Monday, July 28, 2008

Continuation betting

Well, got all of 10 minutes of play in, and didnt realy move anywhere, so now's as good a time as any to post my thoughts on continuation betting (cbet). For those who aren't aware a cbet is where you are the preflop raiser, and then if you are the first to enter the pot on the flop, you make another bet to show that your hand is still strong.

Since I play shorthanded I cbet almost all the time even when I clean miss the flop. For example:
  • Flop is heads up = cbet every time in position or out of position (if my opponent bets into me its another story). The rare exception might be if my opponent is a calling station who is not going to fold to my cbet when I have missed the flop and won't raise me off the hand.
  • Flop is 3 ways and either one or both opponents have checked = cbet - unless a) my opponent is tricky and likes to checkraise or b) the board is very scary for my hand. Interestingly if i am in the position of my opponent and am not the preflop raiser and I have hit the flop I will quite often checkraise them.
  • If the flop is multiway, say 4 handed or more and I have completely whiffed the flop I generally won't post a cbet, and will even check behind if I have position and all players have checked to me.

Of course if someone simply calls my cbet and I have whiffed the flop then that can make for a tricky turn. Do I cbet again? Well, reasonably often, yes - because normally the hand will be heads up.

  • If my opponent has a low WTSD%, i'm cbetting the turn every time even with air
  • If i've actually hit my hand i'm cbetting 100% of the time
  • If I have a good draw, I'm cbetting 100% of the time, hoping to either get my opponent to fold or praying that I hit the draw on the river. (of course i'd prefer they fold)
  • If I suspect my opponent is weak in any way, i'm cbetting
  • If the board is very scary, I will give it up on the turn and simply check/fold

If somone reraises my flop cbet, I have to make another decision

  • If I have hit the flop and am actually betting for value, I might simply call the reraise, and then raise them up for value on the turn and river. I may also reraise them if I have a good, but vulnerable hand - eg top pair. I may also reraise if I have a good draw and their are multiple people still in the pot.
  • If I have a draw and the pot odds to chase a draw (unless i've already reraised as above)
  • If I whiffed the flop, I may call the reraise if I have reasonable odds to call - maybe if I hold 2 overs and my opponent is aggressive.
  • Often though i'd just let it go and fold if i've completely whiffed and don't have a viable draw. (particularly if i'm up against a passive opponent who I know if they are betting they have a hand).
  • Same applies if I get reraised on the turn.

If they call my turn cbet and I have air, well that really sux. About the only way i'm winning is if I am holding AK and they have KQ, or if the flop was coordinated such as two suited cards or two cards somewhere near a likely straight (say JT), and no other flush or straight card hit.

I occasionally fire a final cbet here if there is a busted flush or straight draw on the board, however, I may also check and call on that same board. I may also check and fold, depending on the opponent really.

Dunno if I missed anything, but thats basically my thinking process - feel free to critique - its always good to find leaks in my game. A couple posts down you can see some real examples of my cbetting. Let me know if you want me to post any more. Of course they don't always go my way, but when your odds are 3:1 you only need your opponent to fold more than one out of four for it to be profitable.

Over the next few days i'll be looking to find some good bonuses for August. Hopefully one of my sites has a decent reload promo. Let me know if you guys see any!!

Current bankroll: $10,800 (+360 Aug)

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