Do you know how to double barrel bluff? Knowing how to double barrel in poker is an important skill to have. Taking a one and done strategy will not work beyond low stakes games. Double barreling is also one of the best ways to improve your red line, which is an area many players struggle with. Given the amount of trouble people have with double barreling, I thought it was worthy of a blog post. Enjoy!
1) Your opponent is a giant calling station. Generally, it is safe to say these are not good players to double barrel – I can think of a few notable exceptions, which are players that like to call call and then fold rivers. Rule of thumb is don’t bluff the station!
2) High fold to flop c-bet number. If this number is over 50% I would be cautious about double barreling because your opponents range is quite nitty. This is especially the case if they start with a slightly lower than average VPIP (below 22%).
3) The hand started off as a multi-way pot. Most of the time when 4 players see the flop, if your opponent calls your flop bet their range will be quite strong.
4) The board is draw heavy (3 parts of straight or flush down) – this is especially true against players who will chase mediocre draws.
5) Your opponent is super sticky/aggro once money is in the pot. This / having a low fold to turn bet % is not an uncommon trait among the super aggressive young generation – my recommendation is to avoid turn equity spew by weighting your turn c-betting range a bit toward the stronger side.
1) Overcards peel off on the turn. Generally, overcards are good cards to continue betting on the turn. Ex. Flop is 10 7 4 rainbow and a K rolls off on the turn. Obviously, an A is even a better card for that – it works especially well against the player type that likes to “put you on high cards” and play low junk.
2) Your opponent has a low fold to cbet number but doesn’t seem to make it to showdown frequently. This suggests they either fold on the turn or on the river – both of those scenarios work well for us. In this case a double barrel bluff can be used to setup the “triple barrel”.
3) It will boost your red-line / non showdown winnings if done appropriately. Having a one and done c-betting strategy will get you nowhere against solid aggressive regulars.
4) When you have a strong amount of equity and there is little chance of being check raised. It sucks to be check raised when you are behind, but have a hand that might force you to call (due to pot odds and/or implied odds). Examples include flush draws + gutshot, overcard + flush draw, etc. If you knew that you would be check raised the solution is simply to check behind and realize your equity.
5) Your table image is loose. One of the common mistakes nits make is they play super nitty and then decide to try to pull off a double barrel. Unfortunately, because their opponent knew they were a nit by the time they call a PFR and a flop cbet their range is incredibly strong, and the double barrel fails. Try to double barrel when you think your opponents ranges are wider. Generally, when you have a more aggressive image at the table players will start to call your cbets lighter – that is the perfect time to start widening your double barrel range.
If you haven’t already be sure to check out my book Exploitive No Limit Hold’em. Hope the tables are treating you well, and let me know if you have any questions.