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From nothing to luxury

/Jan/2012

The art of floating

By: Feskprins @ 23:33 (EST) / 795 / Comment ( 0 )

I'd like to take a few minutes and deal with a concept that has been a huge tool in my arsenal. No, I'm not talking about angering aggressive dogs so I can take pictures of them and use as an avatar. I'm talking about what ducks, boats, and digested food with too much fibres tend to do. I'm talking about floating.

For those of you who are not aware of floating, it's when you call a bet in order to steal the pot at a later street. This isn't as easy as it looks. You have to be extremely aware of your opponent's tendencies and really pick your spots. The optimal opponent to execute a float on is in my experience (and you should see why with some common sense) one that likes to cbet or bluff a lot and folds to aggression. Unfortunately, these players are not very common, but once you find them, you can make a great deal of money. Even though you shouldn't do this very often, because other players may catch on and exploit this, it's okay to do this as long as they let you. "It's okay to be exploitable as long as they don't exploit us".

I would advice you to do this on the flop, i.e. calling the flop and betting the turn if the villain checks to you. you should be very wary if the flop gets checked around, and he bets the turn. Normally, a float here wouldn't accomplish much. What will you do if he bets the river? If he check-raises the river? Unless you have a specific read that says you can profit from floating turn to river, or even flop to river, you shouldn't even attempt it. Also, never float against more than one opponent, and you should always have position on him.

I used to do this whenever necessary at the 50NL tables and occassionally at 100NL (although they seemed to be more aware of what was going on), and my winrate increased significantly. Of course, it didn't always succeed, but the overall profit is huge if you're able to range your opponents well and predict their future actions. Being aware of this concept gives you an edge on the other players for a number of reasons. First off, it creates a sense of uncertainty for them. They can only speculate what your actual holdings are in those situations, and sooner or later they will pay you off when you make a big hand. Secondly, you can exploit other players that tend to float a lot by reraising them when they execute their steals. Always be one step ahead. Just remember to take stack sizes, table image and the villain's tendencies into consideration.

So learn it, practice it, live it, and I hope you'll be able to use this tool in the correct situations. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments or in the forum, because I know it's impossible to cram all the relevent information into one post.

Cheers! ....8)

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