Double Barreling in No Limit Hold'em

Some inexperienced poker players find it impossible to win pots when they miss the flop. If you find yourself check/folding every flop that you miss, make sure to read about continuation betting. If you already know about continuation betting, keep reading this article to learn about double barreling.

What is "Double Barreling?"

"Double barreling" is when you lead out on both the flop and the turn. You are "firing" twice in a row, and that is where the name "double barreling" came from.

When to Double Barrel?

There are basically three situations where you should consider double barreling: after you have raised preflop, when you have a draw, or when the board is ragged. We will explain each situation now:

After Raising Preflop

Double Barreling CartoonThe first situation we will discuss is double barreling after making a preflop raise. Some factors to take into account include how many chips you have, how many chips your opponents have, and your position at the table.

Imagine having a small pocket pair with an average sized stack under the gun, and having one player call your raise. If the flop comes out A-K-5 and you're holding a pair of sixes this is a perfect time to try and take down the pot, because your opponent will probably put you on a big Ace. Your flop bet should be 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the pot. Making a bet of this size will give your hand a lot of strength and you may even get your opponent to fold a weak ace.

If your opponent calls then the next card is crucial. If a face card hits then this is another good card for you to bluff at as your opponent could now put you on two pair or even a straight. This bet must be larger, but not too big as then your opponent will think you are stealing. Make a bet that is 2/3 to 3/4 of the pot. This bet still shows strength as it makes it look as if you want a call in order to build a larger pot.

Being in a late position while having the above circumstances gives you even more power. If your opponent leads out then double barreling is out of the question, but if they check to you then you are in complete control and can make the same bets as above in order to win the pot.

With a Draw

If you are in late position with an open ended straight draw or a flush draw and your opponent checks to you then you are obligated to make a bet. Once again do not bet more than what is in the pot, but still bet over half of the pot. Missing your hand on the turn should not cause you to slow down especially if your opponent simply calls as he probably just has mid pair or may even be on a draw as well. The turn bet will truly confuse your opponent as they cannot put you on a draw.

This bet could be a little more than the pot as he will either fold his hand on the turn or call in the hopes of you checking it down on the river. The reason why you should bet more then what is in the pot is because if you hit your draw on the river you will win a huge hand, and if you miss then this will give you another opportunity to win the hand due to your strength shown by the previous bet. 

On a Ragged Board

Making a raise or calling a raise preflop with two face cards gives you the opportunity to fire a bet on a low board. This bet on the flop is a strong play that many amateur players are afraid to make. In most cases, you will be able to take the pot down with a strong pot-sized bet, because your opponent probably has big cards and will fear that you paired one of the lower cards. If the turn is one of your face cards then you have put yourself in a great situation.

The bet on the turn should be at least the size of the pot as you will want to get your opponent off any type of draws and find out exactly where you are at in the hand. The hands to be careful with are KQ, KJ, K10, and other weak ace hands as your opponent could have you out-kicked with a higher hand.

Double barreling can be strengthened by studying your table and having a good stack at the table. Most opponents will be afraid to come over the top if you have an intimidating stack at the table. Do not let your pride get the best of you and distract you from folding if they do happen to come over the top for a large raise.

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