When to Float the Flop in Poker

by admin | posted in Poker articles

Floating the Flop

The float play is one of the simplest ways to take advantage of all those unimaginative tight-aggressive poker players who have been invading the online poker tables lately. It works wonders against people who like to raise before the flop and place continuation bets every single time.

Float Play Example

Let’s say there’s a tight-aggressive player at your table who raises a little too often and bets on the flop every single time. You know that he can’t always have something, so you decide to use the float play against him.

That player raises from middle position and you decide to call from late position with a pair of deuces. The flop brings three random, useless cards and your opponent places his usual continuation bet. Instead of folding, though, you decide to call in order to set up a bluff on the next street.

You make the call and the turn brings a brick. Your opponent checks to you and you make a bet. Your opponent, who has nothing, has no option but to fold. You collect a nice little pot with minimal risk. Congratulations; you have just pulled a successful float.

When to Float the Flop

There are a few things that should be in place before you attempt a float on the flop. First of all, you have to be in late position relative to the original raiser. This is important because it is much easier to put pressure on your opponent when you have position. You also need to be in a heads-up pot against that one opponent.

Players who exhibit the following characteristics are the best for floating:

  • Players who c-bet too often

Players who place too many continuation bets are a prime target for the float play because they often do not have anything.

  • Players who are aware

The float play does not work against dull players and fish. You have to use it against players who are able to piece together different parts of a hand and who are capable of folding. Your call on the flop is all show, but your opponent has to be aware of the show and its implications.

  • Players who are timid

It sounds contradictory, but players who raise pre-flop and place lots of c-bets can also be timid. These players like to win small pots with little trouble, but they do not like it to go past the flop. Unimaginative TAGs are the best target.

Why the Float Play Works

The float play works because it takes advantage of a certain type of opponent. These opponents make too many continuation bets because they are used to other players folding under pressure. It doesn’t matter to them if they hit or miss the flop because they know that you have probably also missed the flop.

These players are prime candidates for the float play because they have complete air a good percentage of the time. They won’t always have air, of course, but they do often enough to make the float a good play.

The float also works well against these players because that initial flat call on the flop worries them. These players have been around long enough that they know what a slow play looks like. Your call does not give them any information but it is just enough to make them wonder what you could have.

Final Thoughts

The float play is a great way to shut down aggressive players. Just remember that you have to use it against players who are capable of folding. As an added benefit, the float play is quite frustrating for your opponents. Every once in a while, you will get under your opponent’s skin to such a point that he starts playing a weak game and handing over even more money.


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