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Slow Roll Poker: Important Information about Game Etiquette

Author: Ivanna Shostak
2 January 2020, 18:16
Votes: 1

In poker, as in other types of competitions, in addition to the rules, you should comply with game etiquette. The rules, of course, are not mandatory but it is worth complying with them in order to earn other players’ and spectators’ respect.

Slow Roll Poker: Important Information about Game Etiquette

In addition, many people try to remain human in any situation thanks to education and knowledge of moral standards. Slow roll in poker – is just one of the cases of violation of poker etiquette. In order not to be considered a rude opponent because of non-compliance with the rules of sports behavior, you should find out what the above-mentioned term means and why it is better not to use it in the game.

What does slow roll mean in poker?

This is a technique consisting in waiting until the last moment to show a winning hand, in an attempt to make your opponent believe that he or she won when the opponent actually lost. Players utilize this technique in order to add unnecessary drama to the hand and make the opponent flare-up.

Land-based casinos vs. online gambling establishments: where is the above-mentioned technique more common?

Studying more deeply the topic of a slow roll, you will find numerous examples of using this technique at land-based casinos. At the same time, in online poker, a slow roll is not easy to notice, as there is a number of reasons why a player might take a long time to place a bet. Distraction from the computer, slow Internet connection and playing several games – all this can contribute to the fact that a player makes a bet slowly.

Read more: Dead Man’s Hand

What does it mean to slow roll in poker and what are the details of this strategy?

An example of a classic violation of poker etiquette is the delay that occurs during the process of turning cards over. That is, the poker player having familiarized himself or herself with the opponent’s cards deliberately refuses to open the winning combination that he or she owns, while delaying the time. As a rule, this is also accompanied by unpleasant and offensive comments. Besides, under slow roll poker term, we also understand the delay of the time interval with the nuts (a situation in which the opponent made an all-in bet on the river). A similar technique is utilized during the game process, which takes place online. The application of such a strategy is aimed at getting under the opponent's skin. This can be considered as revenge or as a manifestation of a bad temper.

What does it mean to slow roll in poker and what are the details of this strategy?

Professional poker players caught utilizing this technique

According to experts, this technique is often used unconsciously by novices who might not be aware of the fact that this is contrary to poker etiquette. However, there are a lot of stories when the famous players used the strategy. In order to better understand what we are talking about in this article, I suggest remembering one of the best poker slow roll examples. In one of the episodes of the show “Poker Night in America”, Shaun Deeb decided to slow roll Mike Matusow. It is not clear whether Deeb was trying to joke or drive Matusow crazy. Afterward, Matusow was extremely enraged, and he even promised to smash Deeb in the face if this happened again.

On the other hand, there are controversial situations when it is not clear whether the player wanted to slow roll or just was considering the next step for a long time having a good combination of cards. The most striking example is one of the episodes, in which Artem Litvinov attacked verbally the Scottish professional player right at the television table, believing that the Scottish had slowed rolled him.

Slow roll poker etiquette: why is this strategy considered a sign of bad manners?

There are two main reasons why it is better to avoid this technique:

1. Doing so, the player shows his or her disrespect towards the opponent. After all, it might have a strong psychological effect on the poker player and make the opponent flare-up.

2. Due to the slow roll, the poker hand loses that one moment when all the participants are honest with each other. When all the money is already in the center of the table and having a winning hand, the player needs to make another call or bet, it just makes no sense to drag this moment or try to hide the power of the combination of cards.

Read more: Best Poker Books for Newbies

Is it legal to slow roll in poker?

Is it legal to slow roll in poker?

In general, there are no official rules that state that in case of a strong hand, you are forbidden to call or turn over cards for a long time. However, you should remember that such actions in some gambling establishments might lead to a ban.

In some cases, this technique can be criticized by the dealer or casino staff. More severe punishment is often considered inappropriate. One of the reasons for this is that it is difficult to objectively assess the severity of slow rolling. Players are expected to show their hands in a reasonable amount of time, but what is a reasonable amount of time? Therefore, it is extremely difficult to give full and clear slow roll poker definition but you know what it is when you witness it.

The best conclusion to be drawn is that you had better stay focused on how to beat your opponents by fair means. Slow rolling someone is an unforgivable act to most poker players.

The best way to avoid accidental slow rolls

Of course, in this gambling activity, not everything is clear, that is why from time to time, we all get confused. However, if you want to achieve success, it is better to try to avoid even accidental slow rolls. This is how it can be done:

- when it is your turn, turn your cards over;

- be first to turn the hand if you are sure that you have a much better combination of cards unless you have specific reasons not to do it;

- try to stay polite in any situation.

Some people assume that poker is just about ranges and math. However, actually, it is not quite so. If during the game, you are always polite and behave respectfully to the opponent, you will likely be paid off in the long run.

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If one of your goals is to become a successful poker player, you should learn more about gaming etiquette. A self-respecting poker player always behaves appropriately, restrains his or her emotions and impulses, so as not to offend opponents in any way. Remember that when playing poker, it is very important to maintain a friendly atmosphere. No matter how much the opponents annoy you, in any case, you should not stoop to their level.

As mentioned earlier, the 25-year-old Spaniard Adrian Mateos managed to become the winner at the recent European Poker Tour Prague and took home twenty million dollars.

Read more: The World’s Most Famous High Rollers

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