Double Barreling (Information Post)
The biggest boost to my winrate recently has been effectively double barreling. This post contains some suggestions I would offer to other players like myself who are aspiring to move up in limits...
Here are some examples of good/bad boards to double barrel on:
Assume 100BB stacks, the pot is heads up, and the flop action went bet-call.
Any possible turn bet would be 75%-85% of the pot size. This size is good since it effectively prices out drawing hands, and is sized the same way Hero would bet the turn if he had a strong made hand.
*** TURN *** [2s 9h 9c] [9d]
This spot sucks to double barrel since villain’s calling range on the flop is already tight. There are no draws on board, so villain’s range is almost exlcusively pocket pairs. Also, the turn card didn’t change the board texture, so villain’s calling range to a turn bet isn’t going to change significantly either.
*** TURN *** [9h 3s 3c] [Ah]
This is a really good spot to double barrel, since villain’s calling range on the flop hates to see an Ace come on board. Hero’s c-betting range is pretty wide, and A-x is easily in our range.
*** TURN *** [Qh Ac 2s] [7c]
This is another good spot to double barrel. Villain’s calling range on the flop contains a lot of middle pair hands, as well as weak/middling top pair hands. By firing again, villain is going to have a tough time continuing with the hand, since he is then facing playing a large pot – possibly for stacks – against an opponent who has shown a lot of strength and is representing A-Q/A-K/Q-Q/2-2/7-7. The important idea in this example is that Hero’s range of hands that bet the turn is polarized to strong made hands/bluffs. If you don’t quite understand why that is important, I would recommend reading the ISF theorem.
*** TURN *** [Jd Jh Qh] [9d]
This isn’t a very good spot to double barrel. Villain could be holding a lot of hands that are going to call/raise a turn bet. K-10 just made a straight, and a flush draw/J-x/K-10 may shove the turn – forcing us out of the pot. Given the large amount of hands that Hero could be betting the turn with that are still drawing, Q-x probably won’t fold often enough either to make double barreling here profitable.
*** TURN *** [Js Qd 3d] [7h]
This is a good spot to double barrel. There were a lot of draws on the flop, and they all missed. Villain’s strongest hands here are almost always Q-J/3-3, and make up only a small portion of his range. However, villain’s range often contains hands like J-x/xd-xd/K-10/10-9, and those hands do not like a strong turn bet.
*** TURN *** [Js Qd 3d] [7d]
This is actually also a good spot to double barrel. Here, Hero is representing a turned flush; a reasonable possibly given our actions thus far in the hand. And the majority of villain’s range - OESD’s and middle pair hands – isn’t going to want to continue.
I could probably do many more board textures that are good to double barrel on, but
1). I am lazy
2). The simple truth to double barreling is that the best boards to double barrel are those where the flop hits a pretty wide range, but where a turn card/a turn bet greatly narrows their calling/raising range.
I hope the examples were useful.
Some more general tips on double barreling:
1). Calling stations and rocks are the worst players to double barrel. Calling stations aren’t folding much of their flop calling range, and a rock’s calling range is so tight that not much (if any!) is going to fold to a turn bet.
2). Effective stacks need to be deep enough that your turn bet leaves enough for an implied large river bet. 100BB’s is sufficient, but as the effective stack sizes approach 60BB’s or so double barreling loses a lot of implied threat on the river.
3). Generally, double barreling when there are 3 or more players in the hand is not a good idea. When playing against multiple hand ranges, the probability you will be able to get both to fold becomes smaller, and the necessary size of the turn bet becomes larger as the number of players that called the flop bet increases.
4). A double barrel is more likely to succeed when Hero is opening from UTG/MP because our preflop opening range is already tighter than usual. An aware opponent (most regulars at 100NL+) is going to be able to take that into consideration, and will continue with a tighter range.
5). Try to be representing a hand that falls into a range that is polarized towards the nuts/air.