How to Float the Flop, Win More Pots in Texas Holdem
Prior to around 2006, floating was a tactic that was considered an intermediate skill, but as the game has evolved, so have beginner tactics.
Today we'll dive into the concept of floating in poker and how you can use it to win more pots.
What is Floating?
Floating in Texas Hold'em is when you call a bet on the flop with the intention of either stealing on a later street or improving your hand.
Most of the time, floating is usually used in conjunction with calling a continuation bet on the flop.
At some point on the turn or river, you are expecting to take over the lead in betting in an attempt to push a player out of the hand.
This is different from calling down a player on all streets. It requires that you take an aggressive action at some point.
Best Spots to Float
Floating is most often done in one of two spots. The first is against a player that does not fire beyond the flop.
They may continuation bet on the flop but when they're called down, they will only continue betting if they improve their hand.
Dry and uncoordinated boards are also great spots to float. Since your opponents are going to miss the flop more times than they hit, dry boards give you a chance to float.
Spots to Avoid Floating
Where dry boards are prime spots for floating, the opposite is the case for coordinated or paired boards. If you try to float in these spots you will likely lose money when they continue firing on the turn.
Remember, on a paired board you want to be the first into the pot, not floating.
Next, floating is not ideal against rocks and solid players. They are usually going to be betting on the flop with a hand.
Also, when you are playing a calling station and choose to float, be aware of your bet sizes.
Make sure you bet enough on the turn when they check to make it difficult for them to call without a reasonable hand.
Bluffing Not the Only Way to Win With a Float
You probably view floating as a bluffing tool and while that is usually the case, it is not always so.
For example, if you have a hand like A-10 and the board comes dry, floating the flop may allow you to spike an ace on the turn.
In many spots, if you float with overcards to the board and connect, you probably are going to win the hand.
Solid Image is Best for Floating
Keep in mind that a solid image is going to be ideal for using floats on a regular basis. If you're viewed as a loose player, chances are that players will call you down more often.
When you're mostly showing the goods, this gives you a chance to pick up a few pots by floating the flop and then taking the pot away on the turn or river.
By picking the right spots to float, you will pick up extra pots and improve your overall win rate.