You might have heard the term CBet before in poker, but are unsure as to what it means exactly. A CBet isn’t a poker rule, but it is a common strategy. Well a CBet stands for continuation bet which is when you bet on the flop after you had raised preflop, hence — the continuation. You are simply following up your own bet, with another bet. This is usually done to represent a strong hand.
CBetting is one of the most common types of betting strategies because you are often doing this in position and you earn more value long term while controlling the hand, your opponent, and the pot size. A typical CBet is 1/2 to 2/3 size of the pot. CBets have a rather high success rate, especially against a single opponent. So let’s look at a typical CBet situation.
With the blinds at 10/20 in the early stages everyone has folded to you and from middle-late position in a single table sit and go, you decide to open-raise your KTos. So you make it 60 chips to go. Everyone, including the small blinds folds to your obvious power hand, except the big blind who calls, adding another 40, to make the pot 130 chips in total. Here comes the flop which has flush and straight chemistry. Your opponent who acts first decides to check to you. Now because of the board having a few draws out there you decide to bet 2/3 pot which is about 85 chips, making the pot now 215. That bet, is a text book continuation bet.
Now lets turn that play around and instead of your opponent checking, he actually led out with a bet of 85. That is not a continuation bet, as he was the one who called your bet preflop. It also negates you from making a cbet, although you always have the option of calling or re-raising. Given the early stages of this sit and go tournament and your small investment in the pot here, I would probably fold the KT rather than call or bluff here.
A C-Bet is a rather standard play against a single opponent, because if you represent strength before the flop, then you can reasonably do the same after the flop. However, against multiple opponents a Cbet is lot more risky and is apt to fail more often. For instance, if there were 3 callers preflop on this hand you stand a rather slim chance in taking this pot down on the flop, especially when it you are just betting king high.
Here are some tips for keeping your CBets profitable. Know what type of player called your preflop bet. Make your CBets smaller if you want to risk less or you happen to flop a huge hand. Also, look to get value from your hand by building the pot in smaller increments against loose aggressive opponents. These are players who are most likely to re-raise you when you have a strong hand.
To learn more about c-betting, watch how other players do it, even when you aren’t in the hand. By paying attention to more experienced poker players you get much more familiar with the game and will develop a keen understanding of the rules of poker.