Strategy

Understanding the continuation bet in Texas Hold’em

Use the option wisely to force opponents to back out of a hand early

In Texas Hold’em poker there is a strategy that has been gaining popularity due to its effectiveness and easiness to learn called the “continuation bet.” It is a simple concept that, when used appropriately, can have a great outcome; it can also be learned quickly by players that are starting to play poker. It is easy to spot a continuation bet at some point during almost every poker session; therefore, not knowing what it is can put you at a disadvantage.

In simple words, a continuation bet is simply when you bet on the flop (it can also be applied to a preflop bet), even if the hand was not improved after seeing the cards on the flop. This strategy works well when you dare to bet during the pre-flop and want to have the chance of at least stealing the pot during the flop. It is an effective move due to the fact that two out of three times, your opponent won’t be able to get a pair on the flop.

Looked at it from another perspective, if your opponent folds when he doesn’t get anything from the flop, each time you respond with a continuation bet, you can expect to win more pots on the flop than if you just checked. As a concept, it is a very basic principle. However, there are factors that can influence the fact that the move ends up being successful.

When you see a good opportunity to respond with a continuation bet there are recommended sizes for it. The bet should be around 2/3 to 3/4 the size of the pot. So, if the total pot was for $10, then betting $7 would be appropriate. The bet has the intention to intimidate the opponent, so it needs to be big. Betting to low might give opponents a chance to call the bet due to good odds or because they are on a draw and have decent odds heading to the turn and river.

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