Once you’ve mastered the basics of poker, it’s time to start thinking about more advanced strategies to up your game. One such strategy is the continuation bet, which can be a powerful tool if used correctly.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about the continuation bet, including what it is, when to use it, and how to make it work for you. Read on to learn how you can wield this powerful tool to your advantage at your next poker game, be it in a live poker room or an online tournament on the best poker sites, like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room.
Continuation bets defined
Let’s start with a quick definition of terms.
A continuation bet or c-bet is a wager made after the flop in a hand of Texas Holdem poker. It’s called a continuation bet because it’s usually made by the player who has continued with their betting from the pre-flop round.
In other words, if you’re the player who made the last bet or raise before the flop, then you’ll be the one making the c-bet on the flop.
The size of a c-bet varies depending on the situation, but it’s typically two-thirds to three-quarters of the pot.
Why you should make a continuation bet
A continuation bet is an excellent addition to your Texas Holdem strategy for a few reasons.
For one, it allows you to take control of the betting. If you make a c-bet, you’re essentially saying that you’re the one in charge and that you want to keep the betting going. This can be helpful in several situations, such as when you have a strong hand and want to keep the pressure on your opponents or when you’re trying to bluff them into folding.
Additionally, continuation bets can effectively win pots without requiring you to show your poker cards. This is especially true when your opponents have already shown weakness by checking or calling instead of raising.
In these cases, your opponents are likely to fold if you make a c-bet, even if you don’t have a strong hand. This is because they’ll assume that you wouldn’t be betting unless you had a good hand, and they don’t want to risk losing more chips.
When you should make a continuation bet
Now that you know what a continuation bet is, you’re probably wondering when the best time to make one is.
The answer isn’t always clear-cut. It depends on various factors like the size of the pot, the number of players remaining in the hand, your position at the table, and the strength of your hand. Often, you’ll have to weigh these elements to determine the best way to play your hand. Should you play passively to disguise your hand or wait for a draw? Or should you take a more aggressive approach and bet or raise with a marginal hand for a chance to win?
In general, though, there are a few situations when making a c-bet is usually a good idea:
Of course, these are just general guidelines. You’ll still need to use your best poker judgment in each situation to determine whether or not making a c-bet is the right move.
The risks of continuation betting
Like any poker technique, c-betting has its fair share of disadvantages. Now that we’ve touched on the benefits of using this poker strategy, we should also highlight the potential downsides you should be aware of.
One of the biggest dangers of making continuation bets is that you can quickly become too predictable. If you’re always c-betting after the flop, your opponents could soon catch on and start to call or raise more often. This can put you in difficult situations where you’re forced to bluff or make risky plays.
It’s especially risky if you’re up against equally aggressive players and opponents who never fold. C-betting against such players can often be a losing strategy, so getting a good read on your opponents is essential before using this poker tactic.
How to make a continuation bet work for you
If you want to make c-bets a regular part of your poker strategy, you can do a few things to increase your chances of success.
First, ensure you’re only c-betting in situations where it makes sense. If many people are still in the hand or you’re competing against an aggressive opponent, you might want to reconsider betting.
Second, don’t be afraid to mix up your poker play by sometimes checking or calling after the flop. This will help to keep your opponents guessing and make them less likely to catch on to your betting patterns.
Finally, always be aware of the size of the pot. A large pot can tempt you to bet more often, but it also means that your opponents are likely to call or raise more often. Be mindful of how much is at stake before making any poker move.
Following these tips can make the continuation bet work for you and increase your chances of raking in the chips. Use this poker strategy wisely, and be aware of your opponent’s playing styles.