Understanding Continuation Betting
A common occurrence in poker is that a player will be dealt a reasonable starting hand and raise, hoping to hit the flop, and gets called by his opponent. it is often the case that the player misses the flop and checks, his opponent bets and then the player folds.
A tactic that is adopted by many more experience poker players is to take the initiative when it comes to the betting, even when the flop comes down with nothing to help you. This is known as continuation betting and is often successful in winning a hand you may otherwise have given up on.
The continuation bet is successful because of the pressure it puts on your opponent. If they have also missed the flop, (remember, most hands do not hit the flop) they have to call or re-raise while holding a weak hand, and that is difficult do, particularly as they have already called the raise in the previous round of betting.
To use this tactic effectively you must be aware of the types of player on the table. If you have somebody who is prepared to call everything and will never fold, then you are best to simply check and hope that the turn and river cards are good to you. Also you may have an experienced player at your table who may spot a continuation bet and is not afraid to re-raise you, in this instance swallow your pride and except defeat.
You may be thinking that a continuation bet is no different from a bluff. The difference is that a continuation bet is a positive play by somebody who is trying to maintain the upper hand or to stop the opponent getting a free card. It can be a tester bet to see if you can determine what your opponent is holding.
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