How To Get the Most Out of Continuation Bets

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A poker player holds a card in one hand and poker chips in the other.
BetMGM Sep 07, 2022, 12:41 AM

When playing online poker tournaments, you’re competing against many people. To beat the crowd, professional poker players use many strategies according to their style of play. However, one strategy they all use is continuation betting, otherwise known as the “pre-flop” and “flop.” Continuation betting is the process of raising the pot in the first two rounds. 

During a Texas Hold’em poker game, continuation bets can be a great advantage and help increase your winnings in constant increments. So, if you’re wondering how to play poker with friends and beat them, read on for some poker tournament tips and an extensive guide on the ins and outs of continuation betting.

Example of a continuation bet

When using the continuation bet method, the rule of thumb is to raise the pot anywhere from half to the total amount. It’s important to remember that to utilize the strategy of continuation betting, you must do so in the first two rounds. This entails raising the pot during the pre-flop and then raising again once the flop has been put down. For example, if the preflop buy-in is $3/6, you could raise it to $12 and then to $24 in the second round of betting.

Why play continuation bets?

Although there are many factors to consider, continuation bets are an excellent way to improve your poker win rate. Why? As previously mentioned, online poker means facing a lot of opponents. Playing continuation bets is a great way to make the most of the table fold, thus increasing your probability of winning the pot because fewer players are involved. On other occasions, it’s a great way to pick up the pot when nobody has a strong hand.

Moreover, when possessing a winning hand, it’s a great way of building up the pot, which will gain you a larger return if you win the round. If you imagine it from an opponent’s perspective – psychologically – it’s a solid approach. If you’re noticed raising the pot by double the amount in the pre-flop and then again in the following round, it suggests to most players that you’re holding a strong hand, causing most to fold – even those with medium to big hands.

Additionally, a big part of online poker is being able to read your opponents. Using techniques such as continuation bets allows you to gauge players’ personalities: who plays aggressively by bluffing and raising and who is more conservative, mostly betting when they have a hand worth playing for. This is important intel to gather and gives you a more precise indicator of when to utilize specific strategies.

When to play a continuation bet

Live dealer casino games require players to react quickly to opponents. The skill is deciding when to check, bet, or fold. In the case of continuation bets, you should consider several factors before deciding to raise the pot.

Firstly, monitoring your positioning from the small blind and big blind players is vital. If you’re closer to the button and players are betting cautiously, it suggests that fewer opponents have a good hand behind you. Another indicator is the stage of the match. For example, if the game is young with many players active, it may not be wise to bet aggressively, as the chances are higher for an opponent to have a stronger hand. As the table begins to thin out, playing aggressively through continuation bets becomes far more successful.

Understanding a player’s personality is another sign of whether to pull the trigger or not. If you notice players raising who tend to bet when dealt a strong hand, backing out of the round may be the wise move. However, if you see an aggressive player known to bluff and you’re holding a medium to strong hand, re-raising them throughout the round is a good way of increasing the value of the pot.

Other strategies to consider

Remember, the live poker online can go on for hours. With this in mind, keeping your head in the game and not getting drawn into making mistakes is essential. Similarly to most casino table games, playing calculated risks is crucial for winning. It’s important to know when to play aggressively and when to sit back and let rounds go by – even when possessing enticing cards. While in the early stages of online poker, be patient and observe how different players act; don’t get drawn into a pot with many players where the probability of winning is small.

Bluffing is an art in itself and shouldn’t be overused – otherwise, you may risk making yourself an easy read for your opponents. However, bluffing in moderation is an excellent way of staying unpredictable and means that when the cards are right, you can raise big, and some players may bite. Other strategies include preflop betting, fast playing your strong hands to raise the pot, and playing fewer hands but aggressively.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.