What Is A Slow Roll And Why You Shouldn’t Do It

Poker holds the title for being the most popular game despite players having a hard time controlling their temper and remaining at ease. Although the game can push players to their limits, the nature of poker is what makes it exciting for many.

An unspoken rule, known as “poker etiquette,” exists, and it is of certain limits that players should not cross. These are rules followed in every poker game table, even if no one officially announces them. The so-called slow roll is frowned upon by many, and it’s something that you shouldn’t do to others if you don’t want it done unto you.

What Does It Mean When You Slow Roll?

There is no direct meaning behind the slow roll, but every poker player knows what happens when an opponent does it, and everyone else is aware that it isn’t an accident.

A slow roll happens when a player doesn’t show down their hands at the right time despite knowing that they have the winner.

A good example is when you have KhJh with three hearts by the river. And then, you bet and your rival calls but didn’t raise. This situation ensures you have the best hand. But, you delay the turning of your hand, which gives the opponent the idea that they won.

Why Is A Slow Roll Unacceptable?

A slow roll is something not all players understand, especially the controversy surrounding it. The action is very different from bluffing and provoking a reaction from your rival, which showcases how skillful you are, but a slow roll is another case.

A slow roll defies the rules of courtesy and respect. Knowing that you have the winner and still teasing the opponent is an immature move that only highlights how impolite you are as a player. Not only do you disrespect the players, but you also prolong the game. Even at the professional poker tables, this action is not acceptable.

Do The Official Rules Go Against The Slow Roll?

Overall, the official rules of poker don’t state that a slow roll deserves a penalty. However, each poker room also has its own set of managers that ultimately decide regarding the rules. If the management sees that a slow roll from a player continually disrupts a game and the other players, they have the power to give a penalty. Or, they could get kicked out entirely.

How Can Players Avoid Doing Slow Rolls?

  1. Immediately muck or turn your hands over once you have your turn.
  2. Be the first to turn over your hands, especially if you have a winner. 
  3. Show courtesy by turning your hand when an opponent tell you you’ve got a winner.

Is A Slow Roll Something Players Should Try?

No, especially when you’re at a poker table with professional players. It may be okay when you play with close friends and family, but ultimately, you don’t want to earn the title of being the most uncourteous player in the room. Play fair, and it’ll help you in the long run.

Still can't decide which poker table is right for you? Check out our list of the 9 Best Poker & Card Tables of this year.