And more specifically, they don’t understand what cards to continue betting on.
So what happens instead is that in the interest of appearing aggressive they end up randomly barreling against their opponents. This leads to what I often refer to as “clicking buttons.”
Randomly clicking buttons is not how we win in online poker (same thing for live poker too). Yes it is good to be aggressive. You need to be aggressive in order to be a big time winning player. But you have to know why you are betting and what type of opponents to do it against.
So if you have any signs of clicking buttons syndrome, don't worry, this is the article for you. In this post I am going to talk about what types of turn cards and versus which opponents we want to continue betting on. I will also discuss which ones to avoid.
Player Type is More Important Than Anything
Before I even get started though I need to mention that the type of player who you are up against is actually more important than what the turn card is when double barreling.
You should always be playing the player at the poker tables and this means knowing exactly what type of opponent you are up against.
Barrel the Weak/Tights
In general, the players who you want to be double and even triple barreling against the most at the lower stakes are what are often referred to as weak/tight regs or sometimes just bad regs.
These are the players who play fairly tight but they aren’t willing to risk big portions of their stack without the nuts.
This will be by far the most common type of opponent that you face at the lower stakes by the way. This is why I am focusing heavily on how to crush them in my new book.
Don't Barrel the Fish and Good Regs as Much
The players that you want to sometimes avoid double barreling light on the other hand are the recreational players and some of the good players as well.
The fish will simply call you down because they don’t think about the game on any kind of deeper level at all. So this is why you typically want to have a good value hand like top pair or a huge draw when barreling against them.
The handful of really good winning regs that you will find at the lower stakes will notice if your bluffing frequencies are too high. So you can’t just barrel every scare card that comes up on the turn or they will correctly adjust and call you down with middle pair. So you need to pick your spots a little bit better here as well.
For more on the various player types and what they correlate to with HUD stats as well, I would suggest checking out my popular article on the various types of regs here.
Double Barreling Turn Scare Cards
The most common type of turn card that you should be double barreling on is a scare card.
What is a scare card?
A scare card is usually referred to as some sort of big broadway card like an ace or a king. The reason why this is scary to them is because our perceived range as the preflop raiser includes tons of ace and king hands.
Let’s have a look at an example hand.
Hero opens to 3x from EP with 5♧5♢
Weak/tight villain calls on the button
Before we even get to the flop let’s consider villain’s range here. When a tight reg like this flats me preflop in a spot like this I expect him to show up with a lot of small and middle pairs that he is trying to set-mine me with. I also expect him to show up with a few big aces that he was too scared to 3Bet me with.
He will probably be putting me on a lot of big aces, broadway hands like KQ and lots of big pairs and middle pairs.
We make a pretty standard CBet on a low board like this. I expect to get called most of the time by my opponent's pair hands. I expect to fold out pretty much all of his big ace hands.
This is the perfect card to double barrel a weak/tight nit on because he is going to be scared to death that his 77 or 88 or 99 is beat now and he will look to make the hero fold.
We also pick up a bit of equity with the gut shot to the 3 which is great too. So this is an easy +EV double barrel spot that you should be making on a regular basis against the weak/tight regs in particular.
What Are Some Other Good Cards to Barrel On?
There are plenty of other good cards that you can barrel on as well though which will increase your bluffing frequencies and have you showing a solid profit against the weak/tight regs.
These are cards where you pick up some equity which usually comes from a backdoor draw. Let’s look at another example.
Hero raises in EP with K♢Q♢
Weak/tight villain calls on the button
Once again we are going to CBet on a dry flop like this with pretty much our entire range. It folds out all his big aces and we plan to barrel plenty of scare cards on the turn as well.
But here are some other turn cards that we can also continue betting on:
- Any diamond (there are 10 more of them in the deck)
- Any 9 or J (there are 8 of them in the deck)
The diamond gives us a solid backdoor flush draw which we will hit 20% of the time on the river. And the 9 or the J gives us a gut shot or open ended straight draw which will also come in from time to time on the river.
Furthermore, some of these cards might even be overcards to whatever middle pair our opponent is hanging on with. This could scare him out as well.
Lastly, if all else fails there is a very good chance that our two overs with the K and the Q (6 outs) will be good on the river as well.
This is how you can analyze a turn situation and understand exactly why you are betting again, rather than randomly clicking buttons and hoping for the best.
For instance, here are a few examples of turn cards that I would choose NOT to double barrel on in this spot:
The reason why?
These cards do nothing to help improve our hand and they also will not scare our opponent at all. These are the type of turn cards where it is best to just check and give up and hope you spike one of your overs on the river.
Remember, you can’t win every pot in poker. Sometimes you need to be willing to just give up on the pot because there is simply more value (lose the least) in check/folding given the opponent and the board.
This is something that is extremely important to understand at the micros in particular. Learning how to check/fold more often against many of the terrible opponents that you will often encounter in these games is actually one of the biggest keys to my success.
I hope that this article gave you a few ideas on how to double barrel more effectively on the turn at the lower stakes.
Firstly, you should barreling most often against the weak/tight opponents who will be the most likely to give up on their middle pair type hand and let you have the pot. Luckily they will also be by far your most common opponent in small stakes games these days.
Versus the fish and the good regs you should have a bit more value in your range in this situation. It’s not like I won’t ever double barrel bluff them but I won’t be betting again on every backdoor draw or scare card that comes.
Furthermore, you should also be looking to make your double barrels strategically on the right turn cards. Specifically these are broadway scare cards (especially aces and kings) and runner cards that provide you with a decent backdoor draw such as a flush or straight draw or even a gut shot.
On all other cards you should typically just be giving up on the pot. This will keep your turn barreling frequencies in good shape against the weak/tight nit army and have you easily destroying them in this situation in the long run.
If you want to know my complete strategy and how I created some of the biggest winrates in the history of online poker at the micros make sure you pick up a copy of my free ebook.
Let me know your thoughts below about double barreling at the lower stakes. Which cards do you like to bet on?