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Strategy to play monster flops in holdem

Slow Playing Monster Flops in Holdem

Slow Playing Monster Flops in Holdem

The art of slow playing in Texas Hold'em is a crucial skill that once incorporated into your poker arsenal will increase your win rate at a significant rate. The problem most beginners make is they try slow playing far too often, allowing opponent's to hit their draws without getting them to pay. They also try and do it against the wrong type of opponents.

But first, lets understand what the slow play in poker is, and then we will discuss which you should go about using it. Simply put, slow playing is faking weakness by checking instead of betting, when your hand on the flop is extremely strong, usually when you have the nuts or another very strong hand.

For example, it gets folded to you in a 25nl 6-max game, you have 8c 9c and raise with it on the button.

The flop comes Qd 8h 8s. This is a monster flop for your hand and slow playing is a consideration because there are no potential flush draws the other player could be chasing and the potential straight draws are gutshots which are unlikely of hitting and only a small part of his calling range in the big blind as he is a fish with 37/26 stats over 45 hands, so I know he plays too many hands.

To execute the slow play in this situation I decide to check on the flop when it was my turn to act. It is unlikely he has the Q so by checking it allows the opponent to do the betting for you on the turn when they have nothing because they sense weakness when you check. It also extracts more value when they actually have a hand such as pairs which missed the flop or if they improve on the turn. If he has pairs which didn't improve, even if they are a loose passive player, it's difficult for him to continue on the turn on a dangerous board, so in most cases you will only extract one round of betting, whereas with the slow play you will gain an additional round of betting.

The turn is 2d, the other player checks again, so they didn't do the betting for me which indicates they probably do have some type of hand like a pair with showdown value, otherwise they would have bluffed at the pot, so I bet the and he calls.

The river card is 5c which is a brick card that doesn't change anything. Again the other player checks, suggesting they have some showdown value and want to get to showdown cheap. Considering how I faked weakness on the flop, making a pot size bet on the river is a good plan because my line looks bluffy as I slow played the hand. The loose player instantly calls hoping to see a bluff and shows TT, so the slow play worked really well in this situation because he likely would have given up on the turn against resistance.

Slow playing is most effective when it's not a dangerous board which is draw heavy like in the above example, and when you play against aggressive players and you can be confident that will do the betting for you, so you are inducing a bluff. Once the plan works and they do bet, just call to fake even more weakness and allow them to make a stupid bluff on the river. They can only win the pot if they bluff at it, so let them hang themselves.

Always remember that slow playing in poker is not the optimal play every time you make a monster hand on the flop or have a big pair like AA or KK pre-flop. You need to carefully analyze the board texture and determine if the slow play is not dangerous and will extract the most value. Even if it is a good looking flop and you have a hand like AA, if you expect the board made top pair for your opponents and there two suited cards, then just bet and don't try and get tricky, they will either be chasing the flush draw or will call with their made hand.

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This article is written in Poker Strategy.