When To Slow Play After The Flop

There are specific rare circumstances that can warrant playing passively with strong post-flop hands. Here are a few criteria that I like to have going for me before I consider a slow play on the flop or turn.

1. It is not likely that my hand will be beaten by a future card.
All other factors are trumped by this one. If your hand is vulnerable and can be beaten fairly easily on the next street, then you never want to slow play. You always want to play big hands fast on wet boards.

2. I am in position.
When out of position, it is difficult to get value by slow playing. Turn raises are generally seen as strong, so you do not want to go for a check raise there. It is much better to raise the flop where it might look suspicious. This is especially true on dry boards vs. where opponents “expect” you to slow play.

3. My opponent’s range is currently weak.
If the board does not connect well with your opponent’s range, then you can often call in the hope that his hand improves on the next street. This works best on weak level one players who are only playing their own cards.

4. My opponent is aggressive and capable of bluffing future streets.
Against overly aggressive players or maniacs, you can slow play in position and give them a chance to spew on future streets with their overall weak range. This works especially well against players who barrel frequently or believe you are capable of floating. Keep in mind that this same type of player may also think you are full of it if you raise particular board textures. I like to mix up my play against thinking opponents based on recent history and game flow.

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