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Slow-Playing Basics

Slow-playing isn't an uncommon move, but it is a bit unconventional. Most Texas holdem strategy guides and poker books suggest that you should come out betting when you're holding a strong hand. When you slow-play a big hand, your goal is to lay low and hope that someone else makes a play for the pot. Slow-playing the nuts can be very profitable, especially if you're playing at an aggressive table. However, slow-playing can be tricky. If no one takes a stab at the pot, you could lose your chance of winning big with your monster hand. If you want to add slow-playing to your repertoire of deceptive moves, it's essential that you understand the texas holdem rules and slow-playing basics.

Make Sure You're Holding a Monster

If you want to go the slow-play route, make sure that you are holding a monster hand. You don't want to slow-play the second best hand in an attempt to trap the guy who actually has the nuts. Take a good look at the board before you start slow-playing your hand. Could someone be drawing to a better hand than yours? Are there paired cards, suited cards or connectors on the board that could spoil your slow-play efforts? If you want to slow-play a big-money hand, make sure that you won't be beat on the river.

Give Off a Passive Vibe

When you slow-play your hand, you want to give off a passive vibe. Let your opponents think you're weak. Check quickly and hope that someone else makes a bet. If someone bets after the flop, take some time to make the call. Repeat your hesitation after each street. If an aggressive opponent senses weakness on your part, he'll be more likely to come out betting. This is especially true when your opponent has a positional advantage over you. If you're up against a loose, aggressive player who loves to steal pots from late position, you can slow-play monster hands with great success.

Don't Be Too Predictable With Your Slow-Playing Habits

Whenever you play poker, it's imperative that you switch up your style of play. If you're battling skilled opponents, your adversaries will start to notice your playing habits and betting tendencies. Don't become predictable. Mix up your style of play. Don't slow-play every big hand. Throw in a big, pre-flop raise every now and then. Bluff from time to time. Try adding a check-raise to your slow-play routine. A hefty bet on the river may scare off some of your opponents, but on occasion, a strategic check-raise on the river can lead to a big payoff.
When you slow-play a big hand, you always run the risk of missing your payoff. Try to make slow-play attempts against aggressive players who love to bet. Make sure you have a monster hand when you try this tactic. Don't forget to project weakness, and make sure that you don't fall into predictable betting patterns. If you can save your slow-play attempts for the right situation, you could turn a small-pot victory into a rewarding payoff.

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