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  • When To Float In Poker - Texas Hold'em Strategy

    Floating is a concept that far too many players don’t know about. Good for me, bad for the players who don’t know. Floating is when you call a player’s bet with the intention of trying to take away the pot on a later street. Floating itself assumes that you have no made hand, you would simply be calling a bet if you had a made hand. The entire premise of a float is that it can be a very cost effective way of catching someone in a bluff. Instead of having to put a lot of money into the pot by raising the other player when you think they are bluffing, you can simply call their bet and play the hand out later on. There are plenty of benefits to floating when done properly.

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    When to float - Texas Hold'em Strategy

    Floating should be done against a player who is prone to making flop continuation bets. Players who make constant continuation bets will frequently be betting with nothing. Sometimes you will pick an inopportune time to float someone, but that is nothing more than bad luck. If you pick the correct spots/opponents you will be effective in your floats. You always have to keep in mind that so long as you are right more often than you are wrong, you will be profitable.

    Pretend that you have no idea how your opponent plays. Maybe it is your first few rounds at the table. While this would not be one of the best scenarios to consider floating, it is still a time where a float can be implemented. It all comes down to your ability to pin the other player to a general range of hands that he is likely holding. This does not mean that you have to know exactly what he has, but you should definitely have some idea of their hand before floating. Hand reading is important when floating because you need to know what you are floating and what turn or river cards will scare them away.

    If an UTG player opens with a 4x BB raise pre flop and you call on the button, you should have a general range of hands assigned to the UTG player. For this example’s sake I will put him on 22+, and AJ+. Now, if the flop was 3 4 8 and he makes a continuation bet, would this be a good time to float? Absolutely. A large portion of his range is beaten by an 8, and a large portion of his range missed the flop completely. The problem that players often run into is what to do after calling an initial flop bet. You can float someone, but at the same time not really float them at all. A float is only effective if you are able to continue with the backend of it. So the next step is to see the turn. The turn is a T (ten). Now you have even more leverage to push him off of hands like 6s. He will either fire another bet or check it to you. If he checks you should definitely make a bet, this was the opportunity you were waiting for. If he bets I would take a step back. Either he has a big hand, such as a set or an over pair to the board, or he is double barreling us with nothing. I would tend to fold in this spot more often than I would call, but calling does have its merit. If you do decide to float them for another street, make sure you are aggressive in your river approach. Make decisions one step ahead, when you float the flop, think about the turn; when you float the turn, think about the river.