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Pulling Off the Float Manoeuver

A bad hand when you are holding a winner, or a good hand when you have nothing. One such maneuver is known as the Float. The Float maneuver is one of the good holdem tips and tricks out there.

The float maneuver is used when a player has every intention of stealing off the pot, but wants to let it grow a little first.

As the name implies, the player will float through the beginning of the hand, then make a move later to swipe the pot. It is, for lack of a better description, a delayed bluff and a great poker move.

To attempt a float, you need the right elements. Having position on your opponents is essential, and it tends to work best in small stakes poker games, especially fixed limit Texas Holdem. The float can be executed at any point in a poker hand except on the river.

Most float maneuvers starts pre-flop, but takes place mostly post-flop.

A pre-flop float is only recommended if you have some kind of hand to work with, resulting in a semi-bluff. The advantage of the pre-flop float is that it can be pulled off from any position. Limp in to start, and when the late position better tries to steal the blinds with a raise, re-raise back. The pot gets bigger and you steal more than the blinds. If you get called, it was only a semi-bluff, so all is not lost.

Floating after the flop requires a better position so you can determine how effective the move will be by judging your opponents beforehand. If a player returns with an aggressive bet, it's not too late to abandon the poker strategy as you aren't too invested at this point.

Post-flop floats work best against players who often fail to place a continuation bet, affectionately termed the c-bet. These are passive players, labeled for their weakness against aggression, and they are more inclined to fall for the bluff.

Be careful of your table image. If your opponents are paying any attention - and they must be for the float to be effective - they will have marked you as a specific player type. If they think you play loose, you’re more likely to get called.

Representing strong hands is also important. Good poker players will always try to put their opponents on a hand. If you play too many hands, or get called on a few bluffs, you'll be put on a wider range of hands, weakening your position. If you can't represent strong hands, the float will not work for you.

On the reverse end of the spectrum, you can avoid falling for a float by placing continuation bets. You must be prepared to fire that second barrel. If you bet pre-flop, make sure you're c-betting at least 50% of the time. When you become too weak, you lose credibility and find yourself at the mercy of more aggressive poker players. Be especially cautious of passivity when short stacked - they will eat you alive!

Watch Patrik Antonius made the float move at Full Tilt Poker.

As one of the most active online poker room, Full Tilt Poker is a great choice to practice your poker skills and the float in particular. Join Full Tilt Poker now.

If you have not yet opened an account at Full Tilt, they offer an attractive promotion to all new players. Using the Full Tilt referral code 600WOW, and will receive a 100% bonus matchup up to $600 when you sign up. Alternatively Bodog Poker is a good room allowing US players, as well as Doyles' Room and Cake Poker.