The Float Play In No Limit Texas Holdem Poker
Calling a bet on the flop in No-Limit Texas Holdem poker without a hand or draw - with the sole intention of bluffing your opponent out of the pot if they fail to fire another bet on the turn - is known as the ‘float play' or ‘floating'. While this can be a profitable addition to any player's armory of poker moves, the circumstances must be right to make floating successful. This article covers 5 of the critical factors for successful floating in No-Limit Texas Holdem Poker games.
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The Float Play #1 - You Need To Act Last!In order for the float play to succeed, it is important that you act last after the flop. Since you will call your opponent's flop bet and then watch his move on the turn, it is important that he makes his turn decision before you have shown weakness by checking (which may induce him to fire a second bet which he would not have done out of position).
The Float Play #2 - Just One Opponent!This play only works against a single opponent. If another player calls a flop bet with you still to act, then you should (generally) abandon any thoughts of trying a float. Calling a bet with players still to act indicates that at least one opponent has a hand which is strong enough call bets on later streets.
The Float Play #3 - Stack Sizes!More important in multi-table or SNG tournaments than in cash games, stack sizes are important because you are building a pot with your pre-flop and post-flop calls. By the time you reach the turn, you need to ensure that your chip stack is deep enough to put pressure on your opponent after they check. If you only have a few chips left in proportion to the pot, then you may end up being called by weak holdings due to the attractive odds.
The Float Play #4 - Texture Of The Flop!Some flops are better for floating than others. Flops which contain high cards are more likely to have hit the range of a pre-flop raiser. Coordinated flops which give rise to potential flushes or straights may lead your opponent to call with a draw or pair / draw combination. The best flops for the float play are ‘dry' (contain few potential draws) and as few high cards as possible.
The Float Play #5 - The Tendencies Of Your Opponent!Some opponents are ideal for floating against as they will quickly give up betting when they miss their hand, and are easy to convince that their hand is beaten when an overcard flops. Others are the opposite, and will call all the way to the river with weak holdings - either due to inexperience or stubbornness. It is important that you choose the right opponents to float; weak-tight players are ideal.