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SPS PODCAST

Train to Make More River Continuation Bets (Cbets)

BY

Sky Matsuhashi

on April 24, 2024

The river can be a tough street to continuation bet (cbet). Train with these strategies to find more profitable value and bluff cbets.

Watch the YouTube video and follow along in PokerTracker 4 to begin your training:

 

Listen to the podcast #486 as you follow along below:

Train to Make More River Cbets

How often do you cbet the flop/turn/river, and what are your win rates on each street?

  • Gradual drop (70-60-45) = “good”
  • Huge drop (70-60-30) = “bad”

If you cbet the river <33% of the time, you must train yourself to find more profitable river value and cbets.

 

Find Value Cbets

River Value Cbetting Strategy:

Value cbet if you can name hands in their range that can call and give you value.

Use this question to help you: “What can call and give us value?”

Use this 3-part PokerTracker 4 filter to find possible missed-value cbet opportunities:

  1. River Cbet Opportunity
  2. Checked
  3. Won hand

*Save this as a Quick Filter: “Cbet River Opportunity + Check & Won”

Review all of these hands. Range your opponents each time and practice naming their value-giving hands.

 

Example: Ah2s on the BTN

Flop: As Qs 3h

We flop top pair weak kicker and he checks to us. We decide to cbet 1/2 pot for value.

What can call and give us value?

Qx hands, flush draws like Ks8s, gutshot draws like KJ, underpairs for 1 street that don't want to fold just yet.

 

Turn: 9d

The 9d doesn't complete any draws and if he wasn't scared with the Ace and the Queen, this isn't a scare card either. So, it's a good time to barrel cbet for value, and we go 1/2 pot again.

What can call and give us value?

Qx hands, flush draws, gutshot draws like KJ, and even JT just improved to an open-ender. Maybe even a pair of 9’s if he's a particularly sticky player.

 

River: Jh

The river Jh completes a straight and it improves some prior 1 pair hands into 2 pair hands. However, the flush draw didn't get there and some of his straight draws just hit a pair. I think this is a good time to bet for value. Let's continue with the same bet size of ½ pot to get him to call one more time with all those weaker hands and hopefully he doesn't believe we have an Ace. 

What can call and give us value?

Qx hands, Jx hands, maybe even 9x. And, in case he has an Ace, we chop with a lot of them, namely A2, A4-A8

Ultimately, we decide to check and he shows Ks8s for a busted flush draw. He wouldn't have given us value, but against his river range, this still would've been a profitable river cbet.

 

Find Bluff Cbets

River Bluff Cbetting Strategy:

Bluff cbet if you can name lots of hands in their range that can find the FOLD button..

Use this question to help you: “What hands can find the fold?”

Use this 3-part PokerTracker 4 filter to find possible missed-bluff cbet opportunities:

  1. River Cbet Opportunity
  2. Checked
  3. Lost hand

*Save this as a Quick Filter: “Cbet River Opportunity + Check & Lost”

Review all of these hands. Range your opponents each time and practice naming their folding hands.

 

Example: KsJh on the BTN

Flop: 5s 6h 3h

On that small-card flop, our opponent has a lot of overcard hands that can easily fold. So, we should bluff cbet most of the time.

What hands can find the fold?

A-high down through T-high without a strong heart (and we block some good heart draws with our Jh).  We also hold the Ks, blocking some strong overcard + back door flush draws that could call.

 

Turn: Ac

The turn Ace is a great card to bluff on. We have all AX in our range, and the club didn't improve any draws. When he checks to us, we barrel bluff and ask ourselves, “What  size would I bet if I just now hit the ace?” I would size my bet a little bit bigger now for value, so let's make it roughly 2/3 pot.

What hands can find the fold?

All of the K-high through T-high without a draw. And now that the Ace is there, most flopped pairs can fold like a random 6, 5 or 3. Also, any drawing hands that stuck around on the flop can now fold without improvement and facing a larger size.

 

River: Qc

We have the best non-paired hand, but we want to get any weak pairs to fold. It's time for a triple-barrel cbet bluff! Let's ask ourselves, “What would I bet on this river for value with an Ace or better?” Repeating a 2/3 pot bet here sends the message we've got the goods, so going ~12bb in the 18.8bb pot should work. 

What hands can find the fold?

Weak pairs 99, 88, 77, 6x, 44, 5x, 3x and 22.

However, we checked instead and he shows Js6c and takes it down. Most players can find a fold with third pair after facing a large triple-barrel, so we missed out on a great river cbet bluff. 

 

Take Action

2 Study sessions followed by Play sessions:

  1. Spend 1 hour reviewing possible missed river value cbets. Then, play 1+ hours with a value betting focus.
  2. Spend 1 hour reviewing possible missed river bluff cbets. Then, play 1+ hours with a bluff betting focus.

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Sky Matsuhashi

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