Slow Playing the Flop in Texas Hold Em

Slow Playing the Flop in Texas Hold ‘Em

I bet $10 to call the $50 big blind bet of the player under the gun. There were Q-7 suited flops on the table, and I could not get any value out of my middle pair except possibly a set. I bet $12. He thinks for a moment and folds without a flop.

That is a play I often make: I get out a hand with an Ace or a King and it seems like a much better hand than what I have. However, even if it is a good hand, if there is a lot of raising going on, my hand probably is not as strong as everyone thinks it is. In these situations, Ace-King suited is a good excuse to limp. I do not want to raise and be beaten out by a better hand.

As the action gets deeper, these kind of mini-tilt situations appear less and less, and so I am able to get away with playing online a lot more, even though these situations do exist. The point is, you do not want to start tightening up in early position unless you are really well in hand. Many players will try to get into pots in early position with these hands. You do not want to give them an excuse to steal the pot from you, so you should not give them an inch. Obviously, this is not the ideal situation to try to create a big pot, but if you are playing a solid tight game, you will not give your tight game away easily.

One time when you may want to consider slow playing a hand is when you have 4-4 and there is a lot of action and several players around the table. The problem with having a big hand in these situations is that you are probably behind in the hand, and other players will probably raise you to test the water. In that case, you may want to slow play for a cheap shot at the end.

When you flop a nice small piece of the Flop, you can also consider slow playing. This is especially true for low pairs that do not have a strong kicker. Suppose you have 7-8 and the flop comes 9-10-J. If you flop a 6 or a Q on the Turn, that would probably be a better hand to bet or raise, and your opponents would probably fold. But when you have $500 at the table, you want to make a statement. Perhaps you can steal the blinds and then get into a hand with your hand.

The point is, you should consider slow playing a hand in certain situations, especially if it does not have a huge kicker. Thus, you might consider slow playing A-5 offsuit, even though your kicker is very strong, if only because no one really knows what you have, and you want to give your opponents the least amount of information possible.

This applies to all hands, actually. Of course, play your premium hands strongly, but also take advantage of good hands and see flops with less than premium hands when your opponents are nationwide.