Online Poker Strategy: The Anatomy Of A Continuation Bet

Betting strategies are a critical part of any successful poker game. A common strategy in all poker formats, including online and live play, is the continuation bet.

But how does a player use this betting style effectively? This article will look at the how and why behind one of, if not, the most excellent online poker strategy used by the experts.

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What Exactly Is A “Continuation Bet”?

A “continuation bet” or “C-Bet” is a bet made by a player during the flop who also raised during the pre-flop. The term “continuation” was coined as it refers to the fact that that player has continued to take the initiative.

Typically, this is used by a player in position against a single player who chose to check on the flop. This betting strategy hinges on believing that a player’s hand does not frequently improve on the flop.

Why Is A Continuation Bet Useful?

There are instances wherein it’s easy for opponents to spot when a player is bluffing. The continuation bet is a great way to disguise a player’s bluffs. Since the player is betting after they’ve raised pre-flop, the opponents will think the player still has a strong hand. The perfect “continuation” situation arises when an opponent checks on the flop and then folds to your bet.

What Are The Factors That Affect The Effectiveness Of A Continuation Bet?

When choosing to deploy the continuation bet strategy, players should be aware of the main factors that will affect the success of this ultimate poker strategy.

The size of the bet

Players must remember that consistency is crucial to a successful continuation bet. Usually, this would be about 50% of the pot. If a player bets more than this, it may cause a significant loss should the opponent have a better hand. Betting too low, on the other hand, may give opponents higher calling odds.

Table image

A continuation bet can be an effective tool if the player has been betting aggressively. However, opponents may be less likely to call the bet if a player’s table image is tight.

Players should be aware of their projected image to assess if a continuation bet would work. 

The board texture

The board’s strength is always a factor when placing a continuation bet. A draw-heavy board should be avoided as there may be the possibility that an opponent will call to chase their draws. Meanwhile, a dry board with little chance of strong opponents’ hands gives players the best chance to make a successful continuation bet.

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The type of opponent

It’s essential to know the type of opponent a player is facing. Although this factor is not exclusive to when a player makes a continuation bet, it should still be considered. Aggressive players are likelier to call the bet, while passive opponents might fold in fear of losing their chips.

Furthermore, knowledgeable and experienced opponents may be able to spot what the player is doing. Should the opponent suspect that the player is continuation betting, they may call with the expectation that the player would check during the turn. If the player does check, this allows the opponent to exploit the weakness and the player and steal the pot.

Ultimately, knowing your opponent’s tendencies will help you make the right decision when it comes to betting.

The number of opponents

The more opponents there are, the less likely the continuation bet will work. That’s because the more people in the pot, the higher chance someone caught a piece of the flop.

One of the most common online poker tips suggests that as a guide, a player should continuation bet when up against a single opponent. On the other hand, they should practice this 50% of the time when faced with two opponents and 25% of the time when faced with three. In cases with more than three opponents, it may be wise to hit the flop and check before placing more chips in the middle.

What Should A Player Do When Faced With An Opponent’s Continuation Betting?

Apart from being able to implement a continuation bet masterfully, players must also be aware of how to counter an opponent’s continuation bet. After all, they may be facing the same strategy.

Players should carefully observe the action before them to determine if an opponent is continuation betting. Players may assess this by observing the frequency and regularity of their opponents’ continuation betting and tendencies to steal the pot.

Furthermore, players should also assess their own hands compared to the opponent’s bet to assess if a continuation bet is warranted. The player must decide whether to call, fold, or raise if the opponent attempts to steal the pot.

How Does Continuation Betting Help In Online Poker?

With the proliferation of online poker sites, players have greater access to poker games and tournaments. As such, players must understand how to effectively succeed at online poker using some online tips and strategies.

Continuation betting can be a helpful tool when playing online poker. It enables players to dominate the pot, bluff their opponents into folding, and increases their chances of acquiring the pot.

Furthermore, since many opponents are more likely to call on the flop rather than the turn or river, continuation betting can help players build a larger pot before making a potentially costly move later in the game.

Plenty of online poker tactics are available, but being able to master the continuation bet is a surefire way to increase players’ chances of success. It requires knowledge, practice, and observation to succeed at online poker.

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Final Word On Continuation Betting

The continuation bet remains one of the most potent weapons in a poker player’s arsenal. It requires an understanding of the game and the opponents and a good grasp of when to employ it.

When used properly, the continuation bet can effectively deceive opponents and acquire pots with little risk. However, players must also be mindful of situations where the continuation bet may not work and adjust their strategy accordingly. Ultimately, mastering the continuation bet and remembering the online poker tips to supplement this strategy is vital to succeeding at online poker.