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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Small Stakes

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MYNAMEIZGREG
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/08/05
Posts: 2022
Loc: LeggoPoker
Continuation Betting - Part One
      #7466349 - 09/28/06 07:31 PM

I promised and therefore I delivered. I'll be around to answer questions for a little however.

Continuation Betting

In this article, I will attempt to discuss the intricacies of continuation betting. For organization purposes, I will split continuation betting into categories of: heads up on the flop, 3way, and 4+ players. So, let’s hit it up.

Heads up. I like to call it, “Find a flop for me not to continuation bet.” As a default, if you have a shot of winning the hand, or getting a piece, bet out. Yes, that means betting out AA on an A63 rainbow, and yes that means betting KJc on an AhTh3s board. You do, after all, have 3 outs to the nuts. You hold 65s on a 8c9c2s? Monster backdoor draws. Bet out. Of course, you can bet your draws as well, and bet your made hands as well. The only thing I will say about a specific situation in this paragraph is a quick synopsis of a monotone flop. Flop comes 9JKs, and you have 65h. Ok, you can give up. Just be sure to balance by betting out here, and sometimes firing out two barrels if you think you’ll be called by something like a ten, or Qs9x, etc. Now, these quick examples are merely defaults; you’ve just sat at a table vs a table of unknowns. But alas, poker is rarely an unknown in an unknown situation, so I guess we need a strategy for those situations too….

There are a few stats I care about. Honestly, as I moved up through the ranks, stats become less important, and dynamics becomes weighted more. However, there are a few numbers considered when continuation betting. Those numbers are: call continuation bet %, raise continuation bet %, and fold continuation bet %. I will discuss the types of players that fall into various categories based on their stats. *NOTE* Do not depend on these stats as the be all end all. Poker players may play in different moods on different days, or hate you because you just rocked them on some other table, or want to have a dick measuring contest with you because their girlfriend just broke up with them because they lost that contest with her. But, over a bunch of hands, you will have reliable stats. Once you observe your opponent and he seems to be in synch with his normal game play, they work well. Of course, if he is playing differently today, disregard the stats and go with how he is playing today.

Heads up vs the weak-tight-OMFG-he-must-have-flopped-the-nuts-to-bet-at-that-flop. This is the guy who folds to continuation bets 70-80%+ of the time. Fire away. If he starts to call you thin (b/c you check through the turn and river and he shows down MP on the flop), start firing the turn and river more often. Without getting more into further streets, this is a good guy to represent scare cards on the turn with. When he raises or calls, proceed with caution. Until you know he has adjusted his game by calling thin/semibluff or bluff raising the flop, try to get to showdown and figure out what the hell this guy is doing.

The normal player. This is your average tag, or average player who generally calls or raises with a hand, but will sometimes call you down thin, or sometimes bluff raise you. For this player, I resort to the bet if I can win strategy outlined in the opening paragraph. If I have some gutshot, or backdoor draw, bet it. Note that this player has NOT started playing back at you.
The annoying ass “LOL I have two cards I call” player. This is the guys who calls around 50% of the time or greater. Sometimes, you’re going to have to concede some pots to him on the flop by check/folding. Of course, this will set you up for a check/raise on the flop with a real hand or bluff, so eventually he doesn’t always bet this flop when checked to, or fire the turn 100% if he is OOP. Now, let’s assume you are OOP and get called. You will have to start firing out at a few turns here. Essentially, this guy is going to win some money from you at the beginning, until you figure out what exactly he is doing. But, once you make that note that he called your two street bluff with 63 on a 68JK board, the game is essentially over. The strategy against these people depends on what subset they are.
The a) station is easily dealt with by value betting him to death. That means three streets with TPTK or TPGK, or a set, two pair, when your draws hits. He is the calling station, so you are losing a LOT of value by check/calling to see if he bets his busted draw when you are sitting there with aces on a Q high board. Remember, HE’LL talk himself into a call, and you can represent having a busted draw there too. Don’t check to these guys if you have a hand.
The more difficult version of these players is the b) floaty type. This is the lag who wants to outplay you. This is the 2p2er who wants to stroke his ego. This is the idiot who has a 33% calling/folding/raising ratio when faced with a continuation bet. However, note that the normal player who just lots a few big pots, or seems generally tilty will also fit into this category. The normal player will also fit into this category after you’ve pounded him with continuation bets the last 30 minutes. The tool for combating these guys is to let them outplay you. Betting the flop and check/raising the turn is a sick move against these guys, whether you have air or a monster (I for one am not really a fan of showing bluffs, but if you decide it is +EV to do so, go for it). Also, these are the guys that might take one off with 88 on a 29Q board, or with a hand like 9T. Start to double barrel these guys. Basically, if they want to outplay you, they are going to have to call down with middle pair for their stack, because we’re gonna be firing at them all day long. Remember, however, that your aggression is going to cause them to make mistakes, while you will turn their aggression into a mistake. You tricky [censored].

Marginal hands are tricky to play. This would be QT on a TK3r flop, or KTs on a AK8 flop. You might be ahead but you might not be. OOP, you still should be betting these hands much of the time because check/calling doesn’t really get you a lot of information, and is generally a weak play. However, while in position, you have the option of checking behind. You are somewhat forced to call the turn if your opponents fires, and evaluate the river depending on the specific situation. Note that checking behind with marginal hands will be balanced by the times you check behind with air, a strong hand, or a monster (slowplaying). I will not get into the specifics of when to bet monsters or not, because it is pretty specific to the opponent, your image, and the table dynamics (ie 15 pages). However, I guess feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer.

The last thing to take into consideration is your image. The board is really drawy, and your image is of betting into every single flop. It might be a good time to check/fold, as that flop hit a lot of hands and your image isn’t that great. Additionally, if you just showed down a bluff or something happened when it looked like you were full of [censored], considering not betting the next flop. Of course, this is a great time to pound the flop if you hit, because your opponent will give you less credit.

The big thing not to forget is the importance of mixing up your play. Check/raise with good and bad hands. Check/call and lead the turn. Continuation bet monsters and air, and marginal hands, but also check behind on the flop with them. When players see you are capable to have a wide range of hands even doing any action (betting, or checking, calling or raising), they are less likely to play back at you, and there actions will define their hands more easily, allowing you to play closer to perfectly.

So, that in a nutshell is continuation betting heads up. Next time we will talk about multiway pots, and how your hand and position affects what you do.


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orangeModerator
Knob


Reged: 09/19/04
Posts: 19438
Loc: University of NE Lincoln/Omaha
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: MYNAMEIZGREG]
      #7466392 - 09/28/06 07:35 PM

nh man.

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craigthedeac
veteran


Reged: 01/22/06
Posts: 1264
Loc: WFU
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: orange]
      #7466448 - 09/28/06 07:40 PM

vn

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Casper05
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 08/06/06
Posts: 4566
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: orange]
      #7466537 - 09/28/06 07:48 PM

good post.

What types of players (I guess what stats) do you find is best to 2nd barrel with? I think a lot of us could do 1 or 2 BB/100 better if we (at least I know Im included in this) were better at picking our spots for 2nd barrels.


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Novles
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 05/05/06
Posts: 2389
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: Casper05]
      #7467023 - 09/28/06 08:33 PM

vn. I use the stats fold to flop bet, fold to turn bet, and fold to river bet. How close would you measure these in relation to the stats you mentioned (fold, call, raise c-bet)? I have a lot of stats on my hud and don't know if I could handle adding those stats in, so I guess I'm asking if you think it would be beneficial to remove these stats and add the ones you mentioned.

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MYNAMEIZGREG
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/08/05
Posts: 2022
Loc: LeggoPoker
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: Casper05]
      #7467089 - 09/28/06 08:40 PM

Quote:

good post.

What types of players (I guess what stats) do you find is best to 2nd barrel with? I think a lot of us could do 1 or 2 BB/100 better if we (at least I know Im included in this) were better at picking our spots for 2nd barrels.




Weak tight players obviously, but a lot of times this decision is made by the texture of the board.

Let's say the board is 79J with 2s. He just calls your continuation bet in position. The turn is the Ks. What can he call you with if you fire again? He needs a big hand. Now let's say he does happen to call you again and you see at the showdown (he is never better the river without a huge hand in this situation) his hand was marginal. Next time, what is he going to do if you fire the third barrel on the river? Call away his stack with JA? He basically can't.

Also, floaty players who are calling you thin are ok to double barrel. However, other than a few standard situations, this is a loaded question full of specific factors.


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MYNAMEIZGREG
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/08/05
Posts: 2022
Loc: LeggoPoker
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: Novles]
      #7467149 - 09/28/06 08:46 PM

Quote:

vn. I use the stats fold to flop bet, fold to turn bet, and fold to river bet. How close would you measure these in relation to the stats you mentioned (fold, call, raise c-bet)? I have a lot of stats on my hud and don't know if I could handle adding those stats in, so I guess I'm asking if you think it would be beneficial to remove these stats and add the ones you mentioned.




The fold to flop bet I disregard when continuation betting because the fold to continuation stat is the relevant one here. However, the fold to turn/river bet are both useful for double and triple barrels as well (also consider these and what the correct play is when you do NOT want your opponent to fold). Just be careful to not rely on stats too much. Against a player that can mix up his game (a lot of times the mood I am in (ie raise flop a lot mood vs float flop, cbet a lot vs not as much) or depending on how you are perceived at the table, these stats may mean next to nothing.

Also, you don't need a million stats on your hud. You can click the name of the player and millions of stats pop up. If you are playing n tables where n is great enough where you do not have time to click on the player's name and look... I cannot help you there.


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Claunchy
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 06/22/05
Posts: 5182
Loc: smart HAG
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: MYNAMEIZGREG]
      #7467489 - 09/28/06 09:21 PM

Very nice post. I like the part about the floaty LAG types the best cause they will typically give me the most trouble.

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justfoldyo
*


Reged: 09/24/06
Posts: 46
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: MYNAMEIZGREG]
      #7467562 - 09/28/06 09:27 PM

great post, but i have a scenario that is happening a lot recently that i cant figure out... let me know what you do to prevent this or what your action is...

i'll have AK and raise it up 3-4x the bb OOP in a sng where the blinds are let's say 100/200. since i made a standard raise pf and didn't just push allin, lets asssume my stack is above avg and is at 4k or so. ok so i get one caller and the flop comes J94rainbow. my opponent will usually check. should i then cbet? whenever i do cbet, it seems he ALWAYS comes over the top... and i fold, or call if my cbet committed me enough... but either way it's no good for me

how do you handle that situation or prevent it? check behind him on the flop?


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PatInTheHat
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/08/05
Posts: 1917
Re: Continuation Betting - Part One [Re: justfoldyo]
      #7467852 - 09/28/06 09:51 PM

Beauty of a post. This is almost exactly how I play my continuation bets now. Where was this post 5 months ago?

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