Poker is an undeniably popular game. It is one of the most played casino games worldwide, and online poker has over 100 million players. There are many reasons why poker is so popular. It is easy to get into since it requires minimal setup and can be learned quickly. It is exhilarating because games are played with real money, adding stakes to every action. There is even an element of luck, meaning every game is different, and even new players could potentially win hands against experienced ones.
With all of these reasons why poker is so beginner-friendly, it may surprise you to know that poker still manages to have a thriving competitive scene. That is because poker strategy has lots of depth despite the simple rules.
The best poker players can use math to evaluate their approach over time, accurately guess which cards their opponents have, and even adapt their playstyles to exploit weaknesses they find in their opponents.
Poker has a profound psychological aspect, as you must understand how your opponents play through their bets and other actions. This poker guide will cover a ubiquitous betting technique in poker: The continuation bet. It will teach you everything you need to know, from why it is so popular to when you should use it.
What is a continuation bet?
A continuation bet is a bet made by the aggressor of the previous round. The last person to make an aggressive action like a raise or bet is known as the aggressor. It gets its name because the player continues their aggression in the following round. Continuation bets are most commonly seen on the flop, made by the pre-flop aggressor. It is still possible on later rounds like the turn and river, but a lot less common.
An in-game example would be if you were in the “under the gun” position directly left of the big blind. You are the first to act, so you raise the blinds instead of calling. Everyone else passively calls or folds to your raise. Since you made the last aggressive action pre-flop, if you bet on the flop, that would be a continuation bet.
Advantages of continuation bets
Continuation bets are commonplace since they are powerful displays of strength. Your opponents will likely gain more information after your aggression pre-flop. Continuing this aggression onto the flop puts a lot of pressure on your opponents, especially if they missed the flop.
Continuation bets imply that you have a strong hand and could have hit the flop. Continuation bets are particularly potent on dry boards with little to no solid five-card potential since players will believe you had strong cards pre-flop, and their hand has a low chance of improving because of the board state.
Disadvantages of continuation bets
Continuation bets are committal. If you try to use them as bluffs, you must have a good read on your opponents because if you get called or re-raised, you will end up in a bad spot. Another disadvantage continuation bets have is their popularity. Thanks to the internet, learning about poker is easier than ever. Continuation bets are incredibly well-known, so many players anticipate them, particularly when used as bluffs.
Continuation bet uses
As with every bet in poker, there are two ways to use continuation bets, either as a bluff or for value. Continuation bets as bluffs are common, as your continued aggressive play can make opponents believe you are not bluffing with your hand. Value continuation bets are also common, particularly against players who see you as loose and will often want to call your bets.
Continuation bet tips
When planning a continuation bet, you must consider many factors:
Where to try continuation betting
We hope this article taught you continuation bets and how to play poker with them. If you want to improve at poker, you should play on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. Online poker is great for learning since you can access it easily and even play multiple games simultaneously to gain experience faster. GGPoker, in particular, gives you free access to a poker tracker and heads-up display that give useful statistics like continuation bet percentage from both you and your opponents, so sign up now!