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The Continuation Bet: A Small Tool That Reaps Big Rewards in Poker

26 January 2016, By: compncards
There are times where a simple change can reap huge rewards. This is especially true in poker.
phil galfond
phil galfond

Today we will look at one small change that you can make to your game that will win you more pots.

The continuation bet is a small tool in the arsenal of all competent Texas Hold'em players that is simple to employ and can help grow your bankroll in every session.

Today you will learn about the continuation bet, reasons to use it and how it will win you more money in poker.

What is a Continuation Bet?

Simply, a continuation bet is a bet made on the flop by the player that was the pre-flop raiser.

Let's say that you look down to As-10s on the button and decide to raise. You get called in two spots.

On the flop, action is checked to you and you make a bet anywhere from 1/2 to 3/4 the size of the pot and everyone folds.

Your flop bet continues your aggression from before the flop, therefore the name continuation bet.

Reasons to Continuation Bet

Notice how we didn't tell you what was on the flop in the example. That was on purpose because when you're making a continuation bet, it is often made regardless of what hits the flop.

There are several reasons to make a continuation bet. First, the majority of the time your opponents will miss the flop. When they miss and check to you, it is time to make them pay to see another card.

Next, a continuation bet continues your story in the hand. If you raise pre-flop and fail to bet the flop, then you just told your opponents that your hand wasn't that great.

If your hand is good enough to bet pre-flop, it should be good enough to bet on the flop. Failing to do so opens the door to have the pot taken away from you on the turn.

Continuation betting can help to define your opponent's hands. If you get bet and called, it is time to determine the reason. Did the flop produce a flush or straight draw?

Is there a big card on the board that they might have hit? Did your opponent hit the board in another way and is hoping to improve?
Your continuation bet will help you determine where you're at in the hand and how to proceed on the turn and river.

Continuation Bets Will Win You More Pots

Ultimately, the continuation bet will help you to win more pots in Texas Hold'em, especially in low stake live and online poker games.

Many beginning players will only play back at you if they have connected in the flop in a meaningful way. A large percentage of the time, when they check to you on the flop, they will fold to your continuation bet.

Failing to continuation bet will give your opponents free cards and let them catch up or outdraw you. If you're still unsure about continuation betting, watch the winning players at the next Texas Hold'em game you play.

Watch how many times they bet the flop after raising pre-flop. You will probably notice that they take down those pots immediately the majority of the time. Continuation betting is one small thing that you can add to improve your game and grow you bankroll.

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