Slowplay is one of the basic poker techniques that suggests passive play with a strong hand. Playing check-call, a player wants to conceal the strength of his / her hand in the early rounds, so that by the later streets the pot would have reached its maximum possible size.

Before starting Slowplay, one should consider the situation from the perspective of the three main factors.

  1. Number of players. The goal of the Slowplay is to get the most out of the strong hand. It is possible if in the game there are obviously weaker opponents left – those who would definitely respond with a fold to a bet or raise. With a strong hand slowplaying misleads weak opponents, but you should not rely solely on the strength of your own cards if in the game there are more than two players. There is always a risk that concealing the true strength of your hand, you will give your opponents the opportunity to collect stronger hand at the later stages of the game. You should remember that the abuse of slowplaying can make your game too predictable and this method would not be effective.
  2. Hand ranking Slowplay, played out according to the rules, means that you consciously give your opponent an opportunity to see cards for free. Such “mistake” can be justified only by the high ranking of your own hand and potential of free cards. Your hand should be at least a set, and cards at the flop should not give the opponent any opportunity to make a straight.
  3. Size of the pot If the pot has reached a considerable size, and you have at least the smallest doubt in the superiority of your hand, despite fairly strong hand, you should refuse from slowplaying. Firstly, one of the objectives of the Slowplay is to increase the pot. When the goal is achieved without Slowplay, further steps in this direction may cost too much. Secondly, control over the big pot players via bets can be very challenging. The best solution in this situation would be a steady-going game.

When to apply Slowplay:

  • If you have nuts;
  • If at the dry flop you have fairly strong hand;
  • if your opponent plays aggressively, often bluffing;
  • If the pot has reached a considerable size compared to the stacks of all the players in the game.

When to avoid Slowplay:

  • If there is a draw at the flop, and you do not have nuts;
  • If there are more than two opponents in the pot;
  • If there are passive opponents in the pot;
  • If the size of stacks is rather large compared with the size of the pot.

In order not only to win the pot, but to play with your opponent for stack, you have to read your opponent to get the complete picture of what he / she is. Having mastered Slowplay, you would easily see Slowplay of your opponents.