slow roll in poker

The Intricacies Of Slow Rolling In Poker – Strategies And Etiquette

Slow rolling is seen with both amusement and disgust in the high-stakes world of poker, where every action is analyzed and planned. The poker tactic known as “slow rolling” goes beyond the area of strategy and into the realm of gamesmanship. This is a well-planned strategy whereby a player with the nuts (the best possible hand) deliberately and methodically delays showing their hand to their opponent.

It’s a violation of poker etiquette in the eyes of some, but a brilliant move in the eyes of others. This article will examine slow rolling in poker, including its definition, when it is utilized, and how it is received by other players.

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Understanding The Blackjack Split

What Is Slow Rolling In Poker?

Slow rolling in poker refers to a deliberate and calculated action in which a player takes an extended amount of time to reveal their winning hand to their opponent, despite already knowing that their hand is unbeatable.

It’s a tactic that’s often employed to create a sense of suspense and anticipation, causing the opponent to believe momentarily that they may have the winning hand. Once the slow-rolling player finally reveals their superior hand, it can elicit various reactions from the opponent and other players at the table.

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 insults 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.
Slow rolling in poker

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Slow Roll In Poker

It makes enemies

We’ve all seen a poker villain. Watching prior WSOP Main Event coverage demonstrates that many poker players believe being the “bad guy” gives them an edge. The last “villain” is Will Kassouf, whose speech play was acclaimed and criticized for improper etiquette. It was evident from his table tactics that he made enemies during his deep Main Event run. He may say that provides him an edge, but creating enemies at the table may not.

When you delay rolling someone, the whole table may be offended or regard you as the “bad guy.” Unfortunately, everyone wants to bust poker villains. In No-Limit Hold’em, winning multi-way pots is difficult, but when the whole table wants to bust the slow roller, it’s even harder. Having a lot of enemies at the table won’t help, especially in tight games with sharp opponents.

It can terrify fish

A nice poker table is quite helpful. Many players are strong at poker due to the amount of information accessible, so finding a table with a few fish is wonderful. Keeping the fish amused in poker seems like a forgotten art, but it’s crucial. If someone is losing money, let them have fun. This will make them return and lose more!

Do not embarrass or anger the fish since they will not stay in the game. Slow-rolling a fish may anger them, and if they’re losing money, they may quit. When giving a fish strategic counsel, many elderly pros say “Don’t tap the glass”. Similar to a leisurely roll, but more like hammering the glass.

It can damage your reputation

Anyone who has played poker long enough knows it’s little. While you may not know everyone’s name at your local casino, you recognize faces and presumably know someone they know. Social media and poker vloggers have made poker players globally more linked than ever. Since we’re such a close community, negative reputations spread quickly. Cheating, debt refusal, and jerk behavior at the table can spread swiftly. Slow rolling is bad for your local poker reputation.

It delays gameplay

Slow rolling, as the name implies, slows the game. Many poker players today lament the speed. Tanking is growing in big-bet games. Live-streamed and high-roller tournaments have started using shot clocks for decisions. The community thinks the game is slow and wants to speed it up, so you don’t want to slow it down. Slowing down the game hurts everyone, especially in New Hampshire where card halls are not open 24/7.

You may lose your seat

Slow rolling could cost you your poker career if you play mostly at home. Unless prohibited, anyone can sit at a table in a regulated casino or card room. Legally, the casino cannot prevent you from sitting in a game. If you play private clubs or home games, you must be welcomed back. Slow rolling or being a jerk at the table can have you removed swiftly. Do not be deleted from private game invite lists if you live in an area with few regulated casinos.

Three Reasons To Slow Roll In Poker

It’s funny with buddies

Hit close buddies with a slow roll in a small pot for fun. My normal game with a few men allowed slow rolling once every session if the pot was under $100 (we played $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em). It was entertaining to fool with each other throughout our sometimes boring games. If someone steals your huge pot, whack them with a slow roll at showdown in a tiny pot.

Now, discuss this with your pals before doing it. I occasionally warn close pals that I may slow-roll someone when we set up a game. It keeps everyone on their toes and can lead to entertaining showdowns where we argue to see one other’s cards even though it’s not our time. It keeps the game light and is fun for pranking.

You can tilt a player

Slow rolling may put your opponent on edge, but it’s not the best approach to win. Slow rolling has several drawbacks, but one of the biggest is tilting your opponents. Late in a tournament, players cannot quit, thus they must stay after a terrible poker slow roll. A tilted opponent may give you their stack or go crazy attempting to beat you. Slow-roll poker may not be the best strategy to win, but it may help you tilt your opponent.


Many wise sayings advise against revenge, such as “while seeking revenge dig two graves — one for yourself” or “a man who studieth revenge keeps his wounds green.” Despite warnings, sometimes you need revenge. I don’t mean seeking revenge on someone who won a pot or cooler against you. If a player is jerky or sluggish rolls you, they may need to be punished. The opponent may require some plain old-fashioned eye-for-eye, not “being the bigger man” or taking the high road.

What Is Slow Rolling In Poker Rules?

Slow rolling in poker isn’t governed by specific rules outlined in the official rulebooks of the game. Instead, it’s a concept that involves behavior and etiquette at the poker table. Slow rolling refers to a player deliberately taking an extended amount of time to reveal a winning hand to their opponent, despite already knowing that their hand is unbeatable.

Since there aren’t strict rules dedicated to slow rolling, its classification and consequences can vary based on the poker room, casino, or home game you’re playing. However, some general guidelines and considerations apply:

1. Poker Room Etiquette:

Many poker rooms and casinos consider slow rolling to be poor etiquette. It’s often frowned upon because it can be seen as disrespectful to opponents and disrupts the flow of the game.

2. Sportsmanship:

Slow rolling is generally considered unsportsmanlike behavior. Poker is a social game, and maintaining a respectful and friendly atmosphere is important.

3. Timing:

While there’s no fixed time limit for making decisions, deliberately taking excessive time to reveal your winning hand can be seen as intentionally misleading your opponent.

4. Intention:

Slow rolling is often evaluated based on intention. If a player genuinely needs more time to think through a decision, it’s different from someone who intentionally slows down the game to create tension.

5. Table Image:

Slow rolling can affect your table image. If you gain a reputation for slow rolling, it might impact how opponents perceive you and the game.

6. House Rules:

Some casinos or home games might have specific rules about behavior and etiquette. It’s advisable to understand the rules of the specific game you’re participating in.

7. Social Dynamics:

Your relationship with other players at the table can influence how slow rolling is perceived. In friendly home games, players might tolerate slow rolling more than in competitive casino settings.

Is Slow Rolling Illegal?

The main point players who like to slow roll will make when defending their actions is that there is nothing in the official rules to prevent them from slow-rolling their opponents. And it is hard to argue against this since nothing states how much time a player can take before showing his cards.

Furthermore, this means that there isn’t an official method of punishment that casinos will use to prevent slow rollers.

However, depending on the casino and the setup, some floor managers might hesitate to give you a spot at a table if you are a known slow roller. This is because they want other players to have fun and keep returning to the casino, something they might not do if they play against a player that irritates them.

Poker managers have the freedom to run their games however they want, and there is nothing you can do about that. This is another reason why slow rolling is not in the players’ best interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is slow rolling in poker?

Slow rolling in poker refers to intentionally delaying the reveal of a winning hand despite knowing it’s unbeatable. This tactic aims to create suspense and anticipation for opponents.

Is slow rolling considered acceptable behavior?

Slow rolling is generally frowned upon in the poker community due to its potential to disrupt the flow of the game and evoke negative reactions from opponents.

Can slow rolling be strategic?

While slow rolling itself is often seen as poor etiquette, some players consider employing a similar tactic known as “acting weak” to extract maximum value from their hand without being disrespectful.

Why do players slow roll?

Players may slow roll for psychological reasons, hoping to provoke reactions from opponents. It can also be seen as a way to showcase dominance at the table, but this can come with negative consequences.

What are the consequences of slow rolling?

Slow rolling can lead to frustration, anger, and resentment from opponents. It can create an uncomfortable atmosphere at the table and damage your reputation among players.

Is there a time limit for making decisions in poker?

While there’s no strict time limit for making decisions, taking excessive time to reveal a hand solely to slow roll can be considered bad etiquette.

Are there any instances where slow rolling is acceptable?

Some players believe that slow rolling might be acceptable in friendly home games where all players are familiar with each other’s playstyles and personalities.

How does slow rolling affect a player’s image?

Slow rolling can negatively impact a player’s table image. Being perceived as disrespectful or unsportsmanlike can influence how opponents view and interact with you.

What can I do if I encounter slow rolling at the table?

If you encounter slow rolling, it’s important to maintain your composure. Address the issue calmly with the player if necessary, or inform the dealer or floor staff if you feel the situation is escalating.

What’s the best approach to avoid controversy related to slow rolling?

To avoid controversy and maintain a positive atmosphere, prioritize sportsmanship and timely gameplay. Make decisions in a reasonable time frame and show respect for your opponents throughout the game.