Continuation Bets: Understanding how they Work

If you are going to be a winning poker player, you cannot be a predictable poker player. When you get a good preflop starting hand, you are probably going to bet it. On the flop, if you hit you will probably keep betting unless you are slow playing a monster. If you miss, you might just check or fold. That is predictable and a skilled player will know that about you very quickly and you will have no chance. Instead you would want to do something that is called a continuation bet. A continuation bet will help you with several different things during a hand.

What are Continuation Bets?

A continuation bet is best explained with an example:

Pretend that you have Ace - King and you raise before the flop. You end up making it a pretty good raise and you get just one caller. The flop ends up completely missing your hand; 8 9 2 (offsuit). You have bad position and you are first to act. What should you do next

You can probably guess that you are going to want to do a continuation bet. This is just a bet that is going to continue on from your initial bet you made before the flop. Even though you completely missed the flop, you have to bet here for a variety of different reasons. Just a bet half the size of the pot or so should do the trick. You have to figure that your opponent probably didn’t hit either and you have a good chance to take the pot then and there.

Why use a Continuation Bet?

A continuation bet is not anything that is supposed to be hard to understand. It is just simply continuing on betting from round to round. The main reason you are going to make this bet is so you are not showing a weakness in your play. When you make that bet, you are taking control of the game and you will have the chance to get some valuable information on your opponent. The way that your opponent reacts to that bet is going to say a lot about what your opponent is holding. Not only that, but you are also giving yourself the chance to win the hand even though you completely missed your flop.

Even with the example above, you still probably have outs with two over cards. Your opponent will tell you what to do next. If they call, you have to bet again on the turn. If they raise, just fold. Hopefully they will just fold and the pot will be yours.

Continuation bets will give you a chance to win a lot more pots. You are not going to hit your hands enough to only bet if you have a good hand. Staying consistent with your bet will put your opponents in a tough position. You can see all of the advantages that continuation bets will give you.