Continuation Bets

Texas Holdem Betting Strategies » Continuation Bet

Bet Type Objective Bet Range
Continuation Bet/Representing the Flop Maintain the perception of Strength Half the size of Pot

Let's learn about the continuation bet here. This has become a widely used poker betting strategy. Also known as representing the flop, the continuation bet is deceptively easy to execute--just as the game of Texas HOld'em is deceptively simple to learn. And in poker we want to be masters of deception, now don't we?

Representing the flop or making a continuation bet works by showing strength before the flop, most often with over cards. Now, here's the part of paramount importance to you: you will very often miss the flop, but even when you do you must continue to show strength through betting, as if you have an authentically strong hand. Hence "continuation bet". Hold 'em like Doyle!

The continuation bet strategy makes use of three considerations:

  1. The number of opponents. One of the purposes of raising pre-flop is to drive out players from the hand. To make a continuation bet you usually want anywhere from 1-3 players.
  2. Position. The better the position you have the more highly successful your bet will be. Position is power.
  3. The texture of the flop. You're on the button and you raise 3x (three times the amount of) the BB. You get four callers. Now, here's what you have:

continuation bet continuation bet

The flop falls...

eight-nine-ten-clubs (12K)

This is a very dangerous flop for you to try to make a continuation bet.

continuation bet

Too many situations and callers could beat your hand.

  1. Either someone has a straight or a flush or both could be on a draw.
  2. When making a bet carefully consider reading the flop texture.

The key to successfully pulling off the continuation bet is to narrow your opponents down to one or two at the most.

Here is the rule of representing the flop: If you make a pre-flop raise, you must bet after the flop. Period. This includes when you do not hit your cards.

Do not be one of those who raises with Big Slick before the flop...only to check after the flop when it comes out rags. Players who do that are weak.

The only time you shouldn't represent the flop after a pre-flop raise is if you hit the "NUTS" on the flop and you know your opponents are drawing dead.

Here are a few examples WHY you should represent the flop after making a pre-flop raise. You are on the button before the flop you get...

As (4K) KD (7K)

The first few players throw away their hands and the action is to you. You decide to make a bet that will most likely just get one or two callers.

The blinds are 75/150 in a Sit N Go tournament and you make it 750 to play. The Small Blind folds, the Big Blind calls your bet. The person "under the gun" also calls your bet.

You have exactly what you want; you have narrowed down the callers to one or two, which is perfect.

The flop falls...

5-d (4K) 8-s (4K) 2-h (4K)

You missed the flop completely, but chances are your opponents did too. The person in the Small Blind checks along with the person in the Big Blind.

Do not check here, throw out a pot-sized bet, chances are the other two opponents will fold.

  • If you check the other two callers will sense weakness and the chances of winning become very slim.

Please note you are not going to win the hand every time you use this strategy.

For instance the person in the Big Blind had a pair of 8's in the hole when you threw out your pot-sized bet, chances are he will come right back over the top of you with a re-raise. Then you will know to fold.

In the end, the continuation bet will definitely pay off.

  • You will win about 70% of the pots by representing the flop when you hit nothing.
  • You will get a caller another 30% of the time, it is then you will want to back off and minimize your losses.
  • Don't think you MUST continue to BLUFF. It is quite ok to give up on the hand and lose the chips you've put on the table.

Here's the real beauty of representing the flop. Should you play at a table long enough your opponents will notice that you do follow up on the flop with continuation bets. This gives you two advantages...

  1. Before the flop, your opponents will begin to fear you. Will know when you raise, they will have to be ready for another strong bet after the flop.
  2. You will get more action when you really DO hit the flop and make your hand. Your opponents will begin to feel like you are bullying the table. From time to time, you will definitely get some action from other players.

The continuation bet is a core strategy in Texas Holdem poker. If you raise before the flop, follow it up with another bet after the flop.

Always play as if you're holding Southwest Airlines, Google, or Microsoft. Know what I mean? If you want to play the continuation bet strategy, you got to be representing the flop!

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