Texas Hold’em: Floating to Steal Pots

Floating is a play in no limit or pot limit Texas hold’em that every intermediate player should know about. It’s a simple enough concept. It’s the idea that you’re going to call a bet in a head-to-head situation to see if your opponent is going to fire another barrel at the pot. Obviously you have to be thinking that your opponent is also weak, and that they’re capable of orphaning the pot if you call their bet.

The best time to attempt a floating maneuver is when your opponent is in a late position and they only bet after you checked the action to them. If it looks like your opponent was only making a real estate bet, it may be a good time to try and take the pot away from them, regardless of the cards you’re holding in your hand. It also helps to have a big card on the board like a K, Q or A. If your opponent tends to play a more aggressive style, and they didn’t raise the action pre-flop, it may also be a good time to float in the hand.

Floating is about recognizing a situation where an opponent is trying to make a move, and then turning the heat around on them. It works better on players that are less experienced, but anyone can be pushed off a pot when they’re bluffing. Don’t float too often as it’s bluffing, and bluffing too often will always end up costing you too much money.