When you make a strong poker online hand on the flop, you can generally play it one of two ways – slow or fast. Slow playing is generally a way to under-represent your hand by just checking or check to call in order to induce bluffs on later streets and/or set up check-raises. Fast playing, on the other hand, is just how it sounds. You play the hand in a much faster, more aggressive manner by betting and raising. When you play your hand fast, you are doing so to get value from worse hands as well as protect your hands against draws.
While there is no right or wrong way to play a hand (most times), there are pros and cons to both slow and fast playing of poker online that you should consider.
Pros to Slow Playing
Slow playing your best online poker hand will under rep it. In other words, by not betting your hand, you’re making it seem as if you’re weak or have no made hand at all. This can induce bluffs from absolute air or can induce bets from players who feel as if they’re betting for value when in reality they’re only value betting themselves.
Cons to Slow Playing
Slow playing can be risky at times. When you’re not betting your online poker real money hand, you’re not adequately protecting it against other draws. So, when you slow play your hand, you run the risk of allowing a hand that was behind, catch up and pull ahead of you.
Also, when you decide to slow play your hand, you also run the risk of losing value. A hand where you might’ve gotten 3-streets of value from, you are now only getting two. Additionally, many times scare cards can come off on later streets which may scare you and/or your opponent which can lead to you earning little to no value at all.
Pros to Fast Playing
When you play poker handfast, there is a good chance that the board is wet enough for you to get value from worse hands. You’re also making large bets (should be) which will often enable you to get your stack in by the time you reach the river.
Cons to Fast Playing
If your bet sizing is too large or if the board is too dry, you are likely going to fold out hands that might’ve otherwise caught up or tried to bluff you on later streets. This means you didn’t earn any value for your hand. If your bet sizing is too large or if the board is too dry, you are likely going to fold out hands that might have otherwise caught up or tried to bluff you on later streets.