Slow Rolling in Poker - Why It's Bad And How To Avoid?

Slow Rolling in Poker - Why It's Bad And How To Avoid?

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If you are familiar with poker, then you must have read that needling, trash-talking, deception and slow playing are some of the key tactics that experienced players employ on a daily basis to win a game of poker. However, even in poker, there are some things like slow rolling that are completely off the cards. In this post, we have highlighted the meaning of the term slow roll and shared some key tips for avoiding slow roll in poker.

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What does the term slow roll mean in poker?

When a player takes a long time to make a call or reveal his cards despite holding the best or the winning hand, he is said to be a slow roll in poker.
Vital to this, there are 3 key ways in which a player can slow roll his opponent:

  1. By taking a long time to turn over the cards despite holding a winning hand.
  2. By admitting defeat to his opponent or mis-declaring his hand at the showdown only to reveal the winning hand later.
  3. By intentionally pausing before calling an all-in bet during the river round despite holding the best possible hand.

Now, let us understand the concept of slow roll in poker better with the help of a short example:

slow roll in poker

Let’s assume you are playing a game of Texas Hold'em wherein you have been dealt 5 of diamonds and Aces of diamonds for starting cards. The flop round comes and 3 cards – 8 of spades, 3 of clubs, and Jack of diamonds are dealt face up. Thereafter the turn and river cards are dealt and both reveal a 7 of diamonds and King of diamonds respectively. As soon as the river card is dealt, you bet, and your opponent calls. Herein, since your opponent just called your bet instead of raising, you can rest assured he does not hold the best hand in the game. Now, at the showdown, instead of turning your hand right away, you may pause, hesitate a bit and thereafter wait for your opponent to show off his hand, effectively giving an impression that he is quite likely to win the pot. Here, by refusing to show your cards immediately, despite holding the best hand you are basically slow rolling your opponent.

Slow roll in poker, is the biggest sin any poker player can commit. Precisely because a slow roll in poker is like deceiving your opponent into thinking that he is going to win the hand when in fact he is about to lose a huge amount of money.

Why slow rolling poker is so bad?

One of the reasons that slow rolling poker is so bad is that it contradicts the poker etiquettes that are acceptable by players. If you have a winning hand then you should flip your cards immediately and do so at the showdown when it’s your showdown.

Another reason for the same is that it gives your opponent hope of winning the hand which might not be true. If you know that they are already going to lose then there is no reason for delay.

Moreover, you will gain nothing by slow rolling poker on the table and it’s going to hurt you more than anyone.

Is slow rolling poker against the poker rules?

It is true, in theory, that there are no limits in the term of seconds or minutes in which you have to show your hands at the time of showdown. So you will not be getting any penalties.

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How to avoid slow roll in poker?

When it comes to poker, slow rolling is generally deemed as highly unethical, horrible, and unsportsmanlike behavior on the part of the player who does it. Therefore, in this section, we are going to discuss how as an astute poker player you can avoid slow roll in poker both intentionally and unintentionally.

How to avoid slow roll in poker
  1. Firstly, if you hold a hand of tremendous intensity or the best possible hand, then always call an all-in bet instantly.
  2. Either muck or show your hands immediately, if you are at the showdown and it's your turn to act.
  3. If you are a poker rookie, and still not well-versed with the poker hand rankings, then instead of taking too much time understanding which hand beats what, just flip over your cards at the showdown. Let the dealer at your live or online poker table decide which hand is the ultimate winner.
  4. If you are at a poker table, always make it a point to double check or triple check your hand before declaring the same at the showdown. This tip is especially important because it will prevent you from verbally mis-revealing your hand to your opponent.

Lastly, do not ever dare to slow roll your opponents at a high-stakes game with a big pot. Precisely because, losing large sums of money is painful enough already, do not add fuel to the fire by slow rolling.

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