As discussed in previous chapter, check-raising is playing a hand in order to raise later in the same betting round. It is likely that you will win the pot right there when you check-raise. At the minimum, you will possibly reduce the competitor to one or two players that you certainly want.

Slowplaying against Check-Raising

Slowplaying is not the similar thing,It is playing poker with a hand in order to suck people in for later bets on one round of betting. An average slowplays are to check if there has been no bet or simply call a bet rather than raise. However, you take no action ahead of what is necessary to stay in the pot. You give nothing away about the strength of your hand.

When you check-raise you do want to cut down the number of rivals, but when you slowplay, you try to keep as many players in the pot as you can, hoping to collect future bets from them as a result of your early deception. In fact, as you are not worried of having many players in the pot and are not specifically concerned of giving them free cards, you should have a very strong hand to slowplay - so stronger than a hand with which you would check-raise. In seven card stud, it may be three-of-a-kind on the first three cards or a flush or full house against one pair. In hold 'em it may be the top set of trips after the flop with no probable straight or flush draw showing. In draw lowball it may be something like a pat

Conditions for Slowplaying

In several cases, for a slowplay to be correct, all the following points must be true.

You should have a very strong hand

The free card or cheap card you are permitting other players to get should have good probabilities of making them a second-best hand.

That same free card should have some chance of making a better hand to someone than yours or even giving that person a draw to a better hand than yours on the next round with enough odds to justify a call.

You should be certain you will drive other players out by showing hostility but you have a good chance of winning a big pot if you do not.

The pot should not be too large

Point 1, having a strong hand, needs to be true for points 2 and 3 to be true. Let's say in seven card stud you have made a full house in five cards and it seems as if your rivals are on flush draws and straight draws. When you slowplay and gives them a free card, you would want them to make their hands so that you get more action when you bet. Simultaneously, you are not worried that a free card will give them better hands than yours or draws to better hands with correct odds to chase. (On the other hand, you should not slowplay against these come hands if you think they will call when you bet.) In contrast, with three-of-a-kind in this case, you should possibly bet right out as there is a good chance a free card will permit one or more of your rivals to draw out on you when you do not make a full house.

Points 4 and 5 are also similar. Rivals are much less possible to call a bet when the pot is small as compared to when it is rather huge. As the pot grows bigger, it becomes less and less probable that slowplay is the correct play. The reason is that your rivals are getting bigger and bigger pot limit omaha odds and it is less and less possible that you really want them to get these odds. Thus, when the pot becomes huge, you are less bias to slowplay because the odds that you give to your rivals are so great that they can take them and not make much of a mistake, if any mistake at all. However, as rivals are improbable to fold when the pot is large, it is not necessary to slowplay to keep them from folding.

You should neither slowplay when you show obvious strength on board. Many players may know what you are doing and when you bet later, they will not pay you off. However, the players who do not know about what you are doing, despite the strength of your hand, can call an early bet if they have any kind of hand.

You give your rivals free cards or cheap cards when you slowplay. The Fundamental Theorem of Poker advice that such a play is wrong unless your expectation tends to show a larger profit on a later round than you would expect if you bet early. However, your deception should have more implied value than what you can gain instantly by betting. Simultaneously, it is essential that when your rival calls on a later round, after getting a free card or a cheap card, he still do not get proper odds. However, it cannot be right to give him that free or cheap card, as you have given him a chance to develop a hand he is correct in playing even if it is not though the best hand. Before slowplaying, you should be certain there is a little chance that you will be outdrawn. In seven stud and hold'em poker games, you should particularly be cautious that you are not up against a probable straight draw or flush draw unless, as noticed earlier, you have a straight or flush beat already.

Ironically, you would be inclined to slowplay with best hands but not with the pure nuts. With the pure nuts you should bet and raise instantly in case someone else has a strong hand too. You should not make a mistake as my friend did who flopped a straight flush in hold' em. He remained checking it on a slowplay just to find someone else was doing the same with an ace-high flush.

Let's take two situations from draw lowball to clear this point further. If the player to your right raises the blind, you must call in middle position with a pat

You have the best hand and wish other players will call the original raiser and stay around for the draw. Simultaneously, there is a small probability that the original raiser has you beat. Even though, with a pat bicycle - A, 2, 3, 4, 5 - you would win some money from the first raiser. Therefore, you should re-raise in the hope he has a monster and excited to re-raise you. The other players are likely to fold, but you might beat the original raiser out of many bets before he finds you have the pure nuts.


Slowplaying is particularly a useful play to get good value for your strong hands, but as you are giving weaker hands free or cheap cards, you should be careful when you slowplay. You should have very best hands. Do not slowplay when your strength is obvious or when the pot is huge. You should neither slowplay when a cheap or free card has a fair chance of giving rival a better hand than yours or a justifiable draw. Suppose, in seven card stud a straight bets into your hidden ace-king-high flush. You can just call if there are other flush draws around. However, if you have only a king-high flush, you must raise to make it as expensive as possible for higher flush draws to call and possibly draw out on you. Well, a good slowplay happens when, by making the hand they hope to make, rivals still ends up second-best - i.e. when they draw dead. On the other hand, as long as your rival will not be getting proper odds after accepting free or a cheap overcards, a slowplay is worth thinking about.