Continuation Bets: When to C-Bet
There was a time, maybe 20 years ago, when you could print money at the poker table with one simple play: the continuation bet. If you were the pre-flop aggressor (the one who put the last raise in), you could “c-bet” the flop 100% of the time, no matter what cards you had or what three community cards came out, and expect your opponents to fold way too often. Even 10 years ago, many old-school players were c-betting every flop and doing just fine.
Now that people are much better at poker – especially Texas Hold’em – it’s not such a good idea to continuation bet 100% of flops. But it’s still a very important weapon, maybe the most important one you have at your disposal. Here are three strategy tips to help you c-bet like a boss the next time you play poker at Bovada:
- Be In Position
Continuation bets are much more powerful when you’ve got position on your opponents. They will usually check to you, and you can often get a fold here with a c-bet. Use this play much more sparingly when you are out of position and first to act, or when you’re in a multi-way pot.
- Pick the Right Size
In the old days, c-betting small on dry/static flops and large on wet/dynamic flops was the thing to do. That strategy still has some merit, but when you’re playing against weaker opponents who fold too much, you can probably get away with smaller continuation bets (say, one-third pot) on any flop texture. Using a small c-bet size is even more important when you’re out of position.
- Check Back Sometimes
If you c-bet too often, your opponents can take advantage by check-raising and making you fold instead. The easiest way around this is to check back whenever you have two overcards to the flop. For example, if you have Ace-Ten under the gun in Texas Hold’em and the flop comes Nine-Four-Deuce, go ahead and check back most of the time. That flop isn’t good for your range, but you have six outs to make top pair on the turn, and Ace-high might even be good enough to win at showdown. Everything in moderation, both in life and at the poker table.