Try this at home – barrelling

Follow our poker tips and barrel because sometimes it takes more than one bullet to get the job done

Continuation bets don’t get the job done like they used to. So many people expect a c-bet that they’re more willing to float on the flop – continuing without a made hand. If you make a c-bet and then slow down with a check on the turn you’re effectively raising the white flag, and an astute opponent will be able to take the pot down with a decent bet regardless of his hand.

Double-barrelling is a weapon that you should have in your arsenal. It shows strength but it’s not something you should do blindly. Ideally your hand will have picked up some equity, giving you another way to win, or a scare card to bluff like an Ace, but that’s not a prerequisite.

If your opponent is a calling station who plays hit or fold, you need to shut it down. What you’re looking for is an opponent who’s capable of floating, or putting down second or even top pair.

If your opponent calls again you need to make an even bigger call on the river. Unless you’ve got a majorly tricky customer he has something he thinks is good, or has a big a big draw. Have the draws made it? A third bet screams of strength but it’s also dependent on your image. If you’ve been caught bluffing before it’s probably best to shut down. If you think you can force a fold, go for the third bullet.

The set-up

  • You are the preflop raiser
  • At least one player calls you preflop
  • The caller is either a TAG you suspect of floating, or a weak player
  • The caller must be capable of folding to aggression
  • You miss the flop, fire a continuation bet and get called
  • Ideal: the turn either gives you more equity or is a scare card

In action

  • Identify passive players or aggressive fish who like to float the flop
  • Raise preflop as standard and continuation-bet as standard
  • If you are called on the flop,bet around two-thirds of the pot on any turn where either your equity improves, a scare card arrives, or you think you can force a fold
  • If you are called then you can fire a third barrel on the river, depending on the board texture and your opponent. this requires more than just a ‘close your eyes and hope’ bet

Triple-barrel bluffing in action

Daniel Strelitz puts the maximum pressure on Justin Bonomo here when the stakes are high – three-handed at the 2014 $1,500 Six-Max event.


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