Almost every poker player is aware of the term – C-Bet or continuation bet in poker real cash games. In case if you are unfamiliar with this term, chances are you have experienced it from your opponent or made one yourself unknowingly.
What is a Continuation Bet?
A continuation bet (also known as a c-bet), is a strategy used mostly in money earning games like Texas Hold’em. As the name suggests, continuation bet means a bet which is made on the flop when you have already made a raise at pre-flop. It has been said that most of the time your opponent would not have made good on the flop either, so the continuation bet can turn out to be an effective poker strategy.
The three possible outcomes of continuation betting are as follows:
- Your Rivals Will Fold Their Hands
- Your Rivals Will Call Your Raise
- Your Rivals Will Raise Your Continuation Bet
Whenever you are going with continuation betting, it is important to ensure which type of players you are competing against. There will be some opponents who will fold their hands and make it easy for you to win the pot. On the other hand, some players will give you a tough time by raising your continuation bet with their best winning hands. Therefore, it is important to determine the playing style and skill of your opponents.
But just because continuation betting is a pretty useful strategy in poker, it doesn’t mean that you have to employ it every time you play the game. If you want your continuation bet to be successful, there are a few factors you need to consider. Without any further delay, let’s talk about those factors in detail:
The position is the first thing that you should consider before placing a continuation bet. When playing poker, you can either be in the position or out of position. When you are in position, you get an edge over your rivals in terms of information and taking the right action accordingly. You have more information to act upon and take the maximum advantage of the situation. This information advantage commingled with the difficulty faced by the rivals while bluffing on later streets can help you to c-bet in position.
The Players You Are Competing Against
Generally, the poker players are divided into four categories i.e. Tight Aggressive Players, Tights Passive Players, Loose Aggressive Players, and Loose Passive Players. Always make a point to target your continuation bets who are more likely to fold. You can also target your thin value c-bets towards opponents who are less likely to fold. You have to place your c-bets cautiously. Opponents who are less likely to fold can give you a tough fight and can put you in difficult spots with effective and well-timed check-raises. Therefore, you need to evaluate the skill level of your opponents to determine if they can overcall or overfold and tailor your continuation bet strategies.
Number of Players You Are Competing Against
The more players in the pot, the more powerful hand you will need to progress in the game. Depending upon the number of players you are competing against, you should place your continuation-bet. When placing a continuation betting multiway, it is important to be selective in the hands you choose. As said, you must only place your continuation bet with hands having substantial equity.
Your Skills in Bluffing
The continuation bet is only effective when you learn to hide your identity as a bluffer. It means that your bluffing tactics should be apparent to your opponents. Nobody should know that you are trying to bluff and make them fold their better hands. Experienced players are capable of placing continuation bets successfully and gaining the maximum advantage of the situations. If you are hesitant about placing your first c-bet, then you should start with the best possible hands. Evaluate the situations after that and improvise your strategies as per the situations.
Last but not the least, it is important to learn what should be the ideal amount of your continuation betting. Your post-flop bet should average around half to two-thirds of the pot-size. This is the best strategy to make your opponents fold better hands. Even if your continuation bet does not turn out as expected, it will not cause many dents to your stacks.
You must have understood that continuation betting plays a very important role in your poker success. Therefore, every player must put some time to understand the key factors associated with it. Do consider the above-mentioned factors such as players’ type, bluffing skills, equity, etc. and enjoy a successful poker session.
Along with this, pay attention to other important factors such as advanced poker strategies, double/triple barreling, identifying the opponent’s game patterns to make better decisions at the table.