One of the most commonly slowplayed hands in No Limit is the flopped nut flush. Regardless of position it is almost guaranteed that the flopped nut flush will check or only call when bet in to. This is a problem for a number of reasons in a deeper stacked cash game. As play has evolved and recreational players get better people do not stack off as lightly—especially on scary boards. The best way to get a lot of money in the pot these days is to do so early, when only three cards are out.
For example, let’s say in a $1-2 NL game with effective stacks of $600 an early position player raises to $10, a mid position player calls, and we call with A♠ T♠ on the button. The flop comes out 5♠ 8♠ 9♠. The pre flop raiser checks and MP bets $20. What is the best play here? To answer this question we must evaluate MP’s range. He could have a medium strength hand like A9 or T9 or he could have a stronger hand like a set, straight or smaller flush. Let’s say we decide to slowplay like 99% of the player pool. The pre flop raiser folds. Pot $70. Turn 2♥. MP bets $50. We again decide to “trap” and just call. Pot $170. River 3♥. MP bets $120, we raise to $300. MP snap calls and tables K♠ J♠. Whoops!! Even though we managed to extract $370 we have made a disastrous blunder in deep stack NL—we failed to stack a very strong second best hand with our nut hand.
This is one of the most common mistakes I see from players who are inexperienced playing deep. When you flop huge in deep stacked No Limit sometimes you are going to have to hope that your opponent also flopped big. We are not concerned with stringing along a hand like T9 here, a hand that will most likely fold to a raise on the turn or river. If we had played our nut flush fast there is absolutely no way that we do not stack MP especially in a lower level No Limit game. Most of the time our opponent will either get it in on the flop or possibly check raise the turn. By slowplaying, though, we take what looks like such a strong line, he falls into check call mode (whether we wake up on the turn or the river) and we fail to get all of his money. What if he had a straight, two pair or set? Again, if you wait until the turn or river to raise you announce that your hand is big and you may well let him off the hook. Another reason not to play the hand in this manner is that a scary card might appear on a future street—like a fourth spade—killing all of our action.