Floating the Flop – Sticking it to those Nasty C-Bettors

This article was posted on November 1, 2013

Over the last few years, aggression has exploded at the online poker tables, and nowadays it’s safe to say that online poker has become the realm of the c-bet. There are indeed countless players out there who wield and use this powerful weapon just the right way, but there are scores of abusers too. Those who abuse the power of the c-bet commit a mistake, and it is your job as a savvy poker player to take advantage of those mistakes and to make these guys pay through the nose. What is your best, last and probably only line of defense against the c-bet, as well as your most efficient counter for it? The floating of the flop.

The floating of the flop is not a beginner’s move. It is an intermediate poker strategy move, which requires the player using it to have a thorough understanding of the kind of opponent he’s up against, so it’s by no means a walk in the park or something that should be abused. Elevating one’s game to the level of poker thought required by the successful floating of the flop is a worthwhile move though, because it will result in a lot of post-flop pots and in a lot of c-bet abusers kept honest.


What exactly is the floating of the flop though? At its very basic, it’s about calling an opponent’s c-bet on the flop, with the intention of tagging along and looking for an opening later on. Often, c-bet abusers have second thoughts when they see someone is so insistent, so they show weakness on a later street. When they do, that’s when the floater swoops in for the kill, relieving the c-bet abuser of the pot. The goal of the flop-floating is ALWAYS to defend against the c-bet. The perfect target for the floating of the flop is a solid, tight-aggressive player, who bets the flop a lot and who is therefore highly likely to have developed into a c-bet abuser. Of course, when determining whether or not a player is indeed a good target for your flop-floating, you should also make your reads on him and have a “feel” for the way he plays.

The floating of the flop can be employed in cash games as well as in tournaments. The main thing to remember about when to use it is position. Like every poker strategy-move, the floating of the flop works best from position.


Perhaps the most important thing when it comes to floating the flop is to keep from falling into a repetitive-abusive pattern. In order to achieve that, flop-floaters should keep their eyes on three flop-floating axioms:

-         Floating the flop is only efficient from position. It should ONLY ever be done from position.

-         Players should only float the flop when they’re heads-up with their target opponent.

-         Only solid tight-aggressive players who seem to abuse the c-bet should ever be floated the flop against.

The bottom line: when used the right way, the floating of the flop may quickly become one of your preferred go-to weapons at the green felt. Make sure you never fall in love with it to the point of abusing it though.

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