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Slow Playing in No Limit Texas Holdem

How to Slow Play a Solid Hand when playing No Limit Texas Holdem
by Jason Green of

When you are playing poker slow playing means that you try to make your opponents look like you have a weak hand when in reality you have a solid hand. This includes checking the hand you have or calling an opponents bet in a smooth or slow manner, rather than very quickly. The goal of slow playing is to try to get as many of your opponents to stay in the hand. You have to be careful though, as slow playing is, many times, used too much, especially by inexperienced players. Many times if you fake you have a weak hand will give other players that chance to see very cheap or even free cards and they can make a better hand and backdoor you.

You have to know the possibilities you have when you slow play.

You have to understand the odds. If you are playing heads up poker or there are only a couple players still at the table, slow playing will work more often. If you are playing at a poker tournament with many tables and a lot of players at each table it is not a great idea to slow play. The more opponents you have in a hand the more chances they have to make a better hand than you with more cards they will see.


Know the board. If you hit a set when the flop comes out and there are 2 cards to either a flush or straight, it is a good idea to bet on the flop. You have to know the possible hands that the other players may be holding.

Know your opponents. If there is a calling station at your table, then you should bet, as you do not need to slow play.

When you have a great hand it is a good idea to slow play. For example, if you flop 4 of a kind or a full house, you may want to slow play in hopes that another player or players will hit 3 of a kind, flush, or straight. Or they may think you have a weak hand and they will go all-in. If you know you have the best hand (the nuts) then you should definitely slow play to get others into the pot.

Change your game. If you play the same way all the time, solid poker players will pick up on your pattern. For example, many beginner poker players play opposite of what they are holding, as they play solid hands very weak and bet hard on weak hands. It is a good idea to over-bet a very solid hand and it may throw other players for a loop, as they may believe you are trying to steal the pot by bluffing. Conversely, under-betting a solid hand may be a good idea in order to trap other players into thinking you have a weak hand.

Take advantage on the Turn. If you have hit a great hand on the flop and have checked, you then need to go for the gold on the Turn. This is not the time for slow play. At this point of the hand you have to make the other player or players either commit to the hand they have or make them throw it away.

Know when to throw your hand away. It may be very hard, believe me it is, to hit a set on the flop only to see 4 spades or any suit on the board and then have an opponent, or worse, opponents bet hard. At this point you cannot just play your hand, as you have to have an inkling of what type of hand your opponent or opponents have.

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