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Poker Continuation Bet

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Currently, the "continuation bet" (also known as c-bet or cbet) is more and more popular every day at poker Texas Hold'em tables. This is because it's a simple and effective move and players can learn it easily and use it in the correct way even if they are new to the game.

No matter what level you play, you'll probably see a continuation bet during the game and if you don't know how it works you'll be at a great disadvantage.

What is a continuation bet?

A continuation bet is just a bet you make on the flop when you were the pre-flop raiser, even when your hand did not improve on the flop.

Suppose you raised pre-flop with ASpades KHeart and the flop is 4Diamond 9Clover QHeart , you can have the opportunity to win the pot if you make a bet, in spite of not having a pair or better.

This usually turns out to be a successful play since 2 times out of 3 the other player will not make a pair on the flop.

As a result, if your opponent folds their hand every time you make a continuation bet and they don't connect with the flop, you'll have the chance to win more pots on the flop than if you check. This is the key principle in the play but other factors also contribute to its success.

Making a good continuation bet

About ¾ of the pot is a good size for a continuation bet. For example, if the pot is $10, the continuation bet should be $8. If you make a bet that is too low, you give your opponents the chance to call because they'll get good pot odds in case they are on a draw or if they are holding a half decent hand.

A good continuation bet should be between 3/4 of the pot or equal to the pot.

The aim of this play is to make your opponents believe you have a strong hand such as top pair or better and scare them out of the pot, which you can achieve by betting ¾ the size of the poker pot. If you bet more than the size of the pot ($14 in a $10 pot), however, you'll be risking more money than necessary and an $8 bet is as effective.

Think about the ability of your opponents

You should take your opponent's ability into account to make your decision on whether or not to make a continuation bet. Opponents are more inclined to call bets with any kind of hand at lower levels. Try not to make continuation bets against calling stations.

Since players will be less likely to fold at lower levels you'll find that it is not so profitable to make continuation bets since it will be more difficult to scare them off the bad hands they have. Besides, a continuation bet becomes less effective when you play against experienced players because good players detect these plays and will probably raise or call being aware that you are betting with the worst hand.

This means that you should make less continuation bets because you'll have more success against the average players who are more likely to fold when they have decent hands.

Using the flop to determine whether or not to continuation bet

Depending on the cards that come with the flop, the success of the continuation bet can be enhanced.

An example of continuation bet

Suppose you have AClover QDiamond and the flop is 2Spades KHeart 6Diamond , your opponents will find it difficult to call a continuation bet except if they have at least a pair of kings. As a result, even if the other player has a 2 in 3 opportunity of hitting a pair on the flop, if they get a pair with the six or the two, they will still probably fold since thanks to your continuation bet it seems that you have a pair higher than a six or better.

On the other hand, if you have AClover QDiamond and the flop is JSpades KHeart 8Heart , there are more chances that your continuation bet will get called because of the possibilities of a flush and straight draw. The play has more chances of working when the other player can only call if they hold a strong made hand with no draw.

Take into account the texture of the flop every time and consider how many chances are of your opponent holding a poker hold'em hand that they will be willing to call a bet with. The more coordinated or wetter the flop is, the less willing you should be to try and make a continuation bet if you do not have a strong hand.

Factors that influence continuation betting

  1. The number of players in the pot.
  2. Your position in the hand.

The number of players in the pot

The continuation bet turns out to be more successful when you are playing against
1 opponent rather than 2 or more simply because there is a bigger chance that one of the opponents has connected with the flop. You should limit the use of continuation bets to when you are playing against only one opponent, although it does not mean that you can't make a successful bet against several opponents.

You'll have greater chances of success with your continuation bet if there are few players in the pot. Try to make a continuation bet only when you are heads up in a hand.

Besides, the more you use continuation bets, the less respect they will generate. Take into account how often you use them to avoid a player who has figured you out re-raising or check-raising on you.

Position in the hand

The position you hold in the hand is also helpful because when you are the last to act you'll get to see your opponents acting first and you'll have the information to decide if you should make a continuation bet. Be careful of tricky players who might expect that you make a continuation bet and check-raise you.

It is a fact that a continuation bet works better when you have position over your opponents.

Before you make your move try to learn as much as possible about your opponent and be ready to fold if you have nothing. If your opponent raises on you, don't feel obliged to call because you are probably not pot-committed. Fold and come to terms with the fact that the play did not work and save your stack for the time when you get to make the hand.

Continuation bet evaluation

Continuation bets are really common currently in Texas Hold'em poker games, which means you should be familiar with the concept and use them when you play.

You can follow certain guidelines that will help you improve the effectiveness of the continuation bet. By experimenting at the table, you'll learn how and when you should use continuation bets. These kind of bets are not expensive to use, which means you won't lose much money while you learn how and when to use them.

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