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Poker Strategy: How to c-bet efficiently on the turn?

Author: Pokeradmin

Publish: 2023-11-06 14:20:35

Previously, we discussed basic continuation betting strategies for the flop, and we’ve also examined particular cases when we should avoid c-betting. Today, we’ll move on to the turn in single-raised pots based on the concepts we’ve already learned. Let’s see different viewpoints you might want to consider next time as you get to the fourth street as the preflop aggressor.

The turn card itself

First of all, examine the turn card itself. We may categorize them as good, bad or neutral, depending on the whole situation. Typically, we consider how much it shifted the equities and which player is more likely to hit by the fourth card.

For example, on a {#}Q{#}5{#}2, a blank turn as a {#}7 is perfect for the preflop aggressor. The defender only improved if he made two pairs (which in most cases is reduced or impossible due to tighter preflop ranges) or a set of 7s. At the same time, the opener kept his advantage, such as overpairs and most sets (since the defender should check-raise them with a high frequency).

An example of a terrible card on the turn could be on {#}8{#}7{#}5, a {#}6. A card which drastically shifts the equities, certain strong and nutted hands are pure bluff catchers from now on.

Of course, there are cases when the fourth card is somewhat neutral. Let’s say, after c-betting on {#}T{#}8{#}2, the turn is an {#}A. As it gives a new top-pair possibility, it shifts equities but not so drastically as in the previous example. That’s because both players will have relatively a lot of aces in their ranges. The statement is especially true when there is a small-sized c-bet on the flop.

Your opponent’s range

The second factor we should consider is Villain’s range arriving at the turn. As mentioned above, in most cases, your opponent should check-raise with a pretty high frequency. From 10-12 per cent to even up to the 20s, depending on the flop texture.

!Attention – a common mistake in low-stakes players to under check-raise most spots, even causing an unbalanced, value-heavy range when they do so!

So, when your opponent did not check-raise on the flop, it also means she will lack most strong holdings, such as sets and two-pairs, which should often be part of this range. This also means she will have less of strong holdings when draws get there. As you know, in a balanced range, a wide variety of draws should also be check-raised.

How to size?

What is theoretically optimal could be a good base for your strategy. When comparing the advantage in nutted hands or the range as a whole will determine optimal bet sizes and frequencies.

Usually, when enjoying all the advantages, we would like to put much pressure (and eventually win the most) against Villain’s strongest hands and reasonable bluff catchers. This can lead to such extremities as overbetting on the turn. On the contrary, when a turn card changes a lot, we have to be very selective both in sizing and hand selection—usually sizing down, checking back a lot when the turn card is an absolute nightmare and using a polar range with a relatively big sizing when the card is neutral or somewhat advantageous.

What does your actual hand benefit from

Last but not least, we’ve arrived at the most crucial paragraph. All the theory is nice as a whole, but you’ll play against humans who commit big mistakes, and you should adjust to those.

Consider all the above-discussed factors, and if you notice that Villain differs in any of them, adjust accordingly. One of the best ways is to focus on your actual hand. Simply ask yourself, what would it benefit more?!

Check back for specific reasons! Your opponent throws a lot of check-raises on the turn (either because he is a maniac or likes to slow-play more on the flop and hence has a pretty strong range when arriving at the turn)? Well, if you’d like to avoid that, I strongly recommend checking back your medium-strength hands.

Another reason is that there are no three streets of value in your hand. A good example is a high, top pair with a weak kicker, such as {#}A{#}4 on  {#}A {#}T {#}2 {#}8 .

The other side of this coin is that you will have a more accessible bluff-catching spot on the river (especially when Villain has a wide range with many missed draws, etc.) Let’s keep the same {#}A {#}T {#}2 {#}8 board in a BTN vs. BB spot. As the river card arrives (whatever it is), there will be all kinds of missed draws with little or no showdown value. It is very easy for your opponent to overbluff this spot, having all kinds of broadways, missed gutshots, missed flush draws, etc. So it would be safer with your medium value hands to check back turn for an easy bluffcatch (or, in case checked to you, a straightforward thin valuebet).

Another tricky spot is with your weak draws and air-type hands. What could that actual hand benefit from? Are you going to be able to bluffcatch with your holding? The answer to this part of your range is very likely: not. How do you distinguish which of these hands to continue betting without going overly broad? If the turn card helped your range, you can go on with a wider range. Also, consider if you have overcards, such as {#}Q {#}J on a {#}T {#}8 {#}7 {#}2 board. Not only do you have a gutshot draw, but you might hit a new top pair to win the hand in some of the cases.

BTN vs BB turn c-bet strategy; green – check; red – bet


When you can continue to bet on the turn, there are various features you need to consider. We’ve discussed above that you should assess the turn card itself and which player improved more with it. Besides that, we concluded your opponent’s range as weak since she should do a lot of check-raising on the flop in most cases, resulting in a more condensed bluff catcher and drawing-type range from her side. Again, the fourth card will determine how much pressure you might apply size-wise. Usually, the better the card for you, the bigger you can go. In addition, we listed various cases when you should consider what your actual hand benefits from, such as two or three streets of value, easier bluffcatch on the river when checking back medium strength hands, weak draws with zero showdown value, etc.

Hopefully, this article finds you well, and you can enjoy the benefits of this new lesson on turn play!

Good luck at the tables!

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