Continuation Betting in Texas Hold'em Poker
An important element of Texas hold’em poker strategy is a play that has come to be known as the continuation bet. It is important for any Texas hold’em poker player to recognize the continuation bet, know when it is being used and understand why it is used.
What is a Continuation Bet in Poker?
A continuation bet is a follow up bet made to represent that a hand that was strong pre-flop remains strong. For example, a player holds pocket queens and raises pre-flop. He is called in two places and the flop comes As 8s 5d. Although he missed the flop, the player may bet out to represent that he was raising with a hand like AK and now holds a pair of aces.
Why Continuation Bet in Poker?
In the hand above, if the player failed to bet, opponents might put the player on a pair and assume he is afraid of the ace. They may now bet whether they have an ace or not, putting the first player in a very difficult position.
Should One Continuation Bet?
The frequency of one’s continuation betting may vary from player to player. A player who continuation bets every time he bets pre-flop may lose credibility. In contrast, a player who checks when he hits his hand and continuation bets whenever he misses will give away his hand to observant players fairly quickly. Good flops to continuation bet are flops with a single ace and non-threatening flops that are unlikely to have hit anyone very hard. Bad flops to continuation bet include ones that are all of a same suit or where players have great incentive to call or raise, such as a Js Ts 9c which features many straight and flush draws.