Most beginners, probably, have not even heard of such a term, although they quite often came across this technique during the game. Floating is a kind of bluff, and translated from English means to float, overflow.
So what is floatation? Your opponent raises pre-flop, you call him calmly, he puts a continuation on the flop, you also call calmly. Thus, he twice shows that you should be afraid of him, and you laugh twice in his face. A puzzled opponent checks on the turn, and here you bet, about 2/3 of the pot. Under such pressure, your opponent is likely to fold, which, by the way, may turn out to be much better than yours.
To be more clear, let's take a look at float with an example. The middle position player raises, and you call on the button with QJ. All other opponents discard their cards. The flop comes up 3.4, T. The opponent, showing aggression, makes a continuation bet and hopes to knock you out of the bank. But that was not the case, you call. The turn comes with an 8, which does not strengthen your hand in any way. The opponent checks, effectively admitting defeat. Then you bet about 2/3 of the pot. In this situation, in most cases, your opponent will be forced to fold and you will take the pot.
When performing floatation, you must adhere to a number of conditions:
- You can only float against one opponent. In a multi-way pot, chances are good that one of the players will have a hand so strong that he will call your bet on the turn, and you will find yourself in a very difficult situation on the river.
- It is better to play in position against your opponent. It is very risky to check / call the flop from UTG, and then show aggression on the turn, because before your bet you could not demonstrate your weakness.
- This technique only makes sense for deep stacks. Because with a short stack, your opponent can call your bet just by pot odds with almost any two.
- Floating is only effective against experienced players. At low limits, there is a high probability of running into a moron, donk or a maniac, in other words, a fish. Such a player will pull any match to the river, calling all your bets on all streets and not even thinking about the fact that you may be ahead.
- You should not get carried away with floating, as well as other types of bluffing. Opponents can figure out your tactics, and you run the risk of running into a check / raise on the turn. If you suspect that the float is being used against you, then check / raise yourself.
- An ideal option for execution is a wood board.
Floating is an expensive pleasure. No one will give you any guarantees that your opponent will necessarily fold on the turn after your bet. He may well call her or respond with a reraise, and then you will have to fold, having lost a considerable part of your stack in this hand. Evaluate the flop, if you have outs to improve, you can float, and if not, it's better to fold. Let's take an example.
You hit a one-way straight draw on the flop. Your opponent bets half the pot. Your odds of calling are 3 to 1, and you see a straight on the turn 8.5% times. It turns out that your call on the turn will not be mathematically justified. However, if you increase your chances of winning, expecting to catch a straight or float, then such a call on the flop will be mathematically justified.
Good luck at the tables! Finally, I want to remind you that at low limits, you should use floatation as little as possible, because the benefits of bluffing against unsuitable opponents are often minimized. See a detailed description of the Floating technique on the video filmed by FullTilt poker room professional Phil Gaisis.