Understanding Continuation Betting – A Newcomer’s Introduction

By | July 12, 2013

Learning poker can be tricky because everyone wants to teach you something about poker that you don’t really know. You have to be aware that it’s time to dig in deep, learn everything you can about poker…and be prepared to fail. Be prepared to make mistaken. Be prepared to fall on your face. Be prepared to get back up again. If you don’t have this attitude going into poker, chances are pretty good that you’re not going to have it when you get out of poker. That’s just the way it really is. You have to have a tiger’s mentality, and most tigers aren’t just going to go hungry when they fail to catch anything. They will keep hunting until they do.

So, one concept that we wanted to cover for you right now would be the continuation betting concept. This covers flop play, which is something that a lot of newbies forget.

For example, let’s say that you have a good hand and you raise before the flop comes down. Not bet. However, a lot of newbies feel nervous about raising when the flop comes down. This is a mistake that can cost you a lot of pots. It’s all about poker image, when you really think about it. If you aren’t careful, you will end up making yourself look bad. If you raise before the flop comes down, you’re showing that you’re in the game. However, if you don’t continue to raise, you’re showing that you really have a much weaker hand. This gives the other players the incentive to try to bully you, forcing you out of a pot that you could have excelled at and even won.

Enter the continuation bet. This is basically a bet that’s worth 1/2 to 1/3rd of the pot.

If you have a good monster like AK or QQ, you will want to raise preflop. A player calls your raise, and then you make a bet of 1/2 to 1/3rd the size of the pot. This is considered the classic continuation bet.

There’s a few situations where the continuation bet just has to happen — if you hit the flop hard, you’re going to want to make sure that you use the continuation bet (c-bet).

If you miss the flop, your first urge might be to bail. Don’t bail — remember that there is a psychology element here. You may be able to bully players anyway. Remember — they can’t see what you see, and they can’t anticipate what you’re really holding. So if you’re staying aggressive and pushing hard at that pot, you’ll find that sometimes people are more than happy to just let you take the pot than risk losing all of their chips.

To borrow a quip from the world of sales, fear of loss is stronger than the promise of gain. if you can make it clear to your opponents that you’re getting that pot no matter what they say or do, you’ll find that a lot of times they will bow out rather than risk challenging you.

However, don’t let your aggression get out of control. You will definitely still want to make sure that you’re fighting smart. If a player is re-raising on you, chances are good that the flop came down in a way that’s favorable to them as well. You never want to get sucked into being too rigid in poker. This is a newbie mistake that even veterans make sometimes. Fight well and live to play another pot! Good luck!