Double Barreling

After reading my previous article, you started to continuation bet with huge success. There is another flop, you make a c-bet and surprisingly your opponent calls. The turn card did not improve your hand and you have a hopeless air. What now? Double barreling will often win you the pot, when used in right circumstances.

Please note that this article is not intended to be read if you play at NL25 or lower stakes due to the poor level of players that can be found there.

Double barreling

Double barreling is making a second continuation bet on the turn, regardless of your hand strength.

Firing a second barrel (another name for double barreling) can be more difficult than continuation bet, as you risk more money and first of all you will have to overcome your own fear.

I assume that you considered all necessary factors (opponent type, flop texture, number of opponents, position), when you made your continuation bet on the flop. If you made a mistake with this, do not even try to fix it by firing a second barrel. You will only lose more money.

Double barreling can be very effective when you consider all of the points listed below:

Opponent type

Firing a second barrel against a calling station is pointless. If they called the flop bet, they will want to see the showdown no matter the price. Do not bet unless your hand is good.

You also should not double barrel versus very tight players (rocks). They play only the nuts so when they call your preflop raise and then the continuation bet on the flop, they certainly have a monster hand.

I mentioned earlier that I c-bet 100% of the time against players that fold to 60% continuation bets and more. When they call my c-bet, I never fire a second barrel, unless my hand is very strong.

Double barreling works well against opponents that love floating flops. They call continuation bets with anything just to steal the pot when you do not fire more barrels on later streets.

Board texture

If you fire a second barrel as a bluff, the best turn cards are ones that can scare your opponent. Overcards to the flop work best for this purpose. Since your opponent most likely called your continuation bet with some sort of top or medium pair, they will be very uncomfortable with an overcard on the turn. Examples:

 Flop: T34 Turn: A
 Flop: Q84 Turn: K
 Flop: J72 Turn: Q

Double barreling may also be successful when the turn card is just slightly lower than the highest card on the flop. However, it does not work as often as with an overcard. Examples:

 Flop: A52 Turn: K
 Flop: K73 Turn: J
 Flop: Q85 Turn: T

You should never fire a second barrel when the turn is an undercard to the flop, a card way below the highest card on the flop, or when the board pairs. If your opponent has a top pair, they will never fold to another bet with such a card on the turn. Examples:

 Flop: A95 Turn: 2
 Flop: K82 Turn: 5
 Flop: J64 Turn: 4

The board textures shown above are not a definite guide to double barreling. The better you are at reading other players, the more turn cards you will successfully be able to fire a second barrel with.

Number of opponents

You should double barrel exclusively when you are heads up on the turn, unless your hand is strong. If more than one player called your preflop raise and continuation bet on the flop, at least one of them will definitely have a very good hand that will not fold to a second barrel.


Position always matters. It is plain simple. When you have position, you have more information, more control, and you can double barrel more often. Out of position – fire less second barrels.

Double barrel with made hands, draws, and air

It is quite obvious that you should bet when your hand is strong. You do this for value. However, if you bet only with made hands and check/fold anything else, your opponents will read you like a book and will be to able make optimal decisions against you.

This is why you should double barrel also as a semi-bluff (when you have some outs to improve your hand) and as a complete bluff. This way your range will become balanced and your opponents will find it difficult to read your hands, often having to guess what you can have. Their guessing means making mistakes and their mistakes equal to more money in your wallet.

Conclusion on double barreling

Mastering the art of double barreling can be difficult for beginning players. If you want to move up in limits, you will definitely have to implement it into your game, though. It will take some time but you will get it eventually. Remember - practice makes perfect.

More articles on specific poker plays:

 Check raise
 Continuation bet
 Squeeze play
 Stealing blinds

Go back to the Online Poker Strategy.