Dec 23 2009

Double Barreling in Poker

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Double barreling is a skill in poker that has become increasingly important over the past few years. Double barreling is when a player makes a bet on the turn with a weak hand after they had done the same on the flop. The barreling part of double barreling stems from the fact that you are trying to knock, or barrel, the other player(s) out of the pot.

Many poker players know what a double barrel is and try to implement it into their game, but many of these players don’t really know what they are doing. The effectiveness of a double barrel is going to be entirely dependent upon a handful of variables. If you neglect the cards on the board, or the way your opponents are playing, you will have an incredibly difficult time pulling off successful double barrels. This doesn’t mean that double barreling is a science, it simply requires players to use some basic observational skills. If you can relate the pre flop action with the post flop action you will be on your way to understanding how to make an effective double barrel.

The next step is deciding how this action correlates with the cards on the board. These different things will help you decide whether a double barrel is a good idea, and what type of bet is going to work the best.

Observing the Action

One of the easiest ways to determine whether a double barrel is a good idea is to take a look at how the hand has played out. If a player 3 bets a hand pre flop you will know that there is a good chance they have a strong hand. It is unlikely that they are 3 betting with random suited connectors. When the flop comes A K Q it should be relatively easy to back out of the hand if your opponent check raises you, unless of course you happened to connect with the flop. Connecting how a hand was played pre flop with how the player reacts to the flop is an easy way to determine whether double barreling is going to be a smart move.

Effective Bets

Many players make double barrels that are not cost effective. Your goal when double barreling is to knock the other player out, but you should do it in the cheapest way possible. If the pot is $20 at .50/1 you don’t need to be $18, if they are going to fold to an $18 bet the odds are that they would have folded to a $14 bet as well. Make sure that your bets are not too small, however. Size your bets so that the other player is convinced both that you have a hand, and that there hand is not strong enough to justify a call. Sometimes the biggest bets will look the most suspicious. Think about how you would bet on the turn if you really did have a strong hand, this will usually be the best way to convince someone else to fold. Telling a believable story is a requirement if you hope to pull off a double barrel, if your story doesn’t make sense your opponent will have no reason to believe it.

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