LearnWPT Tour Terms: Floating


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Welcome to Tour Terms, where we break down key terms that poker pros use to talk strategy and give you helpful tips to use in your next poker tournament. Today's Tour Term is …

Floating: verb
float·​ing \ ˈflō-tiŋ \

1) To call a bet as the In Position player with the intention of taking away the pot on a later street using aggressive action. This is often done with a hand that has not connected with the board in any way.

Example of Floating in a Sentence:
Brian raises preflop to 1500 in Middle Position with A♥K♦ and Johan calls on the Button with J♣T♦. On the flop of 9♥7♥4♦ Brian c-bets 2200. Johan chooses to Float with two overcards that also have a backdoor flush draw plus gutshot straight draw and calls 2200.

Fold Less, Float More!

Tired of competing against THAT poker player who always seems to be dragging pots with preflop raises and constant continuation bets? Take away their equity advantage and turn aggression on its heels with the Float.

Tune in to this LearnWPT Strategy Episode as Instructor Nick Binger gives you step-by-step guidelines to identify the best situations to Float vs a frequent c-bettor and how to apply this move effectively.

Floating is an effective strategy to counter c-bet bluffs as a fair percentage of flops will not connect with the range of the preflop raiser. These weak hands are usually forced to give up and check on many turn cards, giving the Floater a prime opportunity to bluff.

Utilize the power of position to turn aggression around on your opponents and add Floating to your poker move-making toolkit.

Additional Episodes to review that Nick discusses:

Episode 91: Protecting C-Bets (countering a Floater)
Episode 72: Basic Linear Preflop Play
Download The Linear Preflop Decision Tree
Episode 3: Speculative Preflop Calling
Episode 150: Linear Vs Polarized 3-Betting

🖥️ Floating In Action at a WPT Final Table

Take a Closer Look at this pivotal hand from the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star featuring a common situation where a player Floats on the flop with backdoor equity vs an opponent holding a 1-pair hand and watch as Nick demonstrates how this poker Pro puts theory into practice.

✍️ Tips for Pulling Off a Float in Poker:

Floating is essentially calling on the flop without a real hand with a plan to take away the pot on the turn using aggression
Float specific situations only, calling too often will result in profit loss
Limit Floating to spots where you are In Position (when you are last to act and someone has bet into you)
Float against a single opponent - avoid Floating in multiway pots

Floating Criteria

Target situations where you have a hand with good equity and can potentially create fold equity through aggressive action
Choose hands that can turn additional equity (backdoor draws, over cards on the flop)
Choose boards where the next card could be a scare card (draw on the flop that you can represent)
We often will be Floating with Speculative Hands

Put Your Floating Skills to the Test!


Decision Point: In a Tournament with 50 big blind stacks a Middle Position player open raises to 2.5BBs and you call from the Button. Play Game Theory Optimal solved hands In Position.

Now it’s time to test your skills from this spot and play a FREE sample of 5 tournament hands in the WPT GTO Trainer.

LearnWPT Members can play more poker hands from this common MTT spot with the Button Call Vs MP2 Open WPT GTO Trainer pack.

Here are some tips when practicing with the WPT GTO Trainer:

  • Your goal is to select the action for each individual hand that is as close to 0.00 EV as possible
  • EV Loss of 0.00 is the same action a GTO Player would take
  • 0.00 EV Loss means you broke even against a GTO Player
  • EV Loss Color Coding Hint:
    • Green = Near GTO Play
    • Orange = Take Caution
    • Red = Probable Leak in Your Game

Regular play on the WPT GTO Trainer will help you adjust your poker decisions closer and closer to GTO strategy.

Not a Member? Join for just $5 your first month to play more WPT GTO Trainer scenarios like this.

Solver Study With Tony Dunst: Making Calls

It can be an uncomfortable feeling to continue against aggression in a poker hand with marginal holdings. If you aren’t careful in selecting when to peel off another card with bottom pair or a backdoor draw, you can easily bleed off chips and sabotage deep runs.

In this Strategy Episode LearnWPT Instructor Tony Dunst dissects lessons learned from solver study to show you spots where calling more often with a wider range of hands against standard aggression is preferred.

From the Felt: Floating and Turn Play

After learning clear guidelines for the ideal spots to Float the flop and take advantage of your position more skillfully, it’s time to examine how this strategy transitions to playing the turn in actual real-world game scenarios.

Tune into and watch this deep dive into two hands from a high stakes online event featuring Nick Binger including a flop Float with AQo and a tough spot with QQ vs a squeeze play from the Small Blind.

Poker Quiz Time! Would You Float the Turn?


DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 100/200 a Middle Position player (who you’ve observed as being loose aggressive) raises to 600. You call from the Button with Q♣T♣. Heads-up on a J♥5♥7♣ flop Villain bets out 600 and action is on you. What would do you do?

Click here to get detailed analysis of this hand from Team LearnWPT and learn more strategy behind the correct plays.

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With a massive library including 500+ on-demand video Strategy Episodes (from successful Pros including Tony Dunst, NIck Binger, Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, Michael “Gags30” Gagliano, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Johan Schultz-Pedersen, and Brian Altman!), dozens of downloadable charts and tools, direct access to the LearnWPT Pros, and the state of the art WPT GTO Trainer, you’re certain to find the answers to your most pressing poker questions.

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Train - Play - Think Like A Pro!

During your next tournament or session give these poker strategies for Floating In Position a try and you'll become tougher to play against while keeping your opponents on their heels more often.

Good Luck and Good Playing,
- Team LearnWPT

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