An Introduction To The Continuation Bet

Eric | April 4, 2011

Continuation BetWhen you’re playing poker, how you bet can often be a tell of your hand. You should consider your bets carefully, as well as how much time you take to make them. Try to throw your opponents off by stalling before you fold a bad hand, then stalling before you place an opening bet. Try to mix it up, and make an effort not to mix it up by the hand you have. You can’t always bet quickly when you’re bluffing, then take your time when you have a monster hand and expect it to work every time. Good players are watching you, learning how you play your hands, and storing that information for when they find themselves in the pot with you later.

If you learn to place bets at random amounts, regardless of the hand you’re holding, this will keep them guessing. If nobody can read your hand, you will be a force to be respected on the poker tables.

The Continuation Bet

The continuation bet, one of the most solid poker strategies, is a bet played by almost every poker player after the flop to get an idea of where they stand. Generally speaking, a continuation bet is about three quarters of the pot. For example, you are dealt pocket kings pre-flop and make the first bet. Two or three players smooth call and you see a flop. The flop comes out with no king to make your set, but there is an ace on the board. You could very well be beat in this situation if any of your opponents are holding an ace, but if they’re not, you don’t want to give away the fact that you are worried about an ace.

A good poker player will catch on to this and make a well-timed bluff, possibly scaring you out of the pot that rightfully should have been yours. So you place a continuation bet to see how your opponents will react. Nothing so large or so small as to give away your position, but somewhere right in the middle, just enough to make them wonder if you are value betting, or getting an idea of exactly where you stand.

Always remember, the most important thing is poker is to protect your hand. One of the best ways to do this is to use your bets to keep players guessing at what you might be holding. As soon as they learn to pick up on how you bet with certain hands, you need to leave the table. If they can read you, the only time you will be able to get any action in the pot is when they are holding a strong hand too.