Online Poker – The Continuation Bet
The “continuation bet” in online poker, also known as the cbet, is getting more and more popular among no limit Texas Hold’em players. Because the move is so easy to use – and works so often – players who are new to the game can pick it up and start incorporating it immediately into their strategy. If you’re watching a Hold’em session, no matter what the level, you’ll see continuation bets go down. If you’re playing, you need to know how to incorporate it into your poker game.
What is a continuation bet? If you were the raiser pre-flop, a continuation bet is that bet that you made on the flop, even if your hand did not get better with the flop. So if you made a pre-flop raise while holding the Ace of Spades and the King of Diamonds, but the flop gave you the 2 of Diamonds, the 5 of Clubs and the 10 of Hearts, you can still boost your chances of carrying home the pot by betting, even though you still don’t even have a pair.
Why does this work? The majority of the time, your opponents won’t get a pair out of the flop either. So if your opponent folded every time you put down a continuation bet and he didn’t make a pair with the flop, you will win more pots on the flop that you would if you just checked. This is the basic idea behind the bet, but there are some other factors to think of as well.
The right size of a continuation bet is between 2/3 and 3/4 of the current size of the pot. It is also important to get a read on your opponents before committing to that size, though.
So if the pot is $12, you should bet $8 to make a decent continuation bet. If you don’t bet enough, your opponents are likely to call because they have favorable pot odds if their hand is any good or if they are on a draw. When you make a continuation bet in online poker, you want to make it seem like you have a plus hand, such as a top pair or even better. The purpose of this is to intimidate the opposition from betting. Going between $8 and $9 in this situation is the right choice. If you bet even more, you’re risking more money that you need to, when all you need is $8 to influence your opponents the right way.
You also need to consider the ability of your opponents when you are considering making a continuation bet. When you’re playing in a real money online poker table and you’re dealing with lower level opponents, you’ll notice that opponents will call no matter what kind of hand they have. The fact that they have not learned the benefit of folding means that your profit from continuation bets can actually suffer because you can’t frighten away those iffy hands that your opponents hold. Also, a continuation bet becomes less effective against opponents with more experience because they are also likely to know how continuation bets work and may call you knowing that your hand is likely to be fairly poor. So if you are playing against top-flight opponents, use the continuation bet infrequently.
Also, you’re more likely to succeed if you’re just playing one opponent instead of multiple opponents because the more opponents you have, the more likely it is that one has connected on the flop. It also helps if you are the last to act, so you can see your opponents’ decisions and know where your own continuation bet will succeed.
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