Understanding Continuation Bets
Once an extremely common strategic principle, the continuation bet still has plenty of relevance in games today. The difference now is that players are more accustomed to defending against them. The continuation bet is simply the bet put out during the second round of betting by any player who made the final raise on the first betting round. Sticking with a Holdem example, imagine you raise pre flop, are re raised, and you call with AQ. You will often miss the flop, and so how do you respond when the player who re raised you pre flop then bets the flop?
How to Resist by Calling
Just because you have missed the flop that doesn’t mean you have to fold. If you call on a flop of 25J when you hold AQ, your opponent has a difficult choice if he holds a hand like A10 or 77. If they check the turn card you can bet out and possibly get folds from marginal pairs, or AK. If your opponent bets again you may have the best hand if a queen or ace falls. Or it may be a card which puts a potential flush on board, which you could bluff raise. You have a lot more options available when your cards aren’t in the muck.
Other Viable Choices
The texture of the board is an important consideration whichever option you take. For instance, a rainbow flop of 2K6 is good for your opponent to continuation bet. The reason being, that if you don’t have a set or top pair its difficult to call. When you’ve called a raise pre flop it’s unlikely for you to have two pair on a board like this. Your best response is sometimes just to accept it’s a good flop for your opponent, and fold.
If you have a hand like Qh10h on a board of 3h8c9d you have a better spot to raise a continuation bet. If you did so and a second heart hits the turn you have a lot of equity with which to semi bluff. Also a jack gives you the nut straight and a queen or ten would be promising too.