This little article is going to be about the most common of all bets in pretty much any poker game, the continuation bet. The continuation bet is basically a bet you make on the flop as the preflop aggressor(being the last person to bet before the flop).
I’ll show you how to use this bet as an interesting tool to practice your poker logic and thus improve your game.
For starters let’s look at bets in general. What is the point of betting? Well, you want either:
- to make your opponent fold
- to extracte value with a good hand
- to get a free card
- to get information(in general not a good reason to bet, it should be more of a side effect of the other three)
So let’s look at these reasons:
The bluff bet
You have a weak hand and want to make your opponent fold a better hand. You make it when you asses that he is folding enough of his range in a certain spot and the part of his range that he’s folding is mostly made of better hands than yours.
The value bet
You have a good hand and want to get as much money as possible from your opponent. You make this bet when you asses that enough of your opponents range is made from hand that are weaker than yours and will call.
The free card bet
You make this bet with draws when you are in position(the last to act). By betting or raising you give yourself the opportunity to check on the next street, in case you miss your draw, and give your self the chance to hit on the further street.
The information bet
You bet to see what your opponent does and get more information this way. It’s a bad play to bet with this reason in mind. The information you get by betting should be more of a side product and not the main reason for a bet.
Remember that everytime you bet, you should know why you are betting. If you bet and don’t know why you did it, it might be right or it might be wrong, but when you know why you are betting in every spot, you will have control, a plan and logical reasoning that will make your game profitable in the long run.
So here we go… a nice and simple exercise that will steer you in the right direction. Since the continuation bet is the most common of all bets, use it to practice your reasoning! The next time you play say out loud(if you play in a live game, just think it, obviously) the reason why you continuation bet on a certain board with a certain hand. You can do this simply like this:
- KQ on a A84 rainbow flop “I want my opponent to fold”
- AK on A84 rainbow flop “I want to get value”
When you get the hang of it, take it up a level. Don’t just say why you are betting, but also against which hands.
- KQ on A84 rainbow flop “I want to make my opponent fold pocket pairs, a pair of eight or a pair of fours”
- AK on A84 rainbow flop “I want to get value from lower AX hands”
- KdQd on Ad8d4s flop “I want to get value from lower flush draws and I want to make pocket pairs, a pair of eights or a pair of fours fold”
So that’s it, that’s the exercise. Simple, but effective! Have fun playing, happy continuation betting and remember, if you want to learn more, sign up at Pokerstrategy.com!