In this episode I discuss how to plan your double-barrels before you fire that initial flop cbet. I tell you what to look for, who to do it to and what turn cards are beneficial.
In episode 134 I discussed making your bluff cbets around the idea that your opp’s pre-flop calling range did not hit the flop board texture.
What is a double barrel cbet? (2:35)
A double-barrel is firing on the flop and the turn. It could be for value or as a bluff. It can be tough for some players, especially if your tendency is to see monsters under the bed every time you get called on the flop and the turn card doesn’t help you.
It’s great when you open with KK and the flop comes J94r. So you cbet and get called. Then the turn brings that dreaded Ace and you say to yourself, “Crap! I know he hit that.” So you check and he fires or you check-behind and he fires the river because of your show of weakness. You curse the Ace, muck your hand, and now you’re headed towards tilt because you didn’t get paid off with your beautiful KK.
Assuming Your Flop Cbet Was Well Placed
When it comes to double-barrels we’re going to go with one assumption: your flop cbet was well placed. We’ll assume you had two things going for you:
- You knew exactly why you were betting; either as a bluff or for value.
- You had a reasonable expectation your opponent would accede to your wishes.
You may have used stats or history to come to your logical conclusion. You went with it and made the flop cbet. Good on your for making the first move, but you got called. What do you do now?
Planning Before You Click on the Flop
Your pre-cbet plan has 4 aspects:
- Know why you’re betting – it’s for value or as a bluff
- Know what to expect – you had a reasonable expectation of how your opponent would react
- Plan for future cards – what cards are good or bad for you? What cards help your opponents? What cards can scare your opponent?
- Know your opponent – how do they approach the turn in general? What range would they call with as opposed to raising or folding? Knowing your opponent is critical when it comes to successful barreling.
Planning for the Future (Cards & Opponents) (5:40)
Force yourself to start planning for the future before each button click. This will eventually become second nature to you. Planning for your opp’s counter-actions to yours will help you to make better choices in the moment.
If you know that cbetting now will put you in a tough spot on the next street, then don’t do it. Anticipating your opp’s moves will help you to make better moves right now.
If you hate the future, don’t continue.
So, if whatever action you’re contemplating will make future streets suck, then don’t do it. You want to play KISS poker (Keep It Simple, Stupid), and making things hard on yourself is the opposite of keeping it simple.
Good Cards for You (generally)
- Add equity to your made hand. Maybe you were on a semi-bluff and hit, or you had a pair and hit trips or 2p. Great, your hand is stronger so it’s a time to possibly go for more value.
- Overcards. These can be good, especially Aces and Kings. Think about the situation; you raised pre-flop and they just called. You cbet and they just called. Who has the stronger range? Who has more Aces and Kings in their range? Yep, it’s you.
- Equity outs. Equity outs are cards that can come that either make your hand or add additional outs. They allow you to continue putting pressure on your opp’s because now you’ve picked up addition equity or more ways to hit a great hand. The more equity outs you have, the more often you can put max pressure on your opponent with the double-barrel bluff. Example: You have QdJd and the flop comes 29T with one diamond. You’ve got the oesd, 2 over cards and the bdfd. Great, you’ve got 6 equity outs on the turn. Count ‘em:
- Diamonds – if a diamond comes, you’ve now got a flush draw
- King – if this hits, you’ve got the nut straight
- 8 – nut straight again
- Queen – nice overpair
- Jack – decent overpair
- Ace – adds a gs to your draw + it’s a scare card on this Ten high flop
Bad Cards for You (generally)
- Under-cards – if your opponent is capable of calling with a weak pair of 9’s on the J95 board, then they won’t be scared of a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or an 8. They think they’re ahead with their pair of 9’s on the flop, so why wouldn’t they still be ahead?
- Draw completion cards – you and all your opponents like to call flops with draws; anything from gs’s to oesd’s to fd’s. Well, if you cbet on the wet flop of 678 two tone, you’ve got to be wary of any 3rd flush card, the 9 and the Ten as well as the under cards like 5 and 4. You also have to be leary of board pairing cards (6/7/8). All of these cards complete many draws or give your opponent trips or a 2 pair hand that won’t be folding to your double barrel.
Good Opponents (11:20)
When you’re barreling as a bluff, you want to do so against turn honest players. These guys call lots of flop with weak hands, but give up when they whiff the turn.
And, if you’re going for value, you want either stations or players who are flop honest but called your flop cbet. These players don’t fold the turn, so value bet them. Plus, the pot is a little bigger because you made that flop cbet, so you can bet even more now for lots of value.
A general idea you want to keep in mind is if you’re bluffing, do so against foldy players. And if you’re going for value, do so against stationy players.
Good Stack Sizes (12:00)
You can value bet against any stack size. Short-stacked or deep, you’re going for value so you’ve got to be betting.
But, when you’re pulling double-barrel bluffs, you don’t want your opponent to feel pot committed because of their flop call.
If they have a SPR (stack to pot ratio) of say 1:1 or 2:1 after calling the flop, how likely will they give up on the turn? Not so likely.
- If after calling the flop their SPR is at a ratio of 1:1, or a $5 stack with a $5 pot, they’re more likely to fight for it because they’ve put so much of their short stack in already.
- But at a 5:1 ratio, they have $25 behind and the pot is $5. Their share of the current pot is only $2.50, which is less than 10% of the stack they started the hand with. They’re much less committed at this SPR.
Triple Barreling (13:00)
Triple barreling is simply double barreling taken to the next level. As you pour more money into the pot, you need to be more careful with your moves. When considering the triple-barrel bluff or value bet, you need to be even more sure than you were on the turn. If bluffing, you need to really believe your opponent is likely to fold. If going for value, you need to be really sure that you’ve got the best hand and they can call with worse.
Mistakes grow in severity as the pot grows, so range your opponent and be sure he’ll react the way you want him to before you make that super big river bet.
Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:
Filter for your double barrel cbetting spots in PokerTracker 4. Just turn on the Cbet Flop and the Cbet Turn filter. This will show you every hand, HU and MW, IP and OOP, where you double-barreled the turn. What’s your profitability? Look at your losing hands. What did you miss? Were there any signs that you should’ve saved that extra bullet? Figure out how you can become a better barreler by going through these filtered hands.
Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.
If you’re hungry for more Cbetting information, then my pals over at howtoplaypokerinfo.com put together a Cbetting Ultimate Guide for 2018. Check it out!
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In podcast #136, I’ll play for you an excerpt from my How to Study Poker audiobook. It’s chapter 17 called Game Tape: The Most Beneficial Yet Underutilized Study Technique.
And in episode #137 I’ll have an extra goody for you all. Mark Warner over there at exceptionalpoker.com and I teamed up for a Cbet collaboration. He has created a cbetting video to go along with this MED that I’ll share with you in next week’s podcast. He discusses cbetting as a function of both pot-equity and fold equity. A very interesting concept and I’m looking forward to learning a ton from this video.
Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.