When to and when not to make a continuation bet

Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
As a good tight-aggressive, or indeed loose-aggressive No-Limit Hold'em player, you'll be raising most times you enter a pot. However a lot of the time you'll miss the flop, and you may be first to act, or action may have checked to you - what factors influence your decision to bet or not?

To keep things simple, let's stick to deep-stacked cash game play.

I'm not giving an answer, but opening up the discussion. (Basically because I don't know, although I might post some thoughts in a bit.)

How much and how does your decision whether or not to put out a continuation bet depend on:-

a) Texture of the flop
b) Number of other players in the hand
c) Your position relative to other players in the hand
d) Whether or not you have a good draw
e) Your table image
f) Looseness of other players
g) Number of players at the table (short-handed or ring)?

As a bonus question, how do these factors influence the size of your c-bet, if at all?
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
I'm looking forward to some responses on this. Texture is one that I'm very bad at considering; I guess 'cause I'm mostly still at first level thinking.
 
R

rStormChaser

Rock Star
Here are a few ideas to remember when making continuation bets;

- The ideal number of opponents when making continuation bets is one, the more opponents the smaller chance of success, facing 3 or more players you have to hit the flop to keep playing

- The bet size is also important and it should be around half the size of the pot because you would only have to win 1 in 3 times to break even

-The quality of your hand is important because if you completely missed the flop it is a good indicator for a continuation bet as it costs you nothing to walk away. However if you have a draw to a big hand a continuation bet would be a mistake as it might give your opponent a chance to chase you out of the pot.

- A dangerous flop for a continuation bet would be one with several high cards as it is more likely to have hit someone. Good flops are ones with low, medium or three widely separated cards.

Hope this helps.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
First thing I want to say is if you haven't read HoH, do so. He's got a wicked section on c-bets which really showed me the light.

what factors influence your decision to bet or not?
I think it's mainly:

a) Texture of the flop
b) Number of other players in the hand
f) Looseness of other players
e) Your table image
...roughly in order of importance.

I think the first things to consider is the number of players in the hand with you and the texture of the flop. ie If you've missed the flop completely with AK on a 89T suited board and have 4 other players with you in the pot, don't even bother c-betting. A case could be made if you've got the ace of that suit, but in general that flop will hit a whole lot of hands.

If you have AK and hit the flop with 2 players seeing a KT2 flop, you've got to c-bet (to protect, for info and for value).

I think d) is basically something that fits into a). The texture of the flop defines the strength of your hand aswell as the likelyhood of your opponents having a strong/weak hand. As for g), I don't see how it's a factor at all. The only thing that should matter in this area (# of players) is the number of players seeing a flop with you.

As a bonus question, how do these factors influence the size of your c-bet, if at all?

For me personally, not really. Generally I keep my bets from 1/2 pot to full pot at times. Mostly around the 1/2-pot mark though. I might occasionally throw out a bigger c-bet if my opponents are the type to call down with an underpair or bottom pair just to try and convince them I've got a hand strong enough to beat either so they hopefully fold.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
Nice reply Chuck.
If you have AK and hit the flop with 2 players seeing a KT2 flop, you've got to c-bet (to protect, for info and for value).
Would you still call this a continuation bet? You have to think you have the best hand here and it's pretty clear you should bet for value.

As for g), I don't see how it's a factor at all. The only thing that should matter in this area (# of players) is the number of players seeing a flop with you.
I'm not sure whether it should be a factor, but if you're playing 4-handed, typically the strength of the hands you've raised with (and been called with) will be less than at a 10-seater table. So maybe you'd hit the flop hard less often - but then your opponents would miss more as well.

For me personally, not really. Generally I keep my bets from 1/2 pot to full pot at times. Mostly around the 1/2-pot mark though. I might occasionally throw out a bigger c-bet if my opponents are the type to call down with an underpair or bottom pair just to try and convince them I've got a hand strong enough to beat either so they hopefully fold.
I'll often bet bigger if I have a strong hand into multiple opponents than I would into one opponent. So I suppose if I'm c-betting into multiple opponents (which might not be such a great idea), maybe I should make the c-bet bigger.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

Legend
-The quality of your hand is important because if you completely missed the flop it is a good indicator for a continuation bet as it costs you nothing to walk away. However if you have a draw to a big hand a continuation bet would be a mistake as it might give your opponent a chance to chase you out of the pot.
Interesting. I've been more inclined to c-bet when I do have a good draw. Then I have two ways to win: my opponent folds, or he calls and I hit my draw. But I suppose there's the kind of c-bet where you're betting because you have no other way to win - you've raised with 7-5 suited from the button, been called in the blind then completely missed the flop. You have to bet because there's no other way you'll win.

- A dangerous flop for a continuation bet would be one with several high cards as it is more likely to have hit someone. Good flops are ones with low, medium or three widely separated cards.
Depends what you think your opponents are calling your raises with. Isn't it more often small/medium pairs and suited connectors than big Aces? Therefore, high cards on the flop will be more scary for someone who's called with pocket 8s, and will be more likely to fold to your c-bet than if he has an overpair to the board.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Would you still call this a continuation bet? You have to think you have the best hand here and it's pretty clear you should bet for value.

Well it would probably have helped if we defined it before discussing...

Continuation bet:
When a player bet out or raised during a prior betting round, the act of betting out again.
(from Definition of Continuation Bet | PokerZone, the first definition I could find
)

I think you could argue whether or not it would be a c-bet or a value bet, but my definition has always been just a bet post-flop from the preflop raiser. (whether he hit or not).


I'm not sure whether it should be a factor, but if you're playing 4-handed, typically the strength of the hands you've raised with (and been called with) will be less than at a 10-seater table. So maybe you'd hit the flop hard less often - but then your opponents would miss more as well.

My brain aint working too well and tbh I'm debating with myself whether that makes a difference or not...I suppose more than anything, it will be more of a reason to c-bet since your opponents will hit the flop 'less hard' at a s/h table rather than a full ring.

I'll often bet bigger if I have a strong hand into multiple opponents than I would into one opponent. So I suppose if I'm c-betting into multiple opponents (which might not be such a great idea), maybe I should make the c-bet bigger.

Ya IMO if you're c-betting (by your definition, bluffing) into that many opponents than you're already making a mistake. I understand where you're coming from, but all you're doing by betting into several opponents (and a bigger bet too) is just putting more money in the middle with a smaller chance of taking the pot down due to the higher # of players and their increased chance of hitting and calling down.

See bold.
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

Cardschat Elite
I routinely C-bet unless the flop is unfriendly.

By that I mean paired, three of a suit, or contains overcards. I have often been burned that way in the past, and learned my lesson.

My bet will be around two-thirds of the pot, but larger if there is an obvious draw to be discouraged.

In all of this, I have assumed we are talking Ring Games. I may be much less aggressive in a tourney, depending upon what stage we are at.
 
A

alan1983

Visionary
When i have a draw and have position against several players, then i take a free card. Since its very likely that one hit the flop and will stay with you, and a c-bet means youre making yourself pay to draw.

When i have a draw but am first 2 act, or last to act against one opponent then i c-bet. because then its less likely hes hit flop, and even if im last and can take a free card, its only 30% to hit so id rather take it down there.
 
NineLions

NineLions

Advanced beginner
I routinely C-bet unless the flop is unfriendly.

By that I mean paired, three of a suit, or contains overcards. I have often been burned that way in the past, and learned my lesson.

My bet will be around two-thirds of the pot, but larger if there is an obvious draw to be discouraged.

In all of this, I have assumed we are talking Ring Games. I may be much less aggressive in a tourney, depending upon what stage we are at.

This tends to be how I play; I feel obligated to c-bet unless there's a reason no to do so.

If the board is paired though, I'll c-bet if I'm playing a pair 'cause I'm probably ahead, though that depends on the pair. If it's high, I figure it's more likely the villian(s) might have a trey so I might not c-bet, or I might to find out if my hand is still good.
 
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