Float Play in Real Money Poker
Floating is an advanced strategy play that can be a great move to have in your poker Arsenal. Throughout this article we will be looking; what is floating, why is it effective, how to successfully execute a float play, take a look at an example of a float before looking at some key points.
What is a float play?
Floating is a term used when we are in position versus an opponent and we elect to call their continuation with a marginal holding in the hope that they will then give up the turn allow us to bet and take the pot down.
The move has been adopted more and more in today’s games due to the high percentage of players that now continuation bet flops. The strategy has come about as another counteraction to what is now a very standard play, the continuation bet.
Why is a float play effective?
Players in today’s games are renowned for being serial continuation bettors in an attempt to show aggression by taking the betting lead and getting people to fold on flops. By floating these players it takes away a lot the effectiveness of a continuation bet and also perceives to our opponent that we have made a hand on the flop thus, encouraging them to give up in pursing trying to win the pot.
It’s often easier for a player to have one stab at a pot (the continuation bet for example) but more often than not, for a player to fire a second barrel they will be looking at least for some sort of equity in their hand to do so. If they fail to fire that second barrel then it leaves us to take down the pot with very minimal holdings ourselves.
How to successfully make a float
One of the most important variables when making a successful float is that we pick our opponents carefully. Ideally we are targeting players who have a high continuation bet percentage but a low turn bet percentage. These players are the most likely to be betting the flop with nothing and then giving up when we call, on the turn.
Another factor to look at when making a float is board texture. If we come across a flop that is highly co-ordinated, whether it is a flushing or straightening board, then calling to represent a draw can be a profitable play. Obviously the best turn cards in these situations will be that in which completes any draws as the original bettor in the hand will often put draws into our original calling range so will be concerned when the draw completes. This is something we will be looking at in the example below.
Float Play Example
As we have already spoken about, board texture can play a pivotal role in deciding if we should float or not. Let’s look at an example of this:
We are dealt Qs Ts pre flop and elect to call an early positioned raiser who we know continuation bets too much and has a low turn bet percentage, pre flop. The flop falls 5h 6h Jc. At this point we can see that even though the board has totally missed our hand there are a number of both straight a flush cards out there.
Even though the board has missed our actual hand, it actually hits our potential range quite strongly in the fact that we are likely to be calling a lot of suited connectors, pocket pairs and Jx type hands, resulting in it being a good board to float and ultimately represent a hand. This coupled with the knowledge we already have on our opponent makes it a perfect situation.
As expected our early positioned raiser elects to continuation bet, so we decide to float. The turn brings 4h and completes a whole host of flush and straight draws, whilst also making up some two pair combinations. Our opponent realises this is a terrible card even if they have a relatively strong holding like an over pair. They check, we elect to bet and they decide to fold. The perfect scenario and outcome of a float play.
• Select which opponents are going to be susceptible to a float play
• Make sure board texture and cards are set up for a float
• Don’t get carried away with a float. =If they elect to bet again and you have nothing it’s time to re-evaluate your line
• Target players who have high continuation bet percentage coupled with a low turn bet percentage