Continuation Betting - Poker C Betting
One of the most
asked about subject while working with students about
online betting is the subject of
C-betting (Continuation Betting). For those of you who are not
familiar with this term, It means betting out on the flop after
Why You Should Continuation Bet
The answer is easy. While Playing Head-up and in general players
will miss the flop 2/3 of the time. So if we C-Bet at all of the
pots we raise we should win at least 2/3 of them. Mainly because
even though we havenít hit the flop, we know the chances are our
opponent hasnít either.
How much should
my continuation bet be
This question depends on a few different factors. Iíll give you a
few examples here to try and explain the concept.
It is standard to Raise Pre-flop 4-5 times the BB. For this example
we will limit our discussion to Pre-flop and Heads-up play.
In the CO we hold AKo, so we came in for our 4xBB we are called by
the BB only. We will assume out opponent is the standard semi-TAG
The flop comes:
8d 6c 2h
It is unlikely
that this flop has helped our opponent unless he holds 88, 66, or
22. His 18% range is much wider then these 3 hands and we are ahead
of almost all of them. We would always come out for a C-Bet in this
spot when checked to.
this hand is correct
1. To protect what is most likely the best hand at this point. If
any more action is pursued then we can readjust our read and make
the appropriate play.
2. This is a bit of a semi bluff in which we are representing a hand
which is stronger then ours really is. We also are counting on our
opponents to 3-bet a hand stronger than AK in this spot.
How much to Continuation Bet
Now that weíve
covered why you should be c-betting most of the flop when you raised
PF, letís look at how much we need to bet when you C-bet.
How much we
should bet depends on a few things.
opponents style of play
of the board
players called you PF raise
On a flop like
this there are very few draws. Chances are you have the best hand
and a C-bet will take it down. It is unlikely there is a reasonable
straight draws or flush draws, so you are pretty safe. I see a lot
of players constantly betting the pot in this situation, and you do
not need to be full pot here. This way we save money when we
actually are behind. We only need to bet an amount that we feel is
enough to "get them out". In our AK example our job is to get
villain to fold. If we feel that 1/2-3/4 Pot Sized Bet is the right
amount then that is the amount we should bet; no more, no less.
Now letís take
the same villain and change the flop. We still hold AKo in the CO
and he is still in the BB.
If the flop is
10d 9d 4c
Now we have a
different situation. This board has become very draw heavy as there
are POSSIBLE flush draws and straight draws on board. The
villains 18% has become much larger and there is more danger that he
could outdraw us.
We likely are
still ahead of his holdings so here we are betting for protection
and value. If the opponent is drawing to a flush or straight we
want him to pay as much as possible.
If he is
willing to call a PSB on the flop with an OESD then we need to make
a PSB. (For simplicity's sake I am negating the fact that villains
possible QJ are also live outs against our AK here). By making a PSB
villain loses the most when he does not outdraw us and he was
willing to put more money in post flop because how the flop had
All continuation bets should be no less then 1/2 PSB to no more
then full pot.
You C-bet are getting played back at
this will happen to everyone. A C-bet will not succeed 100% of the
time. A continuation bet is a small bluff and from time to time they
will get picked off. Sometimes your villain will hit a flop and
check raises you. It is then you need to use your knowledge of the
villain and decide how to proceed from there.
When you should not C-bet
There are a few spots where you should not C-bet the flop.
1. Do not C-betting OOP in multi-way pots. We have villains that
will act behind us, and it is too likely that the flop will hit one
of out opponents.
2. We hold a hand such as AA and the flop is KQJ. If we have our
previous semi TAG villain it is very likely that this flop has
helped him in a big way and we need to get our hand to show down as
cheaply as possible so we would not want to continuation bet here.
3. When we are in a pot against a total calling station that refuses
C-betting isnít working
As I stated above, there are certain times when you should hold off
on the C-betting because of your opponents, image, etc.
Aside from this aspect my main reason to keep C-betting (which I
fail to do sometimes when Iím running bad) is to set up for later
hands. Villain 3 times in a row picked off my AKo C-bet on 742
Rainbow flop. Heíll have me pegged as a bluffer. When we come in for
a raise with a PP and flop a set and lead out when checked to it is
very likely that said villain will be paying us off from the
perception we have given him about us.
C-betting will help you set up your opponents to pay you off when
you have a big hand. So, although you may be having some trouble
with it, keep it going if the conditions are right.
If we are unknown to villain and we C-bet with a flopped set or TPTK
and get to showdown, the whole table sees that we are leading out
with powerful hands and not trying to slow play them. This is great
for your image. In the future our C-bets when we have nothing but
air will be getting much more respect because of the hands that we
have been leading out with!
As you can see
the C-bet is a nice tool to add to your poker arsenal, when used
correctly you will be making money with it. The key to playing great
poker is to constantly adjust your style to whatís happening at the
table and with your opponents. If you do that, you will be on your
way to a good night.