What is a continuation-bet (c-bet)?

A continuation-bet, also called c-bet, merely is a consecutive bet made after betting in the previous betting round last.

You can only c-bet being the aggressor of the prior betting-round per definition.

Reload Symbol

three reasons to continuation-bet or bet in general in poker

When betting in Poker, not only c-betting, you want to make sure you can back it up with logical reasoning. If you can’t verbaly define why you bet, then don’t bet. You don’t want to end up betting randomly, not knowing why. Always try to categorise your c-bet or any bet in Poker into one of these three categories.

Value

You want your opponent to call a hand you beat.

bluff

You want your your opponent to fold a better hand.

deny equity​

You don’t want your opponent to see a free card.

When trying to play Poker strategically correct, you need to concern yourself about how often you c-bet with what type of hands.

If you bluff too often with weak hands, your opponent has an easy game just calling with medium-strong hands all day. You want to avoid bluffing too much, but you also want to avoid bluffing too little.

If you bluff too little, your opponent has easy decisions with all his medium-strong hands. He will fold those as you don’t seem to deceive him ever.

If you rarely value-bet light your opponent can fold all his medium-strong hands and this will result in you not getting paid off.

If you value-bet too light you might put yourself in a negative freeroll – Only better hands will call you. Or your opponent can check-raise you light for value/bluff.

Some actionable c-bet strategy | our C-bet cheat-sheet

I am not going to play around, instead, I will  just show you the results I got from working on optimal continuation-bet frequencys with Piosolver (Pio). This is going to be advanced Poker strategy and requires your full attention and receptiveness.

The results you will see are Game-theoretical-optimal c-bet frequencies illustrated in images.

c-bet-cheat-sheet

PioSOLVER is a very fast GTO solver for Holdem. It handles postflop spots with arbitrary starting ranges, stack sizes, bet sizes as well as desired accuracy. It's the first in a new generation of tools moving poker from a game based mainly on intuition to a game based on analysis and math.

Piosolver.com

C-betting from the button

Let us first focus on how to c-bet from the button. The most frequent chance to continuation-bet in Poker comes when you are playing from the button given that your range is the widest in that position. The most common spots you are in and potentially misplay are spots that we need to put a focus on improving. Hence, we will slowly work from how to c-bet on the button in position all the way down to how to c-bet from under the gun often out of position.

Our preffered c-bet sizings on all flops
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our preffered c-bet sizings on all turns
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our preffered c-bet sizings on all rivers
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All of the above c-bet sizes are Piosolver’s most liked sizings

The Spot:  10/20 blinds. 50bb deep. You open-raise to 2bb from the button and the bb calls. The pot is 90 chips.

Each image below shows information on when to c-bet with which size. Green hands are checks, and red hands are suggested c-bets.

 

Flop

C-bet range

8s-6s-5h flop

8s-6s-5h

I bet you currently make the mistake to bet all your overpairs there as you default “strategy”. Well, I used to do the same but working with Piosolver has greatly helped me to build ranges that are more protected and put me in less trouble on later streets.

Many many players just c-bet way too many hands not thinking about why, but this is very exploitable. You have so many combinations there that you potentially c-bet that can’t withstand the pressure of a check-raise but are very likely ahead of the opponents check-raise hand. You need to protect your range and equity by not c-betting hands that you aren’t supposed to.

You should preferably continuation-bet hands that have back-door-flush or straight possibilities and don’t have much showdown value. If you bet AdQd here all the time, you turn a hand that has good equity into a complete bluff that has zero % equity when you get check-raised as you can’t call.

If you bet all your made-hands here, your flop-check-back-range is vulnerable towards probe-bets on the turn.

You are not even supposed to c-bet bottom two-pair with a 100% frequency. You should check them mostly (40% c-bet frequency with 65s).

Why? There are two factors in play that influence how you play your strong but vulnerable hands such as 65 or 86 if you want to build your range properly. The first advantage of checking them is that you strengthen your flop check-back-range and consequently are more protected against probe-bets on the turn.

Second, your hand might have good equity against very weak hands but given that there are so many monster-draws possible, and also made-hands, your equity won’t look good if your opponent answers with a check-raise. Also, on many turns, you will witness a huge equity-shift given that there are so many cards that improve your opponent’s equity and worsens yours. Let us head over to the turn and see how you are supposed to continue on the turn after c-betting the flop.

turn

C-bet range

6d turn

8h-6h-5s-6d

You need to know that on this turn, the 6 of diamonds, your opponent is supposed to donk-bet a huge part of his range to play game-theoretical-optimal. So if you play an excellent player, which you rarely do, you won’t often have the opportunity to c-bet. This is because you don’t bet many 6x on the flop and hence the turn favours your opponent’s range and not yours. However, sometimes you get to c-bet, and if you have the opportunity, you should continue betting polarised and check alot.

You  can see in the image that Pio’s preferred bet-size is 73% except for two hands, T6 and 96. Why? Because you don’t beat many of your opponent’s 6x and don’t need to protect your range. The problem is that you check most of 6x on the flop, but Piosolver doesn’t think of that. It always gives you “isolated” suggested hand-range for each street (flop/turn/river).

So what should i continue c-bet here? Strong hands  that need a little protection like JJ, TT or top-pairs. And for bluff, you should bet hands that could represent the flush on spade-rivers and don’t have too much showdown-value Js9d, QsTh etc. You should continue betting all your mega-strong hands, full-houses, straights and so on. In summary you don’t want to bluff much on a turn like this, and if you bluff, you should bluff with big bet-sizes because your c-bet range is so narrow.

another Flop

C-bet range

Th-9s-2d

Pio’s most suggested c-bet size is 48% of the pot in this spot. You can see that you should c-bet about 70% of your range on this flop, and that with mixed sizings. The programme suggests to value-bet with a 138% pot-size bet with strong hands that are vulnerable like AA, QQ, JJ, AT, partly KT and bluff with with the same size some very weak draws like gut-shots with the back-door flush draw. You shouldn’t always bet those hands with the same size. The programme wants you to use different sizing to have better range-protection.

Range Construction

We can see that although Piosolver doesn't have a brain, the advised c-bet sizes and hands to c-bet with make a lot of sense. It is brilliant to bet your vulnerable but strong hands with very large sizings and balance it with your worst draws and back-door draws. Like that, you ultimately ask your opponent to fold some hands that beat your draws but would have called against your small size.

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