What is ‘Slow Play’?
‘Slow play’ is a casino phrase which describes a technique used to increase pots. Players who ‘play slow’ or who engage in ‘slow play’ use a low bet strategy on a great hand, in the hope of drawing out the betting rounds and getting other players to keep paying in. When the player eventually makes their win, the prize pot should be a significant one.
‘Slow Play’ Explained
In poker, there are some hands that are unbeatable and others that are very likely to win. They include straights, flushes and the ‘royal flush’ hand – a suited run of 10-J-Q-K-A, which is usually the highest of the ranks unless wildcards are in play and five of a kind is permitted. If a player has made a good five card set early in the game, they may be tempted to bet strongly on it. However, this could lead to a lot of sudden folding and a low pot for the winner. Instead, the player should opt for ‘slow play’ – a technique which aims to boost the pot and make the win worth making.
‘Slow play’ is when a player bets low on a strong hand, avoiding calling attention to what they have. They are unlikely to raise, and will instead watch as other players battle among themselves over the second best hand of the game. If the option is available, the slow player might even take the chance to check and avoid betting entirely. This is a good strategy if the player wants to avoid scaring off the opponents by giving away how good their hand is. When the final betting round starts and the pot has been built up sufficiently, the player might switch to an aggressive betting strategy in order to squeeze the most they can out of the table before the showdown.