The Double Barrel


It’s going to be very valuable to win the pots on the turn and river when you do not have the best hand since, on average, the pot will be larger on later streets. This concept is all about how to win those pots with a second barrel. Double barreling is so opponent and situation specific that I won’t be able to give you guys an exact playbook about the subject in text alone. What I can do is give you a whole bunch on information on the topic in the hope that you will understand the underlying concepts and learn to apply them in the right situations on your own.

A quick warning about double barreling:

As I have said in numerous videos and have pounded into the brains of several of my students, you make most of your money at micro stakes by C-betting flops and by value betting later streets. The biggest mistake that bad players generally make is that they call too many junky hands pre-flop and they don’t fold later streets, therefore you will want to C-bet flops to make them fold all of their misses and value bet later streets to get calls from the hands they hit and call down with, not by betting a ton turns and rivers trying to make them fold top pair weak kicker etc.

Things to considder:

Three big things come to mind when thinking about double barreling. They are PLAYER READS, BOARD TEXTURE and EQUITY. Board texture actually influences several things, namely flop continuing ranges, board development and scare cards. These terms are loosely defined below.

Flop continuing ranges: A flop calling range will simply be the hands that our opponents will play back at our flop C-bets with. Everyone will have slightly different flop continuing ranges and this is where player reads become important.

Generally speaking, it is going to be better to double barrel against a wide FCR than a tight one since wide FCR’s will have more marginal hands in them. A flop continuing range is influenced both by pre-flop calling ranges and by board textures. For example if your opponent is calling a bunch of hands out of the big blind they will have more hands in their range that flop marginal junk like 2nd or 3rd pair that will peel the flop but will have trouble calling later streets. Also, some board textures are going to get peeled by more hand combinations than others and this will play a big role in double barreling.

Board development: Board textures will change based on the turn and river. Some board’s won’t change much while others will change a great deal. Knowing how different board textures develop on later streets will be vital in your understanding of double barreling, especially when you relate it to FCR’s.

Scare cards: I don’t think I need to go too much into this. Scare cards are anything that hits your perceived range. They are also cards that result in bad board development from your opponent’s perspective. You’ll see what I mean when I get into examples of specific textures.

Rick’s list of double barreling generalities:

1) We want to double barrel when the board texture develops such that our opponent’s turn continuing range is much smaller than their flop continuing range or when the turn card improves our hand’s equity in the pot.

2) Bad boards to double barrel will be ones where your opponent has a low/tight FCR.

3) The best card to double barrel will be a scare card that both results in bad board development and improves your equity.

4) Bad cards to double barrel will be ones that improve your opponents percieved range, pair the board, or are considdered to be “bricks” in general.

5) All other things being equal, we should be more likely to double barrel when we are out of position. This is because we cannot take free cards to capitalize on our equity in spots were our opponent is unlikely to fold to a turn bet. It is also because our opponents will be much more likely to float or peel light against us when they are in position.

6) You will be amazed how much note-taking will help. Reads will be very important when in marginal situations since each persons preflop and flop calling range will be different. If for example, we see someone make a very loose peel against us when OOP then we should seriously considder fireing more bullets against them in the future, even on bad barrel textures.

7) JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE BARRELED THE TURN, IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE COMMITTED TO BETTING THE RIVER. I can’t stress this enough. I teach and play a pretty aggressive game and if I were just monkey shoving every river after two barreling, I’d be broke. A big reason why we two barrel is to make our opponent fold his marginal hands so why we would always be auto-shoving rivers when called is beyond me.

8) Look for spots where your opponent would almost always raise you with a strong hand or draw on the flop. If they just call, this could be a sign of weakness (or not if you and your opponent are on the same level).

Flop textures and how they relate to barreling:

I said that knowing how boards develop would be an important part of double barreling. Here are some various flop textures, I’ll try to tie some things together. Try to remember the little generalizations I just made.

Ace high and king high “dry” flops

These are great boards to C-bet on. Not only are aces and kings in your perceived opening range but it will be very difficult for your opponent’s pf range to consistently connect with these

boards. To put it simply, when you c bet on

your opponent will be folding 6x7x, KxQx etc. There are also no draws that your opponent could be check-calling the flop with.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT: There are no real scare cards that can come ont he turn and the worst this board will usually be will be on the flop.

OPPONENTS FCR: It should be very tight when they are OOP. Use reads to figure it out for when they are in position.

OUR EQUITY WHEN BEHIND: When you don’t have the best hand on A82r, you probably won’t have it by the river. You can still bet equity based two barrel cards (if you turn a flush or straight draw) to balance for when you want to bet good hands.

When you get called on this flop, your opponent often has top pair, doesn’t want to fold and you should be reluctant to double barrel without reads or specific meta.

One high card, two low card flops

When I say 1 high card and 2 low cards, I’m referring to flops like J42 etc. These boards are decent for C-betting because your opponent will usually fold all unpaired hands but since the jack does not make up as much of your perceived range as an ace does, you are likely to get peeled lighter on average. These boards are fine to C-bet, so long as you’re prepared to two barrel when required.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT: This sort of depends on just how low the second card is. There will be 3 over cards on the jack that will be decent to 2 barrel, there will also be several cards over the 4 that are good to betbecause they will be scare cards for small pocket pairs and will aid in bad board development. These cards will be something in neighborhood of 9x and Tx, especially if they bring a flush draw because these are perceived equity boosters that will make it very tough for our opponent to bluff-catch the turn with marginal hands due the the thread of a looming third barrel.

OPPONENTS FCR: It will be middle of the road.

OUR EQUITY WHEN BEHIND: A lot of our range will have 3 to 6 percieved outs with a whole bunch of backdoor draws. Not bad if you ask me!

Two high card, one low card

These may be the absolute best boards to C-bet against a reasonably wide pre-flop calling range when in position. The reason is because people cannot call a bet without some sort of top/2nd pair or draw. Examples of these flops will be KdQh2s. Again, since people need some sort of strong hand to call a bet on these textures, we should be less inclined to fire multiple barrels when called.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT: Probably won’t get too scary from your opponents perspective.

OPPONENTS FCR: Very tight.

OUR EQUITY WHEN BEHIND: It’s not spectacular. Lets hope you turn a draw.

Low, loosely coordinated boards

A low, loosely coordinated board is something like 9c7d4h and sets up excellent for barreling. Why? Because these

flops get peeled by everything.

BOARD DEVELOPMENT: This board also gets pretty damn bad a good about of the time. The most innocuous this board will usually be will be on the flop as there are five overcards that can come off. This means we need to be c betting these flops with the intention of betting a ton of turn cards to punish our opponents for peeling us light.

OPPONENTS FCR: All pairs will call, a lot of ace high hands as well as weak draws and other random hands.

OUR EQUITY WHEN BEHIND: SUPER AWESOME! Coordinated boards These are flops that hit ranges hard. On a flop such as Tc8d7d

you can expect to get peeled and played back at a ton. For

this reason, these are generally bad boards to c bet. What should an “air” C-betting range look like on these flops? Generally it will be something that can improve when called but not so strong that we would be bothered to get check raised off of out hand. Examples would include a hand like AdKs.

One thing we need to remember about these textures is that our opponent will almost always raise or check-raise our C-bet with the top of his range. Therefore when we do occasionally c bet and are called, we can actually double (and tripple) barrel these boards somewhat often since a flop flat call is almsot always a marginal hand and our range will be stronger, on average, when we C-bet.

Summary on textures and barreling:

These obviously aren’t all of the possible flop textures but I hope that by now you can come up with some strategies related to other boards. Notice that some boards get peeled a lot while others don’t and some boards can get very scary while others rarely do. When making the decision to barrel please use your player reads to make some assesment on just how wide someone is peeling your bets and how likely they will be to fold on various turn cards. I can’t overstate this.

Some of you guys will move up to mid-high stakes it will really help to get a feel for what level your opponent is on. When these double barreling concepts become common knowledge then it can sometimes be correct to play your hands in a way that is counter intuitive to this logic. For example, sometimes it will be correct to check back a strong hand on bad double barrel cards because your opponent won’t expect you to frequently bluff. It may also be correct to occasionally bluff in this spot or to bet thin for value in spots where your opponent alyways expect you to be barreling.

Some hand histories:

Try and figure out where the concepts apply.

Full Tilt Poker $400.00 No Limit Hold’em – 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked. com

(Villain is a weak regular who calls wide from the blinds)

MP1: $400.00
MP2: $139.10
CO: $400.00
BTN: $63.00
SB: $72.00
BB: $300.00
UTG: $174.40
UTG+1: $152.50
Hero (UTG+2): $433.00

**HAND TWO** (Limper is a weak fish)

Full Tilt Poker $1000.00 No Limit Hold’em – 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked. com

UTG+1: $1060.00 UTG+2: $784.00 MP1: $2027.00 MP2: $3005.00 CO: $565.55

BTN: $2457.00
SB: $490.00
Hero (BB): $1040.00 UTG: $425.00

**HAND THREE** (Caller is a good regular)

Full Tilt Poker $400.00 No Limit Hold’em – 8 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked. com

BTN: $249.60
SB: $819.30
BB: $578.50
Hero (UTG): $440.50 UTG+1: $484.00

MP1: $764.00 MP2: $813.00 CO: $394.00

(BB is a tough regular)

Full Tilt Poker $400.00 No Limit Hold’em – 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked. com

MP1: $400.00
MP2: $139.10
Hero (CO): $433.00 BTN: $63.00
SB: $72.00
BB: $400.00
UTG: $174.40 UTG+1: $152.50 UTG+2: $400.00

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