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Continuation Betting

Advanced Tips for Continuation Betting (flop Texture)

A common concept in offline and online poker is continuation betting. In fact this concept is one of the most basic yet most profitable concepts when it comes to NL Texas hold’em. Before I go onto the details of different flops and whether you should be continuation betting them or not I will first say that if you are playing no limit twenty or below there is a strong argument to continuation bet almost one hundred percent of flops simply because your opponents do not adapt. This being said once you start playing against opponents that will adapt which you will find from around no limit fifty and above you must start thinking about the boards that you are continuation betting on. A continuation bet is a bet you put out on a flop after your have raised pre-flop, in this article it does not matter what you actually hold, in fact as with a lot of poker you are really playing your opponents hand.

Here are some boards and some advice on whether you should be continuation betting them or not, they are ranked from the best to the worst:

1)      The board shows Kxx (K can represent any broadway card and X represents uncoordinated smaller cards).

This is the best flop that you can continuation bet on because it is likely that your pre-flop raising range will credibly be able to hit on this flop but it is hard for your opponents pre-flop calling range to connect with. You can continuation bet this flop almost every time and be profitable with it, the only thing you must watch out for is if your opponent realises that you are continuation betting a lot of these types of flops and starts to fire back at you with nothing.

2)      A pair hits the board such as Q3Q.

This board is quite good for continuation betting because it is very unlikely that your opponent will connect with it with his pre-flop calling range. The reason why this board is slightly worse to continuation bet is because it is also unlikely that you have connected with this board either, this means that your bet is less of a credible threat. Thinking opponents may realise this and opt to fire back at you or even float your bet with the intention of taking the hand away from you on the turn. Even though this may happen what is great about continuation betting this type of flop is that when you actually connect with it and flop a big hand your opponent is less likely to believe you and pay you off.

3)      Q46 all diamonds (a suited board).

What’s great about continuation betting this flop is that if your rival doesn’t have a diamonds in his hands it’s going to be very tough for them to call. It’s also hard for your opponent to call with a hand like A4 or A6 because he may well be drawing dead or be in very bad shape. Your continuation bet is almost never going to get raised here as well because opponents will not like to build the pot in this hand unless they have the ace of diamonds or another strong hand such as two pair or a set because a three bet by you would put them in a really bad spot. If you have a spade in your hand a continuation bet is even more appealing because if they call you have to the chance to outdraw them, just beware that in some instances they may hold a higher spade so never commit too much on a board like this unless you have a really good draw or the nuts.

4)      QAx – two high Broadway cards.

This isn’t a great flop to continuation bet, it’s quite a good flop for your opponent’s pre-flop range to connect with such as AJ KQ QJ and even though you’ve put in a raise before the flop you are probably going to come up against a lot of calls and a lot of raises on a flop like this. That being said it is still a flop you should continuation bet just one that you should do so less frequently. This is because even though your continuation bet will come across some return action sometimes, it will still fold out quite a lot of your opponents speculative suited connector hands. It will also fold out a lot of pocket pairs that your opponent can simply not continue with because it is credible that you could have a very strong hand such as AK and AQ because of your pre-flop raise.

5)        735 – Three low value cards.

Three low value cards will normally mean that the board is somewhat coordinated in some way with a straight draw. This board will in general hit the pre flop caller more instead of the pre-flop raiser which means its best to continuation bet this board much less frequently to gain respect from your opponent. Your opponent is also much more likely to float you with two over cards on this board which means you could lose this hand quite a few times on the turn and you are very unlikely to fold out any of his pocket pairs that he may have called pre-flop with.

6)      10sJsQd – High coordinated connected board.

This is the worst hand you can continuation bet on if you don’t have a piece of it. It connects with your opponents hand range very well and if they don’t have a made hand on this flop they are likely to have at least a draw they can float against you and take the hand away from you on the turn. I would stay well clear of continuation betting this kind of flop.

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