As you become a more experienced No Limit Holdem player you realize that a great way to increase your winrate is to learn the right cards to double barrel bluff when you have the betting lead as the preflop raiser. Double barreling is a very complex concept but to simplify things most of the time if a disconnected, overcard comes to top pair on the turn it usually will help your own range more than your opponents’ flop calling range. Say, for example, the flop comes out 9♥ 2♦ 3♣ and we have isolation raised an early position limper with Q♠ J♠ on the button in a $5-$5 game. We make a bet on the flop and the limper calls. The turn is the K♠ and our opponent checks again. That K♠ does much better for our own range than our opponents’ and unless he has made kings up specifically it is going to be very difficult for him to call.
However, there are some situations that bring about such good double barrel turn cards that we can actually wait and risk nothing on our bluffs—to see what our opponent does on the river. This is called a “delayed double barrel”. A great example of this is usually when flops come out with a low pair in them and an ace (the ultimate scare card) comes on the turn. Let us take a look at a hand that I played last week at the Commerce Casino in the $5-$10 $500-$1500 cap No Limit game. At this particular table the game was playing relatively loose and passive and it was a weekday afternoon. Three people had limped in front of me with medium sized stacks and I looked down at K♥ Q♥ from the cutoff. I decided to raise it up to $60. Two of the limpers called in front of me. The flop ran out 5♣ 5♠ 2♥ and both players checked. Now even though there is a strong chance that at least one of my opponents had limp called with a pocket pair I love firing multiple streets with these boards because it is very difficult for someone to play a big pot with a hand like 66 especially when multiple overcards come on the turn and on the river. I decided for this reason to bet a little bit larger to start to intimidate my opponents leading to larger sizing on future streets and put in $140. The first limper folded and the player to my right thought for a minute and called. The turn was the A♠ and he checked again. Now on the surface this looked like one of the best double barrel cards in the deck, which it was. However, I thought that on the off chance that my opponent was slow playing something like pocket deuces or a five I would find out about it on the river. Occasionally guys will also check-call paired boards like this with AJ, AQ or AK as well and he would be sure to bet those holdings also. So by checking back what looks like the perfect bluff card I actually risk nothing. And so long as I am confident that he is not the type to make a move at the pot I like the play. Obviously this is a player dependent situation but against this particular villain I knew that he was straightforward and that I did not have to worry about getting bluffed off the hand. The river was the 9♣ and the limper came out and fired $400. I commented that he must be strong and insta-folded. He showed me A♦ 5♦ for a turned full house.
The beautiful part about this delayed double barrel is that if he had a hand like pocket sixes he would have simply check-folded the river. I would have been able to get away with risking absolutely nothing. This concept is similar to the same way we can delayed flop continuation bet boards that should really smack our raising range as the preflop raiser and wait to see what our opponent does on the turn.