When is a good time to place a c-bet?
You should only decide to place a continuation bet when you know the type of opponent you’re up against. Are they an aggressive poker player, or have they folded on the continuation bets made by other players? Remember that your opponents will often miss the flop completely, making this strategy even more effective. Just remember that this doesn’t guarantee you a win every time — sometimes, your opponents may try to trick you.
You don’t want to fire a continuation on every occasion. If your opponent becomes aware of your strategy, they might be able to trap you. When you place a c-bet, the goal is to have your opponent fold. Another important thing to note is that some boards will be better than others. The best c-bet is the one that helps your hand. Aces and kings are good to have on the board, as they make for perfect continuation bet situations.
When to avoid placing a c-bet
Remember, any strategy used 100% of the time will not be effective. Yes, there are bad flops with continuation bets too. A bad flop can happen when the c-bet helps your opponent’s hand and gives them a reason to call. Of course, you’ll want to avoid this kind of situation. Here are a few instances when it’s best to avoid making this type of bet.
When you suspect your opponent has high-ranking cards
Online poker is a game of prediction, and you can never know which boards will help you and which won’t. You need to predict the hand that your opponent is likely to have called with and guess whether it’s strong enough for them to stick around. You don’t want to bet if they have high-ranking cards – for instance, a straight hand with 7, 8 and 9. In that case, you’re better off just checking.
When you’re playing against many opponents
You may also want to avoid continuation betting if you’re playing against many opponents. Your c-bet is highly unlikely to work if multiple opponents call after you’ve raised before the flop. The more opponents there are, the higher the chances of you getting called. Online poker tournaments usually have higher numbers of players at their tables. Also, if you’re up against a player who calls in every turn, it’s best to keep your continuation betting to a minimum.
When your position gives away your strategy
Always remember your position (the order in which players are seated at the table). It becomes more difficult to c-bet when you are out of position. If you fire a c-bet in every turn and suddenly give up when your opponents call, they’re likely to notice and forfeit the pot by calling your raises in position and calling your flop bet. Always keep your c-bets to a minimum if you raise before the flop is called in position. Aggressive opponents are most likely to make your playing strategy more difficult.
Playing in a good position gives you the advantage to measure the strength of your opponent’s hand. In that case, you can make continuation bets more often.
Can you make a c-bet outside of the flop?
Yes, the continuation bet can be made outside of the flop. In fact, it tends to be more successful on the turn. This is because most players are likely to call a bet without a strong holding hand on the flop, given the popularity of the c-bet. If your opponent unnecessarily checks you in position on the flop, you can check to see their action on the turn. If they repeat the same move, you can make your c-bet. With only the river betting round left, it will become difficult for them to bluff, call or check-raise. This is your opportunity to collect the pot!
How to defend yourself against c-bets
In the same way, you can use c-bets against your opponents, they can also be used against you. A simple way to avoid this is to call more often in position when you have a medium or strong hand. As you spend more time playing poker and learn to analyze your opponents, you’ll be able to spot continuation bets from genuine value bets. A c-bet that’s always easy to spot is a pre-flop raiser who bets more than half the pot on the flop and then checks on the turn after you or another player calls. When this happens, there’s a high chance it’s a c-bet, and you should place a strong bet to take the pot away from them.
Improve your strategy with our beginner-friendly online poker guide
Continuation bets have become popular in Texas Hold’em poker, and it makes sense for players to familiarize themselves with the strategy and use them when they play poker games online.
If you want to learn more about the game of poker and possible strategies, the BetMGM live dealer online casino has a handy online poker guide to help new players understand poker variations and hand rankings. The guide also features a glossary of poker terms to help novice players sound like pros.
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