• The Factors to Look for When Firing the Second Barrel in NLHE

    Added - Nov. 17, 2014 Poker

    If you're a no-limit hold'em player who has learned all of the basic plays like continuation bets and blind stealing, then you'll want to start looking at more advanced plays like double barreling on the turn. A double barrel is when you continuation bet the flop, are called and place another bet as the lead on the turn. This can be an extremely effective play, but you have to be very particular about when and how you use it if you want to avoid situations where you just set money on fire.

    There are two main things you need for a double barrel to be effective. You need some amount of fold equity and some amount of pot equity. Fold equity has to do with how often you expect your opponent to fold, and pot equity has to do with how often you'll win the pot anyway if you are called. Essentially, good semi-bluffing hands will have a lot of pot equity and will not require as much fold equity. On the other hand, if you don't have much pot equity, then you're going to need a ton of fold equity to make up for it.

    Your fold equity will largely be determined by what the turn card happens to be. In particular, if a high overcard comes on the turn that is a card that you could very easily have to make top pair, then you will very frequently be able to get a lot of single-pair hands to fold that called on the flop. A good example of this is when you have something like KQ on a flop of J75 and an ace comes on the turn. You could very easily have an ace to begin with, so that helps your fold equity.

    However, also notice that you have six outs to catch a pair that would beat any pair caught on the flop, and you also have four outs to the nut straight if a ten comes. This means you have a good amount of pot equity as well not to mention great implied odds on the straight in particular. The more that fold equity and pot equity comes together, the more value you will get with your second barrels. Note that any time you have a good amount of each, you should almost always put in the bet.