Should We Slow Play Our Hand?

New Online Poker Poker Strategy

In this post, we are going to look at the art of slow playing versus when we should just be fast playing our hands.

It can be a tricky thing in poker, sometimes we are super happy, we flopped a huge hand! But then we get no action and then other times we flop a monster and end up losing the pot…

So we will want to know what changes in the spots where we are going to want to slow play and when we are going to want to play even our biggest hands super fast.

Flopping Sets

So for these examples, we are going to look at flopping sets, this is one of the strongest hands we will have so it serves well as an example, but other strong hands can be hands like two pair or just an overpair for instance.

There are going to be a few things to factor into our decision as to whether we will fast play or slow play our flopped set.

  • How wet is the board (texture)
  • What kind of hands will our opponent have
  • How has our opponent been playing

Let’s take into account the board texture first of all, in cases where we flop a set on a very wet board, we will want to fast play our hand
wet board for set
In this pot, for example, we have middle set, but the board is straightening and flushing. Now we still have good equity on this board but just one more diamond or straight card could put us on the back foot in this pot.

We will get action here from any flush draw, any straight draw, any pair and straight draw and any two pair combinations and the opponent in the big blind has a tonne of these types of hands, so this is a clear example of a spot to fast play our hand and get in as much money as possible before a bad Turn card hits.

Dry Board

dry board for setThis, however, is the polar opposite of the last flop, this dry board is un-coordinated and static, meaning that whoever has the best hand right now is most likely to have the best hand at the River card too.

We will be able to slowplay our hand on boards like this because we don’t need to charge hands like straight or flush draws in this pot, we will want to let our opponent bluff or catch some equity and allow them the confidence to bet at this pot.

Other Factors to think about

It is not just going to be the wetness of the board that will decide if we slow play or fast play our good hands, try to take into account how many players there are in the pot too.

If we are heads up then we have a lot of the equity locked up, however, even with strong hands like sets in multiway pots, we will want to drive out some hands that have equity against us because no matter how big of a favourite we are in a multiway pot anything can happen.

We will need to exploit certain players too because strangely some players will only reach out and try and steal pots if we bet at them, so checking with our big hands just doesn’t work against some players, try and keep this in mind against that player that keeps raising you in pots.

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