Picture this; you’re playing a sport and you’re in a strong position. However, you’re caught in a dilemma; whether you should play a quick game and defeat the opponent instantly, or you should draw the game out and trick them into thinking you’re losing, before you take them down. This could happen if you’re in a debate competition, at work in an important presentation or maybe while playing a video game with a friend. Such confusion is not limited to life. You’ll also be faced with such nail-biting questions in poker. Haven’t you ever found yourself at a poker table, with a strong hand, wondering how you could play it, in order to win? This calls for a choice between slow play vs fast play in poker.
You might be confused, because you’ve never been in this situation, or maybe you have, but you can’t be sure. Well, we’re preparing you for the eventuality that you will have to make such a decision, during poker games. And it’s better to be prepared, right? But you don’t need to stress. Let’s see the the pros and cons of both, a slow play in poker, as well as a fast play. So let’s begin, shall we?
What Does Slow Play vs Fast Play in Poker Mean?
Whenever you’re at a poker table, and you find yourself with a strong hand, you have a choice to be made, between two kinds of play. These plays are strategies of playing that hand in the game.
Either you make a slow play, which is playing a subtle game. You play in a manner so as to mislead your opponents. You under represent your hand, and even your betting style can reflect this. You check your bets or call them, instead of raising. In a way, you’re bluffing about the weakness of your hand, and lulling your opponent into a false sense of security.
On the other hand, you resort to fast play. Now, this kind of play is well, fast. You know you have a strong hand, and you’re not afraid of letting your opponents know it, too. You play aggressively, by betting fast. You either raise or re-raise on your opponents’ bets. You do this to intimidate players with worse hands, and to protect your own.
When you put it this way, both styles of playing seem convincingly good options, right? But, like any move, these playing styles have their own pros and cons. So, listing them out might help you decide when you can fall back on what kind of play, and when to avoid one of them.
Let’s find out which play is better.
Examining Slow Play vs Fast Play in Poker
In poker, there’s no right or wrong way to play, but both these ways of playing have some advantages, as well as pitfalls. Let’s take a look at them to understand the two plays better.
Pros to a slow play in poker:
When you use a slow play in poker, you are, essentially, underselling the hand you’ve got. You want your opponents to believe that your hand is weaker than it actually is. So, in a way, you’re bluffing. It’s a smart tactic, to not only trick your opponents but to also protect your own hand and holdings. This also creates a sense of security amongst your opponents. They might start betting at a higher value, sweetening the pot, only for you to use your strong hand and win it. They might also resort to bluffing, themselves, which will bring added money to the pot.
Cons to a slow play in poker:
There are some flaws with a slow play in poker, as well. When you use this method of playing, sometimes you allow other players, with weaker hands to catch up with you. Basically, you’re not betting on your hand, so you’re not protected against other draws. Another player can play and catch up with you.
Also, when you bet on a hand, it causes other players to raise or re-raise on your bet. The higher you bet, the higher other players are induced to go. When you don’t bet as high as you should, you lose value on your hand.
Pros to a fast play in poker:
When you use a fast play, you can get value from hands which aren’t as good. You can do this because the board is wet enough for you to play this way. So, you can get money where you ordinarily wouldn’t have.
Also, you make bets that are large, which will enable you to get your stack in the game by the time the game reaches the River stage. So, you’ve sweetened the pot with your chips.
Cons to playing fast play in poker:
If you’re betting too high, which can happen when you use a fast play, you run the risk of all the other players folding their cards. This can also happen if the board is too dry.
Basically, you end up getting no value for your cards. Because of your aggressive gameplay, the other players don’t play ahead and make bets, which could’ve sweetened the pot. They could have caught up with you and tried to place bets which would’ve strengthened the pot. When they don’t, you might win, but the value of the pot is quite low.
Another element that can help you decide which kind of play you want to choose is the board texture. Whenever the board is drawn heavy, you are in a vulnerable position. In such cases, it is better if you play a fast game and play your hand quickly. You want to get as much value for your cards as you can, but also protect them. On the other hand, if the board is dry, you can play a slower game. You can afford to wait for the other players to catch up with you and then play.
Now that we’ve gone over all the pros and cons and examined slow play vs fast play in poker, you can bet you’re ready to get playing. So, come join us at Spartan and download the poker app, now!