It might take a lot of time and effort to learn the game of poker because the strategy is complicated. But, there are several plays that you’ll pick up and use practically as soon as you understand the game’s fundamentals, including continuation bet or c-bet.
Because your opponent will typically miss the flop, they won’t be able to continue based only on their hand strength, so they utilize the continuation bets.
In a nutshell, this means that you will frequently encounter flop c-bets. So, it is crucial to establish a strong approach for playing versus continuation bets both in and out of position at the poker table.
Building Your Flop Ranges
If your opponents have the initiative, you should expect them to gamble a lot of flops against you. They won’t typically have a strong hand when they do it. With that information, you may develop your strategy for opposing a c-bet.
Unsurprisingly, your pre-flop hand selection directly impacts your ability to play versus flop continuation bets in a poker game.
You’ll be building your flop ranges against c-bets based on the possible holdings that both you and your opponents have. Also, you shouldn’t have any poor hands because these are the hands you don’t want to bring to the flop.
It’s essential to seek favorable spots when playing against c-bets. But that doesn’t mean it’s simply when you flop a pair. It should go without saying that you will always be looking to continue if you connect with the board by flopping the top or middle pair. Yet, if you don’t find more chances to continue competing for pots, you’ll fold too frequently to continuation bets.
Of course, playing in position versus out of position has specific differences. Fighting off c-bets out of position is more complex since it occurs more frequently when you are protecting your big blind and have to take on an in position opponent who is taking the initiative.
Playing vs. C-Bets In Position and Out of Position
Adjust Ranges Depending on Opponents
Although establishing default ranges you wish to play against a c-bet is a smart place to start, you should also know individual players’ preferences. This data can be beneficial because not everyone has a balanced continuation betting range.
When playing against weak players, you may afford to call the flop with more hands because they frequently allow you to win a hand later on if they were continuation betting with air.
When you are in position, this is even more true. More significant than the pre-flop initiative is your control over the hand when you are in position. You can continue playing almost all hands with two overcards and hands with a good chance of a backdoor if you’re up against a normal-sized c-bet. When playing against casual players, remember that you frequently have the opportunity to win the pot when they check on the turn.
Check-Call From the Big Blinds With a Variety of Hands
When you play poker flat from the big blind, you’re more likely to be on the receiving end of a c-bet than you are to be the aggressor, so it’s critical to avoid typical blunders in that position.
In that situation, the first thing to do is call the flop with various hands. You should proceed with any equity you have, including all pairings, any form of a backdoor draw, all logical draws, etc.
Since you typically get the best odds to defend with a wide range of hands, you can’t afford to check-fold whenever you lose because you would be greatly overfolding. Any smart opponent will notice and c-bet persistently against you if you do that.
Naturally, there are some flops where you won’t have much control and will have to fold in the face of a c-bet, but in general, having a high Stack-to-Pot Ratio allows you to play more hands.
It is important to note that you should play a significant portion of your flop range in a check-call fashion for a few reasons. First, if your hand isn’t superior, there’s no reason to bloat the pot out of position. Larger pots make it more challenging to play, especially when you’re up against an opponent who will use every chance to exert as much pressure as possible on you.
Second, raising doesn’t accomplish much with your large hands. Check-raising their c-bet gives them an easy way out because your opponents typically start their attacks with pure air. You may keep them wondering and allow them to make additional mistakes later in the hand by check-calling with the majority of your holdings.
Fold When Necessary
Hands with little equity and are unlikely to get better are those you should be folding.
For instance, if you raise from the button and call from the big blind with Jc7c and then flop shows Ah5h4s, the hand has no draw, showdown value, and whatever pairs you form wouldn’t be a top pair, and you may have to make difficult choices on the turns. You should immediately fold if your opponent had c-bet in this situation.
Consider Hand Ranges and Board Texture
You should consider how ranges and board textures interact with one another in position and out of position. If you’re up against a continuation bet, you must assess the likelihood that your opponent has a made hand.
For example, you should raise less frequently if the board greatly favors your opponent’s range. On the other hand, if the board is excellent for your range, you can raise it more frequently.
Ultimately, understanding the concepts of position and range is one of many poker skills you need to learn. Knowing how to leverage your position with your opponent’s c-betting tendencies is a great way to gain an edge. From check-calling from the big blinds with various hands, folding when necessary, and considering hand ranges and board textures – these strategies can help you become a better player overall.