Luck plays

To some extent, poker is more similar to the game of chess than any other form of gambling, because it requires players to be always at the top of their game. Luck plays a role, but if you do your part well, the odds are always in your favor and you have a better chance at winning. Strategy is required at every step of the way and certain plays are of extreme importance, with the continuation bet being a shining example

This is a basic poker move that is performed at all levels, with both beginners and highrollers being expected to master the mechanics. Furthermore, it is equally important in tournaments and at cash game tables, so regardless of the game you prefer, the continuation bet will need to be a weapon in your arsenal. You will have to use it to showcase strength but also to counter aggression and knowing how to employ it successfully can make the difference between winning and losing poker sessions.

How to use the continuation bet

Just as the name suggests, this poker mechanic depends on the previous action, as you can only continue with a bet if you performed a similar action on the previous street. Basically, the one who takes the initiative pre-flop and raises is expected to fire another bullet on the flop and this goes by the name of continuation bet. This is a straightforward play and in many cases it is almost automatic, with players doing it regardless of what cards they are dealt and the texture of the flop.

This doesn’t mean that you can completely ignore the cards that were dealt, as you need to be able to represent a dangerous or made hand. Open ended straight or flush draws should raise the alarm as these flops are not suitable for continuation bets and players should refrain from taking the initiative. On the other hand, if you were the one who made the initial raise and an ace or a king pops out, you should definitely consider the opportunity of such an action.

Another thing that is to be factored in prior to making the continuation bet is the position at the table, because this influences the size of the bet. Under normal circumstances it is sufficient to wager a third of the pot but if you act out of position and there are enough opponents after you, you might have to raise the stakes. The same is recommended against tight opponents, while when competing against aggressive players you need to think twice before throwing more money in an already dangerous pot.

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2017  Rachelle Menard