PartyPoker pro Bodo Sbrzesny discusses the continuation bet and how essential it is to your game.
It is not always in the big pots that you'll make your long-term profits. It is much more important to collect many small pots without having to get too adventurous through all the straights. Quite essential to achieving that is the continuation bet.
Two things must occur to make a continuation bet:
- You’ve been the last person who has raised in the previous betting round .
- No raises were made before you are going to raise in the current betting round.
Typical situations for a continuation bet are that
- You make a raise from the button and the big blind calls. The flop is dealt and the big blind checks to you.
- You are the big blind, the button raises, you three-bet to defend your blind, and the button calls. After the flop you are the first in line and now you have to decide how to continue playing.
Now, if you now make a bet on the flop, regardless of whether you hold a strong hand or not, you will put the opponent under pressure. From the opponent's point of view, he is playing against someone who has now already raised twice, so he must expect further bets on the turn and the river. So if he misses the flop himself, or has a very weak hand, he must consider carefully whether he wants to continue playing the hand against an aggressive opponent, or fold the hand and wait for a better opportunity.
So, with simple means, you can get the opponent to give up his hand and win the pot yourself. In the long run, these small wins have a positive effect on your win rate. Therefore, the continuation bet should belong to the consistent repertoire of every poker player. The continuation bet can be interpreted, in many cases, as a bluff/semi-bluff. Because you have already shown strength in the hand, the situation has to be considered a little different from a sheer bluff.
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