There are a few factors involved in continuation betting in no-limit Texas Holdem. The main factors to consider are the flop texture, the strength of your hand, the number of opponents and to a lesser extent your stack size. Also the game history has a lot to do with it as well. In this article then we will look at a few examples of when and why it is better to continuation bet. It has been folded to you in the cut-off and you open raise with Jc-10c and the button and both blinds call you. Now with three opponents and with one having position over you then any continuation bet is probably going to have to be based on hand strength more than anything else.
If the flop came Q-10-4 and two players checked to you then I may venture a bet here to try and win the pot straight away using the strength of my pair of tens and also the fact that two players have checked. If this bet gets called then I would possibly check the turn unless the turn card improved my hand. If one of the blinds had bet then the situation becomes far more marginal. In fact if the small blind bet and the big blind raised then I would definitely fold the hand.
The combination of a mediocre hand and a bet coming through me would force me to fold here. Let us look at another example here and you raise from the button with 7c-5c and only the big blind calls you. The flop comes 10d-9d-2c and your opponent checks. You have no hand but your opponent has shown no aggressive intention either pre flop or post flop. However a continuation bet is more fraught with danger in this instance even with just one opponent.
The presence of flush and straight draws and the lack of high cards may mean that your opponent may not believe a continuation bet. This is where game history comes very much into play here. Do not get me wrong, betting out in this instance as a continuation bet is never a bad play. You only have one opponent and they have shown no intention to continue in the hand. That flop has still missed a large part of your opponents range here. Another example could be when the button limps weakly and the small blind completes. You have As-9s in the big blind and try to take the pot down pre-flop and make a pot sized raise and both players call you.
The flop comes Kd-Ks-2c and the small blind checks. In this situation then the flop is unlikely to have hit anyone and your pre-flop raise could have easily been with a king in your hand. So even though there are two opponents and you haven’t connected with the board then you can still find a bet here. There are times when c-betting is pretty straight forward and there are also obvious times when c-betting isn’t profitable as well. The key though is in the marginal situations where you could make a case for c-betting or checking. As always though there is no substitute for experience.