Slow down is a form of deception often used by skilled players in Texas hold’em games.
Its only purpose is to help build the size of the pot. Best to use when you have very strong hands – especially if they’re nuts.
Say you play limit Hold’em $ 4- $ 8, and are dealt pocket aces (AA in the hole). The odds for improvement are few, with about 8-to-1 odds against making the flop. It is logical to raise the pre-flop visit lapakpoker to thin the field, especially if one or two opponents have paid to see the flop.
Your goal is to play against two or three opponents – no more. The more opponents who hold on to see failure, the more likely someone will fight you.
On the other hand, you want several opponents to help build the pot. Don’t waste that precious pocket money.
Now, let’s assume two other players remain to see the flop. Fortunately for you, the Gods of Poker are smiling at you, and the flop covers the third Ace. Now you have a strong set of Aces. Studying the board, it shows no indication of drawing straight or flat. You quickly realize that you are almost 100 percent sure that you will take this pot!
When you drop a strong hand – like an Aces set, there is a strong tendency to bet or raise to build up the size of the pot you are so fond of winning. It is reasonable. However, rather than betting or raising the flop, slow play is probably the wiser decision. Just check or contact betting opponents.
The idea is to trap other players, so they don’t throw their cards away, and stay in the pot. You want them on the board when the stakes are doubled, and you raise on the turn and bet on the river, so they can (hopefully) call, helping you build your “yours” pot.
While your opponent is watching, spend a few extra seconds studying the board and taking another glance at your hole cards before slowing down. Note: Be careful not to tell.
However, on the flop, if the board isn’t threatening and it’s a loose-aggressive (LAG) table – so you can expect your opponent behind you to open the bet and be called by one or more other people – consider doing a check-raise. Get double the bang for your buck! The extra chips in the pan can also serve as a persuasion to keep your opponent from folding. Note: Chaser will definitely lose.
On the other hand, if you open a bet on the flop, you are likely to get a lot of hands sucked by the player holding the marginal hand or worse. These are opponents who really want you to stay in hand, so they can – unknowingly – chase you around corners and rivers when the stakes are doubled, helping to build up “your” pot size. Building your pot may be the difference between a win and lose session.
Yes, unless you are holding the absolute nut, by playing slow you are taking the risk that your opponent’s marginal hand may catch the one card that beats you. But the odds are in your favor, it’s worth taking a relatively small risk.
In such a case, checking or simply calling previous bets on the flop – slow play, offers you very positive expectations.
Of course, you would make the big mistake of slowing down playing a vulnerable hand, even if it might be ahead of the other on the flop. The more your opponent stays in the pot after the flop, the more likely it will be to outperform your vulnerable hand.
Even the top two pairs in the flop are vulnerable. For that, so is a small set. In such a case, bet or increase the previous bet to shrink the field, and give your two partners a better chance of survival.
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