The Continuation Bet

January 26, 2010 |

The ‘continuation bet’ is one of the most important tools for a player to be a successful player in the long run. If you are unaware of what the continuation bet is it’s when you make a raise pre-flop, and proceed to make another bet on the flop. Hence the word ‘continuation’. The continuation bet can help take down pots on flop, because of often times their opponents will not make a hand by seeing the flop. By checking on the flop and not making the continuation bet I feel you are losing value in the hand. By checking on the flop you are showing weakness to your opponent, and you are also allowing your opponent to see a free card which could help improve their hand. Now if you are holding a real strong hand on the flop a check isn’t the worst thing if you are trying to trap your opponent. Let’s a dive a little deeper shall we.

One of the biggest reasons to make a continuation bet on the flop is because often times your opponents will not connect with the flop. If you are the raiser pre-flop I recommend c-betting on the flop almost every hand. Statistics show that players are unable to make a pair on the flop 2 out of 3 times. Thus this means if you make the continuation bet on the flop then you should be able to take down the pot 2 out of 3 times. Unless your opponent floats you to set up a potential bluff then you should take down the right then and there. If you can win 67% (2 out of 3) of the time when making this play it will be a successful play in the long run. Now there will be sometimes when a continuation bet isn’t the smart thing to do. Maybe because the flop presents a horrific board or perhaps there are multiple players remaining in the hand. Let me give some examples.

Let’s say you are holding AK, you make a standard pre-flop raise, one player comes along for the call, and the flop comes a rainbow J 7 2. Because of the 2 out of 3 statistic above and there is only one other play in the hand, I would make a continuation bet on this flop. Now if the same situation arises, but this time there 3 other players in the flop. This might be a good time to call off the dogs and simply check on the flop. With 3 players in the pot it’s almost inevitable that your AK is beat, and a continuation bet will not work in this case. This is the reason we raise pre-flop. We want to eliminate as many players as we can, so that we can make this type of play on the flop. The fewer amount of players in the pot increases your chances of winning the hand even when you’re holding AA.

Now let’s discuss another situation. Let’s say we are holding AK of spades, we make our standard raise, and one opponent comes long for the ride. The flop comes an ugly Q 10 9 with two hearts on board. This is a dangerous flop for our hand, and though it’s a not guarantee our opponent connected it’s a dangerous flop nonetheless. With a heavy board on the flop it may be a good idea to shy away from the hand. If we make a bet our opponent may come along with a straight draw, a flush draw, or an already made hand. If you want to play the 2 out of 3 rule then by all means make a continuation bet and test your luck. Like any play in poker though know the opponent you are playing against. Know the tendencies of your opponents, because this will be a big factor when deciding how to play your hands and situations. Test out the continuation bet to see how it works for you and hopefully you start taking down pots on the flop. Good luck at the tables everybody.

Craig Fleck

Share

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Login

Top Poker Sites

bet365 Poker

bet365 Poker
bet365 is one of the world’s largest online gambling groups with over 3 million customers worldwide....

Play Now

Titan Poker

Titan Poker
Titan Poker is a top poker room in the iPoker network, and has a great international feel...

Play Now

Cool Hand Poker

Cool Hand Poker
Cool Hand Poker is the site to visit if you want to play a relaxed and enjoyable game of poker...

Play Now

Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker is still open to US players and one of the few authentic poker rooms out there...

Play Now

Party Poker

Party Poker
Party Poker opened in 2001 and is credited by many as playing a large role in the creation of the online poker boom...

Play Now