Poker Articles

Floating the Pot

This bluff works best in psychological variations of poker as NL Holdem. floating the pot means calling a bet or raise with nothing, to bluff a draw or to see if your opponent continues a suspected bluff. This move will increase your won pots without depending on good cards, so it increases the advantage you have on other players and is important to increase your EV.

Example: there is one early limper and you raise from the button with some suited connector, the blinds fold and you go heads up. The flop comes 4h 5h Jd which totally misses you and your opponent makes a half-pot sized bet. Let's assume we marked this player a simple to read tight player that will fold a marginal hand. We can assume that he has hit the flop, and because we have totally missed the flop, his bet would normally end the hand. We will try to be a bit stronger than that. There are overcards and two draws on this flop and we can use this to make a fake draw. If we are confident that this tight player can fold a marginal hand then in fact we have real outs, we just need to get a scare card on the turn and then a big sized bluff should win us the pot. If any heart, six, seven, queen, king or ace will hit on the turn, we have a chance to win the pot. With this many outs it actually makes us the mathematical favorite to win the hand but that all depends on what the other player actually hit on the flop , the ace may not be an out as it might make him two pair or he may already be holding a set, but we can controll this situation from reading him and watching his betting pattern when the scare card hits the turn.

When you are floating the pot to win chips off bluffing, make sure you consider the player you are floating, there is absolutely no point floating the pot against a tight weak player because they probably have bet because they have a strong hand and are less likely to fold when the scare card hits the turn. This is the reason aggressive players complain about donkies who couldn't fold their hand, even if there was a straight and flush out there they couldn't fold top pair. It's very important that your opponent is capable of bluffing and also capable of folding.

It's ideal to float the pot against an aggressive player who bets if he hit the flop or not. If you call his flop bet, you force him to make a second bluff on the turn. If you sense weakness on the turn or river, you bluff him back and take the pot. These players are more tricky and you need to have an idea of their betting patterns, and more important, their bluffing patterns. Are they capable of bluffing the flop, turn and river, Or do they give up on the turn? Once you broke his pattern you can use his predictable bluffing.

An important reason for making these kind of plays is that it adds deception to your game and it could be good to get caught floating the pot once or twice, so you can get paid off when you do make your draw. You don't really need to be in position to float the pot, but it's much much easier to float the pot from a good position. Position gets you information and that edge can keep you from playing the guessing game.

In a Poker tournament play there is more room to create fear in your opponent so you should bet into your opponent as soon as he shows any weakness. If he makes a standard continuation bet, float him and if on the turn he checks you should bet . Floating a pot has no use if you don't intend to steal it at some point with a raise or bet. It's really a bluff move where you intend to outplay your opponent.

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