Saturday, August 1, 2009

Do You Know How To Float in Poker?


Floating...Image by Haml3t via Flickr

What is Floating?

Floating is calling a bet from an opponent you believe is weak in order to take the pot away with a bet (bluff) on a later street. One way to find weak players is to identify their betting patterns. Weak players will size their flop bets to correspond to the strength of their hand.

A weak player will make a pre-flop raise, and then bet a small percentage on the flop if he has a mediocre or weak hand. He feels he is obligated to make a continuation bet, and simply follows through with his plan. But if he gets called on the flop,
he will give up and check on the turn.

If you have position on this player, you can call him with almost any two cards. What he does on the flop and/or turn, will tell you how to play the hand. You are not playing your cards. You are playing his betting patterns.

Examples of Floating

1. You have 2 cards. It is the middle of the tournament. You have position on a player who you want to float since you know how he plays on the flop.

The flop is A♠-6♦-4♦. Your opponent bets 50% the size of the pot. What should you do?

You know your opponent will make a continuation bet, and will check the turn if he missed. So you call his bet on the flop.

When he checks the turn, you will take down the pot with a bet.

2. What if your opponent only bets 30% the size of the pot on the flop. What should you do?

This looks like a probe bet from this player. Raise the bet on the flop.

3. Same situation except your opponent makes a pot sized bet on the flop. What should you do?

A bet the size of the pot usually means he has top pair. Fold.

One additional note: If you are out of position, you can also float by either calling the bet and check-raising the turn, or calling the turn and betting the river when your
opponent checks the turn.


Identify opponents who tell you if they are strong or weak by their betting patterns. Get heads-up against these players by floating, and when they check their hand, a bet will win you the pot.

1 comment:

Edward said...

very good strategy, before I knew what it was called, I noticed weak bets that I called with overs and draws that were checked to me and easily take on the next street.

Next lesson will be how to trap a floater with the nuts !!(aka floating the floater)

What's Your Poker IQ?