Excessive slow-playing is a common mistake in poker, which will dramatically reduce your profit. As we know, strong hands are hard to come by, so it’s naturally to want to maximize your profit with these hands. However, an excessive focus on this thought will lead you to use slow-playing in a situation that you should not slow play. Usually, slow-playing refers to a player playing a strong hand weakly in order to encourage opponents to stay in the hand and hopefully contribute more chips to a pot the player expects to win. The biggest problem with slow-playing is that average players in poker tend to be passive. They prefer to call a bet with a weak hand rather than to bluff with a weak hand. Don’t try to trap such players by slow playing, as that will result in no bet in multiple streets. Even if you get bets during the River, it’s hard to make up for the missed value on early streets. Besides, if a passive player has nothing, he/she probably is not going to put much money in the pot no matter what you do. When you are holding a strong hand, your priority should be trying your best to earn as much profit as possible from the actual hands of your opponents at the time. Another problem with slow playing is that few hands in poker are really strong enough to ensure no risk at all. Beginning players often slow play top-pair-top-kicker hands like AK on a K-x-x board, or small two pair hands like 65s on a J-6-5 board. In both of these situations, you are likely to run a bigger risk on later streets that you should have prevented on early streets because your opponents may get lucky cards to outplay you. On the K-x-x board, any other pair might call a bet. If you let them see another card for free, they get a chance to make a two-pair or three-of-a-kind. If the pot increases on the Turn or the River, the chances that they get better hands are bigger, then your top-pair-top-kicker will drop to the second best. It’s even worse if you are holding 65s hand. You will not only have the same concern as with the AK hand, but also worry they get a chance to make a straight hand. Slow-playing is actually a good tactic when: your opponents are known to be aggressive or you get an unbreakable hand (typically a three-of-a-kind or better, with few draws present). Remember, you may avoid profit reduction resulting from slow-playing only when you are using this tactic in any of the two situations.