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The continuation bet is one of the most infamous techniques in poker. It’s powerful and ubiquitous at almost every level of play, from high-stakes professional games to home games with the family. Many guides detailing how to make the most out of continuation bets show how integral they are to poker strategy.

However, with how powerful and popular continuation bets are, you may wonder how to counter them. Maybe you’re tired of that one person continuation betting every chance they get, but you’re too afraid to risk raising them since your hand isn’t good enough for that. If you’re tired of continuation bets and want to learn a counter strategy, this poker guide is for you.

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Floating explained

Floating is an advanced tactic in poker where a player calls with a weak hand on the flop, intending to win in later rounds, either through the showdown or by bluffing on the turn or river.

Instead of risking a raise against an opponent you think is continuation betting with a weak hand, you play the long con and float on the flop, allowing you to focus on winning future rounds with swift, aggressive play.

The name floating comes from the fact you’re choosing to remain in the hand instead of “sinking” or folding. You “float” and keep yourself in the hand long enough to win the pot on a later round.

Why is floating so potent?

You may wonder why calling a continuation bet with a weak hand is a good strategy. Floating is great because it increases the number of ways you can respond to a continuation bet. Folding and raising can’t be your only two options because some hands aren’t good enough to raise with, yet feel bad to fold, especially when you think your opponent is continuation bet bluffing.

Another reason floating is so good is because of how prevalent continuation betting is. They’re so commonplace that most poker players will frequently continue bet regardless if they hit the flop since they expect you missed the flop and will fold to their aggression. Players who continuation bet like this will frequently also give up on the turn and check, allowing you to win a lot of pots without much resistance through floating frequently.

Criteria for floating: You must be heads-up

Floating should generally only be considered an option when you’re heads-up or in a one-on-one against your opponent. Trying to float against multiple people is asking for trouble, as it’s very likely at least one person will have a strong hand, making your call and subsequent bet a lot less impactful.

It’s tough to successfully get all other players in the pot to fold to one bet, making floating best heads-up. If multiple people join your float attempt, you’ll be in a rough spot since your turn or river bet can get raised.

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Criteria for floating: You must be in position

Position in poker is when you act relative to your opponents. Acting first is known as being in early position or being out of position while acting last is known as being in late position or being in position.

Position isn’t mandatory for floating, but it makes the technique much easier. The reason position is so important is the information you get from it. You can see their actions and react accordingly by acting after your opponent. It’s much easier to bet after floating when you see your opponent show weakness through checking, instead of betting blind and leaving yourself open to a raise by trying to bet while out of position.

Criteria for floating: You must have equity to fall back on

Finally, the hand you float with is also essential. In poker, equity refers to your hand’s chances of winning the pot. The more equity you have, the higher your chances of winning are. When floating, it’s critical to have some backup equity if your opponent continues betting with a strong hand.

Your hand doesn’t need an insane amount of equity; if it was that good, you should have raised instead. What your hand needs is a chance to improve on future rounds, so you could potentially have a strong hand at the showdown. Some good examples of hands with this kind of draw potential include gutshot straights or double backdoor straight plus flush draws.

Adjust your floating to fit your opponent

Finally, floating as a whole is just a way to manipulate your opponent. As the age-old saying goes, “Poker isn’t just a game of cards. It’s a game of people.” You should adjust your floats depending on how your opponent uses their continuation bets. If they frequently continuation bet for value with a strong hand and rarely use it to bluff, you should refrain from floating too often and stick to doing it with only the best hands.

To identify your opponent’s habits, you can use poker tracking software. These programs are some of the biggest reasons to play online poker. They track your opponents’ actions as you play against them, providing useful statistics that allow you to understand their play style.

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Try out this new technique online!

While you shouldn’t float against every continuation bet, it’s a valuable tool in your arsenal. Good floating takes practice to execute successfully, so there’s no better place than online. Online poker comes with many exclusive benefits, like poker tracking software, promotional offers, and bonuses that let you earn more.

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By admin