The following article aims to lay out some kickass spots for slowplaying preflop in poker and different postflop strategies to go along with it.
One of my favourite preflop slowplay spots is to flat a big hand with the intention of trapping someone and either slowplaying preflop or backraising. If your not sure what I’m talking about, ill outline an example. Someone opens in the cuttoff, your on the button with a big hand JJ+ AK and decide to flat, this creates a squeeze situation and one of the blinds goes ahead and squeezes, in this spot you can either backraise or slowplay. This is based on several situational dynamics:
This is most effective against people who will not call your 3-bets wide. Occasionally you will find people who fold to your 3-bet 85%+ of the time. Against these people, you want to skew your 3-betting range to bluff hands and slowplay more of your big hands preflop because he will simply fold almost always.
My plan is usually to flat a big hand like JJ+ AK+ preflop and checkraise alot of flop for value when out of position, and raise c-bets in position. With AK when I have no pair I will at least call one bet and possibly too. If I flop a K or A with AK I will frequently be raising/checkraising the flop to get value from other worse top pair hands or underpairs calling down thinking I would never raise a top pair hand. With an overpair I will frequently be checkraising and hoping to have my opponent call several times with top pair.
I see aggressive 3-betting as a huge leak which has several different counters. Like previously said, against people who 3-bet a large percentage of the time im usually slowplaying my AA KK preflop. Especially if they are c-betting alot. If they have a tendency to level themselves and get it in really light, I may 4-bet AA KK. I will almost always 4-bet TT+ against them. This is assuming this is a late/mid position dynamic. Obviously against UTG and UTG+1 situations, my get it in range is less wide.
I will often play my AA and KK in the same way I would play a medium strength made hand, for example, by check calling down if I think my opponent is going to barrel, if I think he will think a flop raise will look bullshit and shove air I will do that. If not I will let him barrel off, this also works as a cool act of balancing because it will protect my marginal call down range.
If someone is 3-betting a ton I can also have a bluff 4bet shove range. This will frequently be any pair or suited aces. Again, if im worried about balancing or something I can put some of my value range into here and just 4-bet shove over there 3-bet. Its interesting to know that a hand like say A4s has 32% equity against TT+ AK which is pretty good considering when you shove your opponent should be folding a large percentage of the time due to his massive 3-bet percentage.
When playing medium strength preflop hands like KQ AJ AQ I will almost always flat a loose persons 3-bet with these hands. If they are loose enough I will be shoving over there c-bets on the flop pretty often when I miss. For example, I have Ac Jc and the flop comes down Tc 2d 9h. In this spot im usually shoving over a c-bet with two overcards and some backdoor draws.
When I hit I will frequently just call down or make a raise on the flop. I like to raise in spots where my opponent thinks I should never have a raising range. Lately ive been experimenting with this and have had some incredible results with people bluff shoving over me really wide. So for example I flat a 3-bet preflop from a blind re-raise of my button open. Flop comes down TT4 and the guy c-bets, in this spot I have raised with my JJ+ and even my Tx pretty often to get him to spazz shove. The same with like AJ on the J22 flop, there’s no chances hes folding much of his range, he will sometimes shove the bare overcards or commit with a lower pair.
Return to the Poker Strategy Articles Contents page.