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Continuation Betting Tips for Poker Players – Advanced Strategy

There are many types of bets in Texas hold ’em poker, but the continuation bet is one of the trickiest. We want to play poker aggressively, but we have to avoid feeding monster hands when we’re just sitting on a decent top pair.

Sometimes the opponent checks you, but the flop doesn’t go your way. It’s useless to throw good money after bad, and you have to be ready to fold. 

continuous betting

What is a continuation bet?

A continuation bet, or c-bet, is a bet made on the flop from the lead pre-flop aggressor c-bets work even if you missed the board on the flop because most of the time, your opponents also won’t have made a pair on the flop.

If your opponent calls after your raise, they are limping, and it can be a good time for you to attack. Villains have indicated weakness, and you will win the pot if nobody else has a hand. If you are newbie to poker game, please read our detail guide about how to play poker for beginner first to ensure better gaming experiences.

The continuation bet shows strength and confidence in your hand. The hero who makes a C-bet takes the initiative in the pre-flop and then keeps it post-flop

What are the benefits of in-position c-bets in poker?

Position refers to the order that players make their bets. Pre-flop, the last player to act is the big blind. Post-flop, the button makes the final move.

Late position players are the last players to bet in around. The big blind has the most information in their first action, pre-flop. Post-flop, the button will be in position with the most information. 

Late position players should take advantage of their information dominance to bet aggressively and play a little looser. If other players have indicated weakness, late positions can play looser hands than they would have in an earlier position.

Late position is an advantage that you can’t afford to miss. During your turns in late position, you need to take advantage of the information to make up for your weak information while in early position.

Big flop c-bets are an excellent way to push borderline hands out of the pot. If you have good hand value and the texture of the flop is good, reduce variance by pushing hard. 

In position, you can pull off a win with a wide range of hole cards. Keep your opponent’s tendencies and betting patterns in mind and use your information advantage to the fullest.

Here’s an example of a continuation bet.

If you are the button and raised on a JT pre-flop and the flop came out 567, you can push weak hands out of the hand by raising again on the flop. 

Reasonably tight early position players would have folded a JT, so you can assume that the remaining early positions have a better hand than you or are bluffing. If your opponents are limping, make this kill early. You certainly don’t want your poor hand to get to a showdown.

What’s an appropriate continuation bet?

Bet sizing is critical in the c-bet. You should be looking to push weak opponents out to reduce variance while limiting your exposure.

A good range for your continuation bet is 60-75% of the pot. If the pot is 10BB, a 7BB c-bet is reasonable. If your c-bet is low, you risk inviting a villain to call you. Your c-bet needs to be aggressive enough to make their call cost more than it would be worth.

You should read your opponents, calculate your hand, and consider your position when deciding whether to c-bet. If you raised in an early position, but a late position villain made a big raise, you need to consider the situation. 

If, for example, you raise in an early position with JJ pre-flop and see AQ and 4 flop, you need to consider the odds. AQ doesn’t help your hand, but since weak hands typically fold, there’s a solid chance that one of the remaining villains was holding an A or Q. 

Consider how tightly your opponents play and what position the remaining villain sits in. Make a judgment call, but be careful not to feed your opponent’s good hand.

You’re more likely to c-bet on a dry board because it misses the caller’s range.  At the same time, you need to avoid connected boards because opponents might have something good and call or check-raise.

What is an ABC poker continuation bet?

ABC poker is a back to basics approach. By focussing on solid play, ABC tries to avoid the mistakes that can happen when players try to get too fancy.

In ABC poker, we want to avoid bluffing our continuation bet in a multi-way pot. The reason is that bluffing multiple villains is much less likely to succeed than bluffing a single opponent.

AK suited is a solid hand pre-flop, but ABC says you should fold rather than try to bluff multiple opponents if you miss the board on the flop. Even though you picked up nothing, it’s very likely that your opponents either had a pre-flop pair or picked up something good on the flop.

poker game

What’s the difference between continuation betting in position vs. out of position?

The late position players are in the best position to continuation bet. In my previous example, raising on AK unsuited is aggressive but reasonable pre-flop. If you missed the board but are late and the other players are limping after the flop, it might be worth bluffing. 

When you’re in an early position, you have no idea what your opponents might have picked up on the flop. Maybe they’re all ready to fold, but how would you know? 

Consider your frequency of continuation betting versus folds. You have to avoid being too predictable, so sometimes, you’re going to need to make a bold move when you’re out of position. Pick those times wisely.

Poker strategy combines knowing pot odds with understanding your opponent’s tendencies. Be prepared to fold a lot more when out of position.

What are some of the most common continuation betting mistakes? 

  • Big flop c-bets are an excellent way to push borderline hands out of the pot. If you have good hand value and the texture of the flop is good, reduce variance by pushing hard.
  • On the other hand, bluffing out of position is a recipe for feeding your opponent’s stacks. Blinds that bluff pre-flop need to be prepared to fold after the flop. 
  • Playing tightly throughout your entire range disguises your range and minimizes the villains’ informational advantage. At the same time, you need to be willing to make bold moves.
  • If you always bluff the c-bet in position and never value bet, your opponents are going to catch on and start punishing you. Play tight poker but disguise your moves with calculated disinformation.
  • Don’t be afraid to be a pre-flop raiser but a post-flop folder. In business, any money you’ve already spent is a sunk cost. Don’t throw good money after bad.
  • Don’t bluff a calling station or fish who won’t fold backdoor flush draws. Be patient and wait to punish them when they’re the ones who are overextended. Wait until you have the cards. 
  • Don’t try to win every pot you raised before the flop. Look at the board texture and make your decision based on the information you have at the moment.
  • You can’t win them all. Your pair of aces looked great, but the flop turned up JT9, and you caught a villain looking hungry. Third pairs on the river and other disasters happen.
  • If you think you’ll get called, don’t bluff. Wait for a made hand and fold before you’re in even deeper.

When should we continuation bet 100% or more of the pot?

If you are betting in position and hold a decent but not excellent hand, you want to kill off as many villains as possible. You need to make the stakes too expensive for them to call you. In this case, a monster c-bet can be too costly for them to take up. 

Use your fold equity to push for a fold, but keep in mind that multiple opponents are unlikely to fold even if you bet very aggressively. The more opponents remain, the more likely it is that someone else is holding something good or will decide to call your bluff.

Target your big c-bets at opponents who will fold. Perhaps they are short-stack and can’t take the risk, or maybe calling a huge c-bet would be out of character for a particular tight-passive player.

There are situations where you don’t want to kill off your opponents. If you have a spectacular hand, you want to keep opponents in the field for as long as possible to increase your pot. Consider a weak c-bet to keep the pot moving but keep opponents in the game. 

C betting for 100% pot is where understanding your table is critical. If you’re playing in a small bet online poker cash game, the players you’re looking at might be different than in a big poker tournament. 

Are your opponents professional poker players, or is this your Tuesday night poker game? How well do you know the villains at your table?

poker chips for continuous betting

How can we counter the continuation bet?

Continuation bets have become so common that many players will do it to avoid limping and appearing weak. Aggressive play is the meta, and many players will allow aggression to push them into loose play.

If you’re not tight enough with your continuation bets, you risk feeding your opponents with your poker chips

Find loose-aggressive opponents and punish them badly when they c-bet. If you have the hand, trap them in their aggressive behavior and take their bankroll.

Here are some last thoughts about c-bets.

Strong hands will usually benefit from continuation bets because you push out other moderately strong hands and reduce variance. Moderate might be worth a bluff if you’re in position.

But, if you’re out of position with a horrible flop, don’t be afraid to fold. Going against the odds and feeding your opponents will add to their bankroll and make it harder for you in the future. Try c-bets skill now at any trusted Singapore online casino. Practice your poker skills at safe poker sites!

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