Saturday, January 12, 2013

The C-Bet Follies

The continuation bet (or C-Bet) might be the most debated type of bet there is in tournament poker.  The beginning poker player quickly learns the “standard” C-Bet move:   if you’re the original raiser before the flop, and it’s checked around to you after the flop, you’re supposed to make a bet.  And that’s where the debate begins…
  • Do you bet every time?
  • How much do you bet?
  • Do you bet the same amount every time?
  • Do you bet the same if you hit the flop vs. not hitting it?
  • Do you bet at all if you miss the flop?
  • What if someone else bets first…do you raise, call, fold…does it depend on your holding?  Other factors?
And yes, there are some who C-Bet every time, no matter what.  Just like I never say never, I never say always, but I USUALLY follow through on a C-Bet.  You should, usually, too, and here’s why:  Your initial raise is makes the statement, “I believe I have the best hand.” 
  • Your C-Bet says, “I believe I still do.”
  • If you don’t bet, you say the opposite.
  • If you bet and your opponent raises, THEN you can concede that you might not have the best hand.  Or you can re-raise to insist that you do.
Of course, you know what your action is going to be before you even make your C-Bet, and it’s all dependent on your position, how well you know your opponent, etc.  All the usual stuff.  I do have a couple of standard always/never plays:
  • If I am up against a weak player, or a player who has fewer chips than I, and I miss the flop, I will always make my C-Bet unless I hit a monster (trips, straight, nut flush), in which case I check, planning to make a bet on the turn.  Weak players don’t think about the monster, but whether they can take the hand away from you, and, if they have something by the turn, they’ll bet for you.  I have no idea why this is, but it’s been my experience that this happens.
  • If there is someone yet to play behind me (in other words, I made my initial raise and I was not last to act), I will C-Bet only if the flop fits.  I just have a thing about being squeezed is all (yes, it’s a leak).
As for how much to bet – this has been well discussed elsewhere.  It used to be that a pot-sized bet was “standard” and nowadays something less than that is the play, like one-half to two-thirds of the pot.  Frankly, I feel as if ANY bet is going to do the job (make your opponent fold), keep the C-Bet a reasonable size (smaller is better).

Remember, in our previous post we called betting an “investment” and you must always remember that you’re trying to increase your stack by taking chips from your opponents.  You do so by investing some of your chips to get more back.  Use them wisely, and make certain you get the most out of your investment.

And that’s what we will discuss next time…more bang for your buck.

1 comment:

  1. So what about when you're on the button and make your Cbet and there might be 4 or 5 others to play? If you don't have a hand someone might call because somebody has to have something and unless you have bullets or a big hand you're vunerable. Why would you waste a bet here, or would it be better to go all in and bluff them off the pot?