In this episode, I discuss why (and how) we should double-barrel cbet more frequently on the turn.
In episode 221, I answered your questions with actions you MUST take right now to improve you post-flop play and your reactions to losing big money.
Question from Mark:
I am way to turn honest because my cbet drops from 71% on the flop to 36% on the turn. I know that I need to double-barrel cbet more frequently, but I never know when is the right time. Help me to double-barrel more often.
Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Over the next 2 weeks or 10,000 hands, practice double-barrel bluff cbetting. You should have plenty of opportunities to do so because you’re a Bread & Butter player with most flops giving you the opportunity to cbet.
Start by planning your flop cbets and turn double-barrels on the flop. Before you bluff on the flop, ask and answer the question, “Will my bet get them to fold?” If not, ask yourself, “Will they fold to a double-barrel?” If the answer to both of these is “no”, then skip the flop cbet bluff. But, if either answer is a “yes”, pull the trigger on your one or two street bluff.
Before you double-barrel, though, ask yourself if the turn card helps or hurts your opponent’s range. If it hurts their range, highly consider barreling.
Utilize their Fold to Cbet stats, your position, their range & board interaction as well as good bet sizing to earn the folds you’re looking for.
Now it’s your turn to pull the trigger and do something positive for your poker game.
Why increase our double-barrel frequency? (5:05)
We want to double-barrel cbet because they earn more chips in 2 ways:
1. Taking Down Pots pre-Showdown
When we double-barrel cbet on the turn, we’re playing aggressive poker and applying pressure to our opponents for a third time (preflop, flop and turn). This can make it difficult for foldy players like Nits and TAG’s to stay in.
These players hate putting in too much money without a great hand, so they’ll often fold their weaker than TP hands. You can even bet big enough to make it too expensive for them to chase their oesd’s and their fd’s (maybe not the nfd).
Be careful when bluffing Fish and LAG’s. They don’t fold as easily, so it might take a larger sizing paired with position and a good turn card to get them to fold.
The most important question you can ask when you’re making any type of bluff is, “Will my bet get them to fold?” The answer to this question will guide you to the correct play.
And remember my favorite saying:
“If they ain’t folding, you ain’t bluffing.”
2. Earning Extra Value
Double-barreling earns us extra value with our strongest hands.
First, we are building the pot with a hand that’s likely to win at showdown.
Second, if our opponents know that we’re capable of multi-street bluffs (either because they’re paying attention to our stats or they’ve seen at showdown one of these bluffs) they will be less likely to believe us in the future. This allows our flopped sets and turned straights to gain more value because of the prior deception we’ve shown.
The best opponents to gain value from are the loose-passive calling stations, or Fish. LAG’s can be willing to pay us off as well and even come in for raises and bluff raises with sub-par hands.
Bottom line: if they’re willing to pay, either because of their hand strength or they hate giving up, then double-barreling is essential to get the most from your best hands.
Double-barrel Cbets Avoid an Easy Exploit
In the question that sparked this episode, Mark said his stats are 71% Cbet on the flop, 36% cbet on the turn. He is way too turn honest. Our knowledgeable opponents have an easy way to take advantage of Mark’s turn honesty.
They exploit him by calling every flop cbet, and as soon as he checks the turn, they bet at the next opportunity. If they’re IP, they bet on the turn, if OOP, they bet on the river after Mark checks-behind on the turn.
By double-barreling and showing a 3rd instance of aggression, if they want to bluff you now, it’s going to take an expensive raise or an expensive river bet in a bloated pot after they call your turn bet. Either way, it’s costly to bluff against a double-barrel, so a lot of players will fold instead against your continued aggression and they’ll fold at the prospect of your continued aggression.
So, if Mark increases his Turn Cbet to 55%, and maybe decreases his Flop Cbet to 65%, he’s going to make it harder for opponents to bluff him off of pots.
How to find more double-barrel opportunities (9:00)
It can be scary to put more chips in as a double-barrel bluff, and that’s one of the reasons why we don’t double barrel enough.
Becoming a good double-barrel bluffer is gonna take some practice. You’ll have to complete today’s challenge and actively look for good, +EV opportunities to throw out the turn bluff.
Consider these next 4 factors on-the-felt before every bluff and your decisions will begin to improve and you’ll feel more comfortable with your bluffs.
1. Opponent(s) and Stats
Foldy players are the best ones for bluffing. So be more willing to attempt bluffs against Nits and TAG’s. Make sure to look at your opponent’s Fold to Flop Cbet and Fold to Turn Cbet stats. Anything over 60% is good on either street. For double barrels, it’s particularly good to see a high Fold to Turn Cbet stat even if their Fold to Flop Cbet stat is low. These players are turn honest against cbets so take advantage of that.
If they fold a lot on the flop but not the turn, be less inclined to double-barrel bluff. They make their decision on the flop, and if they called, they like their hand and are less likely to fold.
And, the number of opponents is important. It’s easier to bluff when you’re heads up, so use those opportunities to pull-off more double-barrels.
Bluffing when IP is easier than when OOP. Positionally aware opponents whose Fold to Cbet is higher when OOP are great targets.
The larger you go, the more likely they’ll fold. 1/2 pot doesn’t get folds as often as 2/3 and 3/4 pot bets. You’re going to have to test out different bet sizings to see what works in your games.
The dryer the board (which means it’s hard to hit strong hands and good draws) the easier it is to bluff at. A board like Q832r, TT47 and AK73r are tougher for calling ranges to hit, so utilize those for your flop and turn cbet bluffs.
So, you’re looking to bluff Ace-high and King-high boards. Paired boards are good along with rainbow boards because they offer only straight draws. The dryer the board, the more fold equity your bluffs have.
Also, when you double-barrel bluff, look for turn cards that don’t help your opponent’s range. You don’t want to double-barrel on cards that make the board scarier like the 3rd spade or four to the straight. They have lots of draws in their flop calling range, and when the turn completes a few draws, their range is strengthened, not yours.
Conversely, the wetter the board, the less likely they’ll fold. Beware of boards that offer tons of draws and pairs to your opponent’s calling range. Scary boards to bluff are JT86ss or 8762cc or even 3 clubs. These boards are easy for calling ranges to hit with tons of made hands like 2p, sets and straights. They also offer preflop calling ranges a ton of pair+draw hands, like holding Ts9s on the JT86ss board. They have a pair, an oesd + a fd. You’re never getting this hand to fold.
What to do versus a double-barrel cbet raise (15:35)
First, it’s important to realize that raises on later streets are often signs of great strength. The more passive or straight-forward your opponent is, the more weight you should give their raises.
If you don’t know anything about the player, like you’ve only got 30 hands on them and you’ve never seen a showdown, you should tend to believe 95% of their turn and river raises.
You really only want to put bluffs in your opponent’s raising range if you’ve seen them bluff before.
The most important thing you can do when you face a raise after your double-barrel bluff cbet is to answer this question,
“What are they raising with?”
Because most raises are for value, you’ll answer this question with “They’re raising their 2p or greater hands” or you’ll answer with “They’re raising only their flushes on this board.”
Because you made a double-barrel bluff, you’re going to have to fold most of the time versus these stronger hands (JUST GET USED TO IT!)
But, if they have bluffs and draws and weak hands in their raising range, then you can’t call, you have to either fold or 3bet re-bluff them.
If you do decide to re-bluff them with a 3bet, you must be extremely sure they can fold because at this point, the pot is probably at 60bb’s or more, and this can cause many players to stay in because they’ve already invested at least 30bb’s and they won’t want to fold their draws.
Improving your double-barrels off-the-felt (17:20)
This is going to take hand reading exercises.
Once per day during your study session or even as a pre-session warm-up, pull up one hand in your database where you had the opportunity to double-barrel the turn and the hand went to showdown.
Whether you made the double-barrel or not doesn’t really matter.
Your goal with these hand reading exercises is to get familiar with your opponent’s preflop calling ranges and what they tend to call with on flops and turns, and what they raise with.
This will help to develop an intuitive grasp of cbetting and double-barreling situations, allowing you to make more +EV bluffs and value bets at the tables.
Support the Show
Daniel Majan and Tony purchased PokerTracker 4 through my affiliate link. As a thank you, I sent them both the Smart HUD for PT4 to help them exploit their opponents.
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MC Divitt purchased my first two books in PDF form directly through me. Volume 1 teaches you all the study techniques I use to get the most from my study time, and Volume 2 puts those techniques into action through 28 days of focused study on 4 different themes.
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In episode 223, I’ll hit you with some great check-raising advice!
Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.
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