Double Barelling

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Double Barrel Bluffing Tips

In No Limit Holdem you’ll often have to bluff twice on two consecutive streets to win a hand, this is known as double barelling.  It’s a more complicated and risky move than a continuation bet because it requires committing more chips and a  reallygood read on your opponent.  This is why loose-agressive players double-barrel more than tight players.  Most players however don’t know when to double barrel properly and do it with the wrong cards or board texture.   Below are double-barreling tips, and when or when not to attempt it.

Best Cards for Double Barrelling

Overcards to the board are the best cards to double barrel.  The logic behind this is that when you double barrel an overcard it increases the strength of your hand range and decreases the relative strength your opponent’s i.e. his top pair becomes mid-pair. For example, on a flop like 7h-Jd-4s your opponent is calling a cbet with any pair.  However when the turn brings an overcard like K it reduces the strength of his hand at showdown,  even if he has the J he knows he’s probably behind at this point and is more likely to fold.

In fact, most of the time when you continuation bet flops you’ll often get called by both mid or top pair hands in the hope that they stand up or improve by the river.  However when an overcard comes and doesnt improve their hand – or if it makes it relativlely worse and reduces their show down equity, they will fold to most raises.

Worst Cards for Double Barrelling

Any pair to the flop, or any card that gives better equity to draws.

Any Pair to the Flop:  You want to avoid double-barrelling any turn that brings a pair to the flop (i.e. 7 on a 7d-Jd-4s) because this increases your opponent’s hand range strength and reduces yours.  It also makes bluffing very ineffective.  There’ll be people who argue double-barreling here is good because you can bluff the “set” but the fact is your opponent probably has a 1/3 chance of making his, and if you made the set in real life you’d probably  be value checking or check-raising out of position to keep your opponent in the hand.

Cards that Give Equity to Draws: Any card that gives your opponent more “outs” will reduce your fold equity.  For example if he has bottom-pair and picks up a gut-shot straight draw on the turn he’s unlikely to fold to a mid-sized raise.

More Tips for Double Barrelling:

Players with a higher cbet% and loose-aggressive table images won’t be as effective when they double-barrel because their perceived hand strength is less.   It’s  more effective against tight-passive opponents, especially in low stakes games because they won’t be too bothered to call you off.  

Not until you get to mid-stakes games above NL100 will opponents start re-raising you and playing back into you more. It also works best when you’re out of position and first to act on the flop/turn. 

Finally a double-barrel bet should be about ½ pot on the flop (cbet) and ½ – 2/3 pot on the turn or river.

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