Poker is a casino game that’s rich in history, tradition and rules or etiquette, both official and unofficial. Some unwritten rules in poker can include banter, trash-talking and slow rolling.
Slow rolling falls in the unofficial poor etiquette category. Most players consider slow rolling one of the most egregious acts in poker, while some find it slightly annoying but can overlook it. Though slow rolling will not get you banned from the table, it may lead to some tension.
What Is Slow Rolling In Poker?
Slow rolling is a term that can be used when a player with a strong hand purposely takes a long time to either show their cards or make an easy call on their move. It can often be done by the player with the best possible hand on the table, often known as "the nuts".
When you slow roll your winning cards, you give your opponents false hope and delay the inevitable.
Unofficial poker etiquette dictates that after the last betting round (showdown) if you have the winning hand but there is only one player left, the best and most kind thing to do is to reveal your hand quickly. Not doing so is considered slow rolling and may get you in trouble with other players.
This is because it could demonstrate poor poker etiquette. If you know your opponent is going to lose and you intentionally take a long time to act, it’s like rubbing salt in a wound.
What Is The Difference Between Slow Play & Slow Roll?
Slow play and slow rolling can sometimes be confused with one another, but they are different.
As we have mentioned, when you slow roll, you are holding on to winning cards at the end of the hand when you could be revealing them quickly, which may taunt your opponent.
However, slow play can be classified as another strategy which may potentially help you beat the table. When you are slow playing, you trick your opponent into thinking you have a weak hand when you have a strong hand to try and encourage them to bet more, increasing the pot you may potentially win at the end of the hand.
Why Is Slow Rolling Bad?
While some may consider trickery the foundation of poker, there are some tricks you may want to try and avoid, such as slow rolling. Slow rolling can be considered bad because:
- It is poor etiquette
- It is unnecessary
- It goes against the sportsmanship of poker
- It may land you in hot water with players at the table
The most irking thing for players about slow rolling is the false hope it can give players, which is then swiftly crushed when you eventually reveal your winning cards.
For example, say you are playing at a table with high stakes, and when it's your turn to make a move, you give off signs that show you are unhappy with your cards and take a long time to reveal them.
Your opponent may think they have won, and then when you finally turn over your cards, they make a really good hand or a nut, as it is famously known. As a result, your opponent may be left crushed, something that may have been avoided had you quickly revealed your winning hand.
Is Slow Rolling Against The Rules?
No, slow rolling is not against the rules. It is only considered bad poker etiquette. Sometimes, slow rolling can be done unintentionally, especially if you are an inexperienced poker player. But, most times, it is done for showmanship, especially in poker tournaments.
So, while it is something most poker players are not welcoming to, it is not necessarily against the rules. Therefore, you can slow roll if you wish, but, to try and keep the peace on the table, it may be best to avoid.
Can You Slow Roll Online?
Yes, you can slow roll online. But, unlike brick-and-mortar poker, it may be harder to spot because there are many things that may slow down your play in online poker. These could include possible distractions or a slow internet connection.
In fact, even if you do slow roll someone, it may go unnoticed. Still, it may be best to try to avoid slow rolling in any setting if you can.
In conclusion, slow rolling is not illegal or against the rules, but it may land you in hot waters with your opponents. So, unless you know the other players on the table really well and slow-rolling each other is part of your M.O., it could be best to try and stay away from slow rolling.