Pre-raise followed by a bet on the flop after your opponent checks: One of the most common actions in poker is the c-bet or continuation bet.
It’s an open book for many, but for the US professional and coach Faraz Jaka, mastering its mechanisms and logic allows you to steadily increase your lead over your opponents.
“If you spend some time figuring out when to use a big cbet. If you have a check back range or bet the entire range, you will reap some of the rewards that will give you an edge. But it’s also worth noting that if you don’t understand which hands to bet big and which hands to check afterwards, your ranges will get muddled on later streets, and it’ll also make it harder for you to range your opponent. .
On the columns of the US portal CardPlayer ‘The Toilet’ he explained how the frequencies of cbet against the big blind change due to the different textures that can be placed on the flop.
“If the flop is a ten through an ace, he consistently favors the aggressor preflop since he will be ahead in the range. Conversely, the more cards from 4 to 8 are on the board, the more the big blind has the range advantage.”
1 – Set the entire area
Jaka first explains when the preflop aggressor should always cbet.
“The aggressor can bet 100% of the time after the big blind is checked if the flop is an ace or if a T through K comes with the other two cards on the flop not being connected 4 through 8.
(Examples of flops you can cbet the entire range on: A-9-4, AT-7, K-7-S, Q-8-3, T-9-4).
On boards like this you don’t even have to think about what you have to do: just bet and save the mental energy for more complex spots.”
2. Bet often (66% cbet frequency)
Then there are some boards where the cbet is mixed with the check behind.
“On all boards that have a card from T to K where the other two cards are connected and contained from 4 to 8.
The reason we start checking on these boards is because the big blind has a lot of connections and can hit draws, two pair, or generally many pair. When introducing a check range on these boards, you need to understand which hands to check and which to bet.
In general, you should always bet your best top pair and maybe check behind those with the worst kickers. For example, you can KT on a K-6-5 board and check behind some K9s and K8s. Sometimes I see someone checking behind hands like KJ ‘for balance’, but for me that’s a big mistake because KJ can take two or three valuable streets on this board and get called by the king with a worse kicker.
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With second pair and low pairs, you start checking. I’d better use the second pair with the better kicker to check the others. With bottom pair, it’s generally always check. For pairs between top pair and middle pair, you can mix checks and bets.
In general, the more protection your point needs, the more often you need to cbet. For example, on a K-6-5 flop I would rather bet 77/88/99 and check after TT/JJ/QQ.”
3. Check frequently (at least 50% of the time)
Finally, Jaka examines the flops, which require checking very often.
“The three cards on the flop are all 4 through 8, or a paired flop of 4-4-x through 8-8-x has come.
Examples: 8-7-6, 8-5-4, 4-6-8, Q-7-7, J-6-6…
These boards hit the big blind range so well that we’re checking back with a lot of hands. The big blind on a board like this can have so many pairs of twos, runs or trips that we don’t stock.
When betting on these boards we will be very polarized so that we can size a big c-bet, except for paired boards: on these we always want to use a small c-bet, between 25% and 33% of the pot, while a large cbet size is between 60% and 75% of the pot.
On board 8-5-4 I think I go like this:
A. Check: AA KK QQ AK AQ KQ, Q8s through A8s, sets, 5-x, 4-x
B. Insert: 99, TT, JJ, Q9s, QTs, JTs, K9s, K7s, A9 when shuffling with K8.
I look behind my overpairs that need less protection. When the action checks to check the flop and a queen comes on the turn, your hands like 99-JJ suffer, as opposed to hands like AA and KK, which have fewer turns to worry about.
Also notice how I check behind sets on this board. I often see people slowplay sets on boards where they should bet the full range or boards where they should bet often.
In reality, the sets that should be slowplayed are only on the boards that require a high check frequency. The reason is obvious: when you check these boards, it’s obvious that you often have hands like AK, KQ, etc. So you need to bring even stronger hands into the check range. If you don’t, after you check behind the flop, your more prepared opponents will bet on the turn and hit big on the river, putting you in a tight spot.”