Slowplaying is a very effective advanced strategy that helps to build a pot and increase the amount of money that you win.

Slowplaying is when you check or just call a very strong hand on one round of betting so that you can win more (and potentially larger) bets on later rounds of betting.

Basically what you want to do is slowplay a very strong hand because you think your opponent will fold if you bet. You give your opponent a free card provided it is not too dangerous to do so. That way they may improve their hand enough to call your next bet.

Many players tend to slowplay too often. There are several situations where slowplaying can be dangerous. I recommend that you do not slowplay under the following conditions:

A free card could beat you

It is usually not wise to give your opponent a free card when that card can beat you. There are very few hands that are a lock on the flop. For example if you flop a straight, you could lose to a higher straight. If you flop a set you could lose to a straight or flush. If the pot is small and the flop is not too dangerous, you can sometimes risk giving a free card, but generally be hesitant in giving a free card that could beat you.

The pot is large

Slowplaying is not recommended when the pot is large. Your main goal when the pot is large is to win the pot. In addition, many opponents will give you action when the pot is large. One problem with slowplaying a large pot is backdoor flushes and straights. Slowplaying with a large pot is risky since a free card could give an opponent a good draw. With a small pot you might be willing to take this risk to win extra bets, but not with a large pot.

A free card would not give your opponents a good second-best hand. Sometimes betting is the best play if giving a free card is unlikely to generate a lot of action anyway. This generally occurs when there is an ace or king on the flop since there are not many cards that can give an opponent a good second-best hand.

There are many opponents in the hand

With many opponents in the hand the pot is usually large and the risk of giving a free card is greater since there are more opponents on a draw. With several opponents in the hand, you also will generally get good action on the flop in most types of games.

The exception to this rule is when you have a super strong hand like a full house and a raise would drive out several opponents. In this case, usually check if you are acting early since an opponent might raise directly behind you. If someone bets into you, tend to just call if your raise would drive out several opponents behind you.

There are weak opponents in the hand

Why slowplay against weak players who will call no matter what? If you slowplay against weak players who always call, you actually end up losing bets against them. Go ahead and bet against weak opponents who call too many hands after the flop. Theses types of opponents tend to pay you off anyhow, so don’t miss a good opportunity when you have a strong hand.

To summarize, slowplaying is another deceptive tactic to confuse your opponents and gain additional bets when they would have otherwise folded. Slowplaying is risky however whenever free cards can hurt you and the pot is already large. Slowplaying also backfires sometimes when you would have gained bets anyway against weak opponents or an opponent who already has a strong hand.