#2 The Continuation Bet

Once a competitive card gamer who has tasted success online, Felix divides his time between investing and playing poker. A journeyman who always has time for kakis

#2 The Continuation Bet

Postby felixleong » Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:09 pm

Ah, to better kick start my chain of articles I thought I might as well for another one. One reason I like writing such stuffs is that it also helps to re-enforce the ideas into my mind, sometimes it gets all trapped and forgotten in the complex maze inside my head.
Also I've been reading too much books on investing and business recently that my old knowledge of poker has been getting rusty, time to refresh things with one of the key concept of being a winning player.

What is a Cbet? (Continuation Bet)

It its a bet that continues from your preflop action (you open raise from which ever position) which is usually betting the flop and sometimes betting the turn (delayed Cbet)

Why do we Cbet?

There are many reasons, but as follows

1) We raise with a hand, the flop had hit us (like hitting top pair) therefore we want to bet for value ~ Simple
2) The board has good texture (we have strong draws) and we want to put pressure on the opponent
3) Since our opponents are less likely to call with 2 unpaired cards like AK then a pair, he would only pair the flop about 1/3 of the time. Therefore the other 2/3 of the time that we both miss the board with our unpaired hands it becomes a game of chicken! Who ever thinks the other hit the board folds and loses the pot (kiddy right?)
4) We want our bet to be able to represent strength yet weakness (confusing?) yeah, we don't want our opponent to see that betting = good hand, check = weak hand.
We want them to be confused or guessing, we could be betting air and be betting the nuts. Obviously we want them to call/raise when we are strong and fold when we are weak, but how to do so?

There are many styles of Cbet, but I stick to my rules and rely on a few factors below to build on my aggressive nature in poker

The texture of the board
On a paired board like [5s] [5h] [9c]
Flushing board like [2h] [6h] [Th]
Straightiss board like [7s] [8h] [9c]
Heavy Board like [Ks] [Ad] [Tc]

I will almost always cbet and try to play the game very aggressively.
A simple rule " Whatever boards looks very dangerous to you, also looks very dangerous to your opponents too!!!!"
If they didn't link to the board its very unlikely they would want to gamble it up with ya thinking you are chickening them out
These are also the boards that I would like to occasionally make check-raise air bluffs against players who cbet too often on such spots (the game of chicken)

Dry boards like [Ad] [4s] [8s]
I generally will not want to over bet the flop, 1/2 pot will usually do. you are representing top pair and there isn't much draw, 2 high cards on your opponent side will usually lead to a fold.

Coordinated boards like [4s] [5s] [Ah] or [Td] [Jc] [8s]
I would generally bet the higher range of 2/3 to 3/4 of the board, as we want drawing hands to pay and also be able to follow up the turn with a 2nd barrel if the turn blanks and we still put them on a draw plus a good chance to fold

How often should we cbet?
If we hit the board, a pair or better I mostly want to bet for value and cutting his draws and sometimes check for deception ( 20-30% )
If we miss the board I want to bet as much as I had hit the board ( which is another 20-30% )
Therefore like how harrington plays, a good player should be betting the flop 40-60% of the time against observant players. Its hard to tell whether I'm on a draw, hit the board or have not thing.

But Online things are really different, the fishes are watching TV and surfing the net while playing poker
The regulars are trying to suck all the money by playing 4, 8,12 or even up to 20 tables!

Most of the time people ain't really watching you, therefore online I usually cbet a lot more, like 60-80% of the time.

Whose on the opposite side of the flop?
Against loose passive fishes, I like to just check when I miss and value bet down when I hit. If I hold the nuts, pot the flop, pot the turn and shove the river. Sometimes they will pay you so well. Simple and Obvious
Against loose aggressive fishes (Maniacs), I like to be more tricky and bet my value hands a little less and let their aggression hang themself (usually slow playing a monster and they putting the chips into the pot for you)
Against TAG regulars, its really comes down to experience and its important to mix up your game.



The continuation bet is one of the most fundamental and yet crucial skill of a no limit player, the ability to control the pot and put pressure on the flop is key to success. The flop is also the best time to win the pot, winning it with a small hand like a pair or a draw is generally a great result as the bets gets more expensive later on the turn and the river while its harder to determine if you small hands are still strong or not.

What other topics are you guys interested in hearing from me?
Bankroll management?
Tilt management?
Qualities of a good poker player?
Technical stuffs like double/triple barrelling? Floating? Squeezing?

Speak up and we shall hear


The journey in poker is still so far, actually endless....
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby KingKongMike » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:55 pm

Does it relate to stack size? If your oppenent hav u covered, If you hav your oppenent covered, make any difference? What abt my cbet was raised by oppenent that hav more/less chips than me (#1 I flopped medium pair, #2 I hav a K high flush draw)?
Sigh! Good decision is easier said than done.....
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby felixleong » Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:14 pm

Oh ~ usually I'm relating to 100 big blind cash games, and yeah good point there as stack sizes matters a lot.
If your stack is pretty short, say only 1 to 2 times of the pot left ( example $35-70 stack and the pot has $35 ) then the continuation bet would be a decision for all your remaining chips.
In a tournament because if the limited time horizon, having quite a short stack you raise preflop with QQ and get a caller with a flop Axx, with only a stack twice the size of the pot its generally correct to move all-in.

When you Cbets gets raised you definitely wanna fold your weakest hands like small pairs or air, at very rare times if you think his making a move, a 3-bet air could be in order.
With Medium pair I would often fold against a tight/unimaginative player, since it usually means toppair/overpairs or better on his side, not point fighting and up hill battle.
Against tightpassive fishes who only bets to nuts, instant fold.
Against a maniac if he's just raising you too much and we have to make a stand calling him down with a lone mid pair at some point.

With a flushdraw then it depends a lot on whether you have position when you cbet gets raised, without position its really hard to play and if you read him as really strong a fold is in good order, but if he's the kinda loose goosey then is able to raise you light with weak pairs then you might sometimes make the all-in shove move. Your fold equity plus flush equity would add up to a + EV play.
Having position + good pot odds/implied odds I would like to call more often and re-evaluate on the turn, if turn blanks I would tend to give up upon facing a fierce turn bet and would often make a strong semi-bluff bet seeing opponent's turn-check weakness.
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby KingKongMike » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:47 pm

If I(middle) open the pot wif 3BB and get 1 caller(button), I hav no good read at him yet, vice-versa, he flat call my cbet till the river, (F)242 (T)7 (R)T rainbow, what I see and think is what he see and thinks, only the T looks dangerous, I miss everything, maybe he is too, this river move decides who take the pot, how you evaluate this hand and what you will do if you are in my position and in my oppenent position?
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby felixleong » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:31 pm

Oh usually I will try to keep cutting down his hand range along the street. Having no reads is tough, its good to at least know if he is tight or loose preflop
Say an average player might call your PF raise on button with a wide hand, 2 high cards maybe, any pair maybe, some suited connectors.
flop you cbet on a pretty dry board of 242, sane people will fold 2 unpair high cards and call/raise with pair or so

Turn you bet again, representing that you have either a mid/big pair or have somehow connected to the board, its really unlikely that he's calling you here with a hand like AQ or 98s (but if he is really fishy then yeah, maybe) , its more likely he has some sort of mid pair and wants to go to the showdown but on some occasions he could be slow playing a monster set/house.

River is the spot which I ask myself " Give it up cut my losses to the possible monster?" "Will he call my river big bet with a med strenght hand (like single pair)?"
points to do the big river barrel
1) raise PF, bet flop and turn = shown strength all along
2) He hasn't really shown real strength yet

points not to bluff
1) no idea of his style, no reads
2) a little murky situation no ideal play

overall with no reads I will probably check/fold the river and give it up, remember how he played this hand and stack him off later ^_^
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby KingKongMike » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:22 am

So i see u r relating it more to cash game, i think cbet in tourney hav a slightly different approach, rite?
Because if i cbet to the river it cost me almost half my stack, so its a push or not on the river and i also find cbet its more effective to those who hav less chips than me. Its a suiside mission against someone higher stack. Please advice on this. Thank you!
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby felixleong » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:12 am

Yeah you are right~ In cash game the stacks are generally deep enough for flexibility in betting on all streets and the river shove is really "big"
In tournament, usually only the 1st level or so is over 50xBB after that most players will be hanging around with 5-20 M (no. of times the preflop blinds+antes) and in mid stage onwards of normal tournament the average M is usually 10 and 6-8 for turbos. That changes my tournament strategy in regards to Cbetting.

Two points for tournament play
1) Cbetting 1/2 the pot on the flop can have a lot more pressure in mid and late stages, it amounts to quite a lot of the stack (at times calling our cbet might cost opponent 10-20% of his stack). Tournament I tend to play very very aggressive, so you'll see me make 1/2 pot Cbets a unusually high percentage of the time. Since I play either to keep winning pots, grow to become one of the chip leaders or otherwise exit pretty fast (really really fast)~


2) Usually a strong bet on the flop (3/4 to pot size) or a follow up bet again on the turn will cause us to be committed to the hand (over 30% of starting stack bet so far), therefore I will often want to see at least a pair or a strong draw to justify this play.
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby KingKongMike » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:50 pm

Thanks for the reply!!!
Can you talk abt floatation in your next topic?
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby felixleong » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:25 pm

If i see some good response, yeah sure
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby don_corleone » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:53 am

hey bro, great article. very useful for me!

I would LOVE to learn about bankroll mgt!
just set aside some money for my bankroll in a new bank a.c., wanna know if you have good tips on how i should manage it! thanks!
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Re: #2 The Continuation Bet

Postby felixleong » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:21 pm

please remove me from the pokerkaki pro section, thanks
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