You raise pre-flop with a moderately strong hand in middle position, say AJ. You’re called by the button, whose range is wide. The flop comes down Ts-7s-2h, and you continuation bet, hoping to end the hand right there. He calls, a play he is likely to make with a wide range of hands, many of which he doesn’t want to get a lot of chips in with.
A lot of the value of Mr. Button’s call, and the reason he often calls the flop, is that, if you check the turn, he will bet and pick up a lot of pots in which you whiffed and continuation bet. It’s called a “float” and is a good play on Mr. Button’s part, particularly if you are a common continuation better, which you should be. It’s important that you take the value of “float” plays away from your opponents. Do that successfully, and not only does it give your made flop hands greater value, but in future situations they will be less likely to mess with your aggressive plays both pre-flop and post-flop.
The key to defending your continuation bets against a habitual floater is to check your high equity hands on the turn. You can call or check-raise depending on the texture of the situation. Calling is better the less vulnerable your hand is, the smaller the pot, the lower any implied extra costs, and the greater your opponent’s propensity to bluff the river. The larger the pot, the more vulnerable your holding, the larger your implied loss if he draws out, the less likely you’ll be rerasied–bluffed, the less you want your opponent to realize his equity, making raising a stronger play.
By charging him the extra bet(s) the times you hit the flop, you take away some or all of his value of making the play. Often those bets by your opponent are with very weak hands, and the equity you gain is considerable. But, only make this play only against opponents you know to be “floaters.”
Don’t let your opponents float you profitably; check the turn into them with your made hands and raise or call based on the current situation.
There’s a lot of value in this play!
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