It’s often said that poker is a mind sport rather than a game of cards. Unlike casino table games such as craps, blackjack and roulette, you don’t visit the best online poker sites to bet against the house. Instead, you play to make money from other players through superior poker strategy — and betting plays a central role.
When you play online poker, it’s essential to know when to bet and when to hold off. One of the most important decisions for beginner players to understand is the continuation bet, or c-bet as it’s often called. When done right, a c-bet can get your opponents to fold and forfeit the pot. Done wrong, it can telegraph your hand to your opponents, losing you money over time. Take a closer look at the c-bet situation as it applies to poker games online.
What Is a Continuation Bet in Poker?
Under Texas hold’em poker rules, the c-bet poker definition is that of a bet made by the last player to make an aggressive action, such as opening or raising on the previous street (flop or turn). It can be when a player bets first on the flop after making the final raise before the flop. It’s also a c-bet when nobody raises on the flop, and the same player bets first on the turn and the river.
Here’s an example. Suppose you’re playing poker online. An opponent folds, and it’s your turn to act. You make an open raise, and both blinds call. As a result, your raise is the last aggressive action. On the flop, your opponents check. Then you bet again, no matter whether your hand connects with the board or not. This continued act of aggression is a c-bet.
What’s the Idea Behind Continuation Bets?
A c-bet gives you the initiative against your opponents. By acting aggressively before the flop, you’re telling them that you have a strong hand, so they’ll normally check to see what you’re going to do next. Betting again postflop is a good way to take the pot when none of your opponents has a good hand. It makes no difference if your hand doesn’t connect at all. A c-bet will also put pressure on marginal hands. If you have a monster hand or a quality draw, you can use c-bets to build the pot so you can go in big on the river.
Should I C-Bet Every Time in Online Poker?
When to continuation-bet? Is it something you should do every time in poker? Well, as powerful as continuation betting can be in poker games online, there are situations when it’s not a good idea. It’s always important to take your opponents into account. Say you’re playing against someone who simply never folds. Trying to bluff a player like that with a c-bet is a poor strategy. It’d be much better to build strong hands and make your bets in terms of value. So, when it comes to a continuation bet, poker players must use their deduction skills to decide whether it’s going to be worth it or not. Like all betting variations in poker, it shouldn’t be on the cards every time.
Also, be wary of making c-bets with marginal hands against aggressive opponents. The risk is that they’ll raise frequently and call your bluff.
Another thing: Don’t be too predictable. If opponents know that you’re going to c-bet every time you raise before the flop, they’ll lose respect for your c-bets. You don’t want to be the end of a re-raise or check-raise from an opponent who sees through you.
What Are Important C-Bet Factors To Consider?
There are a few factors that will greatly influence whether or not your c-bet is successful.
1. Number of Players in the Pot
The fewer players there are, the greater the chances that your c-bet will succeed. Conversely, the more opponents you have, the greater the chance that they’re connected with the flop. It’s often recommended to restrict continuation bets to when you’re facing two opponents at most. Some even say that you should only c-bet when you’re playing heads up.
If you’re the last player to act, you get to observe your opponent act first so you can decide whether a c-bet will work out or not. If you’re holding nothing and a tricky player check-raises you, just fold and save your chips.
3. Board Texture
If the texture of the board is wet (in other words, it offers many draws), it’s probably better to check than bet.
How Do C-Bets Fit Into Online Poker Tournaments?
C-bets are all about fighting for the pot. Since pots tend to be smaller in the early stage of online poker tournaments, you’ll benefit more from c-bets if you make them later on. It’s only when the blinds start to get really high that it’s worth fighting for the pot. As a tournament approaches the final stages, players tend to shove or fold. At that point, it’s a good online poker tournament strategy to reduce your exposure to risk by placing smaller c-bets than usual. If your opponent doesn’t fold to a relatively small bet, chances are they won’t fold to a bigger one, either.
The Possible Outcomes of C-Bets
There are three possible outcomes when you use c-bets in a poker game.
1. Opponent Folds
You successfully get your opponents to fold.
2. Opponent Calls Your Raise
This outcome lets you know they have hit something on the flop. This allows you to react accordingly, although it’s important to remember that it’s not a high possibility that they hit something big on the flop.
3. Opponent Raises Your C-Bet
Fold your weak hands and only stay in the game if you have caught something on the flop. Follow through if you’ve lined up a full house, of course.
Continue Your Poker Education at Borgata Online
Whether it’s c-bets, value bets, or learning how to play rag aces in poker, practice is the only way to raise your game. If you play online poker in the U.S., you’ll get all the practice you need when you register at Borgata Online.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran of the felt, you’ll find like-minded players in the growing online poker community. Play cash games and Sit & Go’s or take part in daily online poker tournaments. Texas hold’em, Omaha, stud, limit, no-limit — nothing is off limits! For alternative diversions, you’re welcome to explore the broad selection of premium jackpot slots, variety games, and table games in the online casino.