Out of all the moves that people make in poker, continuation bets are probably the most fashionable right now. And since they’re so fashionable, I guess you could consider them overused since games are never short on continuation bets. In fact, it seems like people instinctively make c-bets to fool themselves into thinking that they’re knowledgeable, aggressive players.
The truth is though that most people have no idea what a good continuation bet is. The majority of players make c-bets just because they were the pre-flop raiser, and this is the worst possible scenario for a continuation bet. Some players will argue that they’re building a table image by doing this, but really they’re just wasting money when they fold later in the hand.
Sure it may just seem like one wasted bet when your c-bet fails to fool anyone and this is a common line of thinking. However, bad c-bets will end up costing you tons of money over the course of your poker days so they must be avoided at all costs!
The only time you should really make a c-bet is when you want and think an opponent will fold. That’s it! There is no other point in making a continuation bet. If you wanted an opponent to stay in a hand then you wouldn’t raise at all - or would at least make a smaller raise.
Successful c-bets normally happen when there is a bad board with one strong card. For instance, if the flop is A-3-7 rainbow then you’re definitely in a good spot to steal the hand with a c-bet assuming you raised pre-flop. Just remember though, if you’re not trying to make opponents fold then don’t make a continuation bet.