If you’re an experienced player, then you know online poker tournaments can last several hours. Within this time, you can experience many ebbs and flows in the game. For instance, you can go from a long streak of strong cards to hours of weak hands and aggressive opponents. Poker also has the ability to go into a lull – where rounds are won with a high card or pair.
To remain financially relevant in a game, you must maximize every opportunity, especially when everyone is faced with low-value hands. Double barreling presents players with the perfect strategy to bluff opponents and steal blinds. Although, it’s worth noting that it comes in handy when holding strong cards, too.
How competitors perceive you and the cards you have in your hand can make or break your session. The key is to be spontaneous throughout to avoid players predicting your cards. For example, if you regularly bluff, players will have a hard time knowing what cards you have. Whereas if you’re a conservative player who folds regularly, players will assume you have a strong hand if you stay in the round. Read on as we discuss the ins and outs of this strategy.
What does double barreling mean?
So, what does double barrel mean? Also known as firing a second barrel and linked to continuation bets, a barreling definition is when a player bets on the flop and then follows up with another bet on the turn. In poker terms, you’re the preflop aggressor.
There are several reasons why an experienced player may choose to double barrel. For example, it’s an effective way of bluffing and stealing pots while upping the value. If you raise the flop and players follow suit, you have already doubled your money. On the other hand, it poses a great strategy for upping the pot value when holding strong hands.
Moreover, it’s a great way to stay aggressive when semi-bluffing. For instance, if the flop is a 5 of hearts, 8 of hearts and king of clubs, while you’re holding a 10 of hearts and queen of hearts, it means you’re one heart card away from a flush – the fifth strongest hand in the game. When you double barrel, you’re able to maximize your potential return. At the same time, it’s a great way to exploit weak players, as experienced opposition may fold.
The protection you get from competitors with strong card ranges is another benefit. If you’re seen betting aggressively, it can cause players with stronger cards to fold as they perceive you to have the nut hand.
The basics of double barreling
Regardless of whether you’re utilizing aggressive or defensive poker strategies, there are always key influences that should guide you to use it or not. Deciding when to fire a second barrel is no different.
For beginners, it’s vital you avoid barreling when holding little equity. But be sure to barrel on turn cards that scare off opponents, as this increases the chances of them folding. Moreover, if the turn ends up improving your hand, always double barrel. Lastly, you need to gauge an understanding of the playing personalities around you to gather the best pieces of information to make the correct decision.
When not to double barrel
As mentioned before, certain factors should influence you not to play this maneuver. For instance, if you’re holding low-value cards and the flop produces a jack, king and ace, it’s best to fold this round, as there’s a high probability of an opponent having a high-valued pair.
Also, if someone has already raised during the preflop, rather check to remain under the radar. When an opponent is playing the aggressor, it’s the perfect moment not to attract attention and be aggressive toward the end of a round in an attempt to steal the pot. It becomes harder to bluff or keep other players active in the round when all eyes are on you.
Maintaining a level of spontaneity is key in online poker. So if you have been employing this strategy often, leave it for an hour before using it again. If you don’t, you risk opponents understanding your playing personality.
Tips for double barreling
When deciding to fire a second barrel, a good tip is to be selective with your bets when the turn aligns strongly with your opponent’s range. So, if the range suits your competitor, making fewer bluffs is an economical way to go about it. Another vital tip is identifying the board texture. For instance, if you’re chasing a straight, but the texture relates more to a flush, it may be best to fold. Lastly, between your value hands and bluffs on the turn, aim for a 50/50 split between the two.
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