Poker is not always the friendliest game out there, but it is fun to play. Emotions often run at tables, and things can heat up fast, it is just the nature of the game. Although it can often be irritating, it is precisely this feature that draws many players to poker over so many other options out there. Even to act, you have many options- either to call, raise, fold or re-raise. Any pause between these actions is known as slow rolling.
Although one of the main goals in poker is to throw off your opponent's balance and force them to make mistakes, there should never be crossed certain limits. These limits are part of what is known as the "poker etiquette," a set of unwritten poker rules known and followed by most players.
The slow roll belonging to this group and is regarded by most players as a big no-no. The basic principle is that you should not do it to others if it is something you would not like someone to do to you.
What is a Slow Roll in Poker?
Although there is not a single simple description of a slow roll in poker, virtually everybody who has been playing for more than a couple of weeks is aware of when they do it – and it happens very seldom by chance.
In the simplest terms: if you know that you have the best hand, a slow roll is to refuse to show your hand in a timely manner.
Let us assume, for instance, that you have KhJh (King of Hearts and Jack of Hearts), and the river has three hearts. You bet and your opponent calls. Since they have not raised, you can be sure that you have the best hand even if it is not the absolute nuts.
Instead of turning your hand straight away, you are hesitating and waiting for them to show off their holdings, giving them an impression that they might win.
Definition of slow rolling in poker
There are a few distinct meanings of "slow roll" so here are the three possibilities to help clarify its definitions:
Where a player deliberately pauses a long time before calling an all-in bet with an extremely powerful or unbeatable poker hand.
Where a player deliberately pauses for a prolonged period before revealing their winning hand (regardless of their strength) at showdown. (Usually, after the other player showed their hole cards already.)
Where a player verbally acknowledges their opponent's defeat; or mis-declares or under-represents their hand at the showdown, and then shows their winning cards in the end.
Slow rolling is so bad because it violates reasonable poker etiquette, which specifies that if you have the winning hand and/or if it's your turn to reveal your cards at the showdown, you can flip over your side instantly.
Another awful explanation for slow rolling is that it gives the opponent a false hope of winning the ball. If you know they will lose already, then taking your time before announcing your winner is just like rubbing the salt in an open wound. It will be a frightening, traumatic experience for them to undergo, and it does no good for anyone.
Besides, slow rolling at the table will not win you any mates. Yeah, it is likely to end up hurting you more than your slow roll victim. Certain players will come to hate you very easily. You may not want to play with you afterwards because you are going to ruin the game's friendliness and go against good poker sportsmanship-which, in the long run, will not do any good for yourself.
Slow roll strategy
As far as a technique for slow rolling is concerned: to put it clearly, do not do it! The steps you can do to avoid slow rolling include:
Immediately show or muck the cards when it is your turn to act.
Instantly call an all-in bet, whether you have the strongest hand or hand with tremendous intensity, and you can call anyway.
Often double-check your hand before you get to the showdown to prevent verbal mis-declaration.
When you are new to poker and always trying to grasp the strengths of the hand and which hand beats what, at the showdown, always just turn over your cards and let the dealer find out which hand is the winner.
When you are just making a slow roll, do not ever do it in big or large pans. Losing large amounts of money in a poker hand is never fun whatsoever, whether a slow roll is finished. Do not put insult on big pots to the injury. If you're going to go to a good friend of yours with a slow roll, there might be better options for smaller or more meaningless pots or even those made with play money-rather than a high-stakes cash game all-in situation or in the late stages or final table of a tournament.
Unintended slow rolls
Slow rolling is extremely inappropriate in live poker because it is often deliberate. After all, you only have one hand at one table to concentrate on at one point. Offline, however, when many players are multi-tabling (playing several tables at the same time), their attention can be distracted when they spend time concentrating on other tables' decisions.
Slow Rolling in the casino and online
Poker and casino etiquette dictate you're not allowed to slow down playing, but it's not a formal law, so you're unlikely to be thrown out of a game-or casino-to do so. It sure will not make you friends around the table, though.
Slow rolling is far less easy to spot in online poker, as there are several reasons why a player could take a long time to call a bet. Computer distractions, slow internet connections and playing multiple games are all possible causes for what might seem a slow roll.
Is Slow Rolling against the rules?
Many players who want to slow down other players in poker will always stick to their weapons, claiming in official game rules, there is nothing to prevent it.
This is true in theory, as there is no defined number of seconds or minutes in which you must showdown your hand when it is your turn to act. So, like a couple of rounds away from the table, you 're not likely to get any official sanctions.
It is just like using cheat sheet poker starting hands when you play live. You can do it in most games, and it won't bother players as long as you don't take two minutes on each hand to figure out what you should be doing with your 6-3 off-suit from the highjack.
However, if you're playing in a new environment, you might run into a poker room manager who doesn't appreciate this behavior, and even after being warned, they might still give you a penalty if you keep on doing so.
Every poker room and manager out there, however they see fit, can run their games and if they find you 're disrupting the games, you might still find yourself sitting on the rail for a while to consider your actions or even out of the game if you're bothering others too much.
In the end, slow-rolling hurts none more than the person who does it. For those who dare to venture there, it is unclassy, unethical, and a downright horrible part of poker. Your fellow players will not appreciate your unsporting behavior and will often frown on slow rolling in any form.
It also gives the table ample excuse to become very unfriendly or even aggressive to you, as players will loathe you for doing so and do not even want you at their table.
How to avoid unintended slow rolls
It is easy to get carried away when you are deep in the game, and deliberately slow roll. But, if you want to stop this, there are other issues that you should be conscious of — and you should most certainly.
Firstly, when your turn comes up, always muck your hand, or turn it over. If you are bust, there is no reason to hold your cards. Second, turn your cards first, if you have the mix of nuts, and do not let the tension ruin other players at the table.
It is always easier to be quickly put out of poker misery so the players can plan for the next round. Finally, if a player calls you the strongest hand, reveal it and be a good sport. Players will enjoy it and come back in kind.
What to do if you get slow-rolled?
If you get slow-rolled, no matter how frustrated you are, it is best to try to let go of the frustration as soon as possible. If you let it get to you, it might throw you off your game, which is precisely why some people first slow the roll.
You should also compliment the player's winning hand that slow-rolled you. This way, you will put an end to any impact these acts may have over you, which might cause this player to abandon the tactics fully.
Just as losing with grace is a vital step to learn in poker, it is also important to win with grace. By slow rolling, do not give the players false hope, and do not make them feel worse than they already do by losing the pot.
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