It can often be tempting to adopt a “make-em-pay-to-play” strategy, especially if you are holding strong hole cards. However, this tactic of trying to force your opponents to fold pre-flop can be disastrous.
One way to avoid getting called on a high pre-flop bet or raise is to put the onus on your opponents. Enter slow play. For some, slow play is, when executed correctly, a clever strategy for making a profit on the poker table. For others, it is a frustrating tactic used by those who refuse to contribute to the pot. Whatever the case may be, you will need to know what it is and how to employ it.
So, what is slow playing? Quite simply, it is downplaying the strength of your hand. Whereas most people would bet strong (or raise) with pocket aces and a A,7,7 flop – the player adhering to a slow play strategy would simply pass or make the minimum call. Follow the five simple steps below and you will be able to add the art of slow play to your repertoire in no time.
1) Don’t slow play all the time
This should seem obvious, but many newcomers to the game of poker like to use the slow play tactic constantly. The more you develop a habit on the table, the easier you will become for other players to read – and the faster you will lose your money.
2) Don’t get trapped
Quite often, new players will use a slow play tactic until seeing the turn – then seeing the card they want, re-raise to a high amount (oftentimes going all-in). All it takes is for the opponent to call and get the river card they were looking for to destroy your bankroll. Always keep in mind all the possible scenarios that could beat your hand and don’t slow play yourself into a hole.
3) Let the pot increase
If you have a good hand – and especially if going against no more than three people – don’t be afraid to let the pot grow as much as possible. Poker is a game of risk and reward – no risk, no reward. The key is knowing when to take the risk and when not to do so.Continue Reading