# 3 Tips for Slow-Playing Strong Hands (via Lucid GTO)

Making as much as possible when you hold a strong hand is one of the fundamental goals of poker.

Fast-playing made hands is usually the best course of action to accomplish that goal. However, some instances warrant slow-playing.

In this article, I will give you 3 tips for when you should slow-play strong hands (discovered using Lucid GTO solutions). Let’s dive in!

## Tip #1: You Should Sometimes Slow-Play Two Pair on the Flop When a Straight or Flush is Already Possible

When a flopped straight or a flopped flush is possible, the relative strength of all other hands decreases.

When you bet on the flop, turn, and river, your opponent will fold a good part of his range on each street. If they have an extra 3-6% of nutted hands on the flop, it will have a ripple effect across the game tree.

Check out this spot from Lucid GTO where Button raises preflop and the Big Blind calls. The Flop comes Qd Tc 8c and the Big Blind checks.

I put a red box around each of the two pair hands — notice that each one is partially green (meaning check)

Take a look at the two pairs of Queen-Ten, Queen-Eight suited, and Ten-Eight.

You can see that the solver elects to check back with these hands around 1/3rd of the time. Why does it do that?

The solver slow-plays some two pair hands to protect itself from being exploited when it checks back. It’s check back range would be too weak if it didn’t include these hands at some frequency.

If it never checked with those hands, then the Big Blind could start betting very thin and very large for value while expanding his bluffing range. That would cost the Button a lot of expected value (EV).

Now, let’s look at how the solver approaches a monotone flop — Qc Tc 7c:

Here you can see even more checking happening with the two pairs (roughly 50% of the time).

This is driven by a larger nutted region of hands (flushes) present in the Big Blind’s range compared to the previous example.

Takeaway: When you have two pair on straight-y and flush-y flops like these, consider mixing in some slow-plays.

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## Tip #2: You Should Sometimes Slow-Play When The Flush Completes On The Turn After You Bet On The Flop

This one is pretty intuitive and you might do it already. But it’s worth mentioning.

After you’ve c-bet on the flop and the turn completes a flush draw, you should mix in some checks with two pairs and sets. This situation is very similar to what I described in the previous tip.

With a new nutted hand class introduced, your two pairs and sets go down in value. Generally speaking, these strong hands go from being worth three streets of value to just two.

Because you can only bet on the turn or river for value, the solver will mix between these two options. (It does this to prevent the opponent from playing extremely aggressively against a capped range.)

Let’s look at an example.

The Button raises preflop and Big Blind calls. The flop comes Qc Td 7c and the Button’s c-bet gets called. Take a look at how the Solver plays on the 5c turn

I’ve highlighted only the two pairs and sets to help you visualize

You can see that while the sets often continue betting, the two pairs slow down drastically (especially the weakest ones like Queen-Seven, Ten-Seven and Seven-Five).

Once you check on the turn, you can prepare yourself to either call a bet on the river (unless its a fourth club) or bet when checked to.

Takeaway: Slow down frequently with two pair and occasionally with a set when the flush completes on the turn.

## Tip #3: You Should Sometimes Slow-Play Out Of Position After the Aggressor Gave Up the Lead

When the aggressor checks back on the flop and you have a very strong hand, you have the option to probe bet or check-raise. The solver will oftentimes mix between both of these options.

By mixing your strong hands into both lines, you make yourself much tougher to play against. (In more technical words, it prevents the opponent from extracting more value from his equity and denying more of yours.)

Take a look here at how the solver plays with two pair or better as the Big Blind on a Qc Td 7c 6h board after the flop checked through:

Once again, I’ve used Lucid GTO to filter only the relevant hands (two pairs, sets and straights)

You can see that these strong hands mix between betting and checking.

By taking this approach, the Big Blind disarms the Button from value betting with strong Tx and weak Qx hands. Since the Button cannot value bet thinly, this also disables him from bluffing as much. What all of this does in essence is increasing your equity realization.

## Which slow-playing tip did you find most helpful?

Let me know in the comments below.

There you have it! If you were always wondering if you should ever slow-play your very strong hands, you now have your answer.

By playing this way you will become a much harder player to read and if applied correctly, will help shut down your more aggressive opponents.

Want more tips like this? Check out 3 Pro Tips for Overbetting On The Flop (ft. Lucid GTO).

If you enjoyed this article, let me know in the comment section down below! I hope you learned something new from it, and you can start slow-playing in a smart way from now on!

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

## Watch The Lucid GTO Trainer in Action with Mike Brady & Doug Polk

There a countless ways to leverage the new Lucid GTO Trainer to improve your poker game. That’s why it’s literally guaranteed to help you get better.

Watch this video to see Lucid GTO in action as Mike Brady and Doug Polk run through 8 tips for using the tool.

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