Flop Cbet Success – Like a boss

You’ve probably read a hundred articles on cbet strategies relating to cbet frequency, cbet sizing, and cbet percentages etc. and are wondering why you even bothered clicking on this link at all. Cbetting (especially in position as we know) is hugely profitable. But let me ask you this… Do you know what Flop cbet success actually is? And no, I don’t just mean the green number is the $ won column.

Do you know your average success % vs your sites pool and vs 1, 2 or 3 opponents? Let’s break this down further; are you making money with the various portions of your range both IP and OOP? You don’t know?

If you have never done this kind of analysis before you are likely leaking money or leaving it on the table. There I said it… analysis. A dirty word for expert procrastinators. For some reason people hate this kind of deep analysis, but I don’t understand why. Just looking at the green number in $ won column just isn’t good enough. Guess what? we all make money cbetting! Chances are your tough opponents are doing this kind of work, and as we know, if you stand still in poker, you get left behind.

Analysis can open your eyes to leaks, or at the very least give you renewed confidence going forward. The worst thing that can come of it is you’ll find something to work on and find a way of increasing your winrate! It’s actually really simple and I’ll break it down into 3 easy steps for you.

  1. Without a solid ‘Fold to cbet’ stat for each opponent (IP and OOP), how much you can cbet bluff on average on your site will most likely depend the pools average for your stake as sites tend to have trends. To find this out go into your tracker reports (I’ll be using HEM2, but others are the roughly the same) and find ‘Cbet success vs 1’. This will tell you the average success heads up. How are you doing overall?

Remember the successes we need for +EV cbets are:

½ pot cbet needs 33% folds

2/3 cbet needs 40% folds

¾ cbet needs close to 43% folds

If you’re getting an average of 42-45% success (folds) you’re doing great with a 2/3 cbet and have probably maxed out your current cbet %. If it’s higher (like 46 %+), then you can probably afford to do a little more cbet bluffing.

If on the other hand you are getting borderline 40% folds on average, then consider:

a) A lower cbet size – something like 57% might work better and only require 37% folds to be profitable. Half pot is just too small in my opinion and the fold equity just isn’t there on average.

b) Tightening up preflop – thus making your Postflop range stronger.

2) We now break this down further both for when you are IP then OOP. This is crucial, I see so often regs mindlessly cbetting OOP as much as they do IP. Add filter ‘relative position’ IP then OOP. You may be surprised how little folds you get when cbetting OOP.

3) So now you know how you’re doing positionally in general. But let’s see how each hand grouping is performing. Go to a positional tab so you can see each position. Add ‘did cbet’ filter and now click on the holecard grid to find out how the various parts of your range are doing from each position when cbetting.

Below is a smallish sample of mine:

Image Dave



Sometimes for small samples, more analysis/experimentation is needed. E.g. we can see my grouping of A5s-A9s from MP seem troublesome on average so I’d need to check in the replayer for those hands. On the other hand my suited broadways are collectively doing well overall and I should consider opening them more.

Analysis Conclusion

So with a good sample, if parts of your range are losing money from a particular position you have 2 options.

a)      Stop opening that range especially on tough tables

b)      Change the way you play that range

Here are some ideas on how you can alter the way you play your range (aka your strategy). This is a cbet article after all.

Cbet less OOP – it’s ok to check-fold on a hopeless board. Don’t be that mindless cbettor. A cbet with A♣2♣ on a Q♠T♦9♦ is just torching money vs most opponents.

Delay cbet more – If you missed and have an opponent who doesn’t fold to cbets but doesn’t stab much either (as in bets when the PFR checks), don’t give up on the pot. If it checks through on the Flop, bet the Turn (and sometimes River).

Double barrel moreDon’t go nuts with this one. You need increased equity, a solid image, a nice read (like a fold to turn cbet >55%) or some good scare cards (Q, K, A) to pull this off.

Check raise instead – With some marginal equity like K♦T♠ on a J♠9♥6♣ board. An opponent with a low fold to c-bet (like <45%), but a very high stab, may fold to your UTG check raise, whereas he likely won’t fold IP to a cbet. You can take this same logic to the Turn; cbet flop, then check-raise those floaters.

Don’t cbet vs a high flop raise – Even with TP or a small overpair, you don’t really want to be in a situation where you’re getting it with a one pair hand in a single raised pot vs most opponents.

Induce idiocy in position – Works best on dry boards IP vs the wide ranges that bet every time you check. Raise these weak stabs at the pot, with 3rd pair+, turned equity or even air.

All in all, find out what works and continue/expand it. I.e. Maybe A2-s-A5s works well for you opening UTG, so try A6s+ for a while. What doesn’t work, fix it or eliminate it. Just do the necessary work to find out. These spots come up so regularly, you can’t afford to have losing ranges.


Up Next… Fearless 4-betting

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