What Is A Float In Poker?
In poker, the term “float” or “floating” describes a move where a player calls a bet on one street with a weak hand with the intention to bluff on a later street.
Floating can be a very effective strategy against overly aggressive opponents who frequently raise or 3-bet with marginal hands. It allows you to stay in the hand, waiting for the right opportunity to take control of the pot.
Or in other words, with the float move, instead of focusing solely on your poker hand, you are also looking to take advantage of your opponent's tendencies.
With this said, for floating to be a successful strategy, it has to be implemented against a certain type of opponent that likes to bet on one or two streets but shuts down later in the hand.
If you decide to float against an NIT who only bets with strong hands, there is a high chance that your float will be unsuccessful.
In addition to choosing the right opponents, you must be able to execute a convincing bluff on later streets to take the pot down, or in other words, you must tell a good story with your actions and represent a strong hand.
Poker Float Example:
Imagine a situation in which an aggressive player makes a raise from the CO, and you call from the BTN with As 9s.
The flop comes Ks 7d 8c, and your opponent makes a ½ continuation bet. You make a call since you have read that this opponent c-bet too much.
The turn is an 8h and your opponent checks.
Now since you know that your opponent is an aggressive player, you are certain that he would have bet if he had a good hand, so you decide to make a ½ pot bluff. Your opponent folds, and you take down the pot.
This is a classical example of how you can take advantage of your opponent's overly aggressive-tendencies by floating. It is also important to select the right poker hands for a float since having some additional equity, like runner runner draw or overcards, is very beneficial and sometimes will give you the best hand at the showdown.