Knowing when to fire a second barrel on the turn in Texas Hold’em
By Bob Garcia
This Texas Hold’em strategy nugget can make or break a hand
Many poker players, on different occasions, fail to make their flop after raising with a great hand. This is nothing to be surprised at, as poker will always have its good and bad days. Whether you are a pro or not, you know that the idea is to be able to take the pot every time you think you have a good hand. However, you have to keep in mind that you might get called on the flop, the turn doesn’t get any better and you can still get absolutely nothing. When this happens, there are two types of players, those who surrender or those who decide to fire a second barrel. Knowing how and when to fire that barrel is an important part of a winning Texas Hold’em strategy and can be the difference between giving up the pot or going the distance.
When you are sitting at the poker table, it is clear to say that hundreds of different types of situations could happen, and you have to keep in mind in which of them it is wise to fire the second barrel. This is practical advice because, depending on the situation, barrels are not always advisable. However, there are other situations where it is essential to do so, for example when heads-up on the turn. Here it is a yes or yes; however, unless you only have one opponent left on the turn, it is better to leave the consideration aside. With a call and one or more overcalls on the flop, it is already a sufficient indication that the opponents have too much strength, and therefore it is better to let it go.
Another perfect opportunity is when the turn should improve your range. Here a profitable second barrel is not quite mandatory. However, it is not too much if the turn card helps your overall range. Being a player who raised on the flop, many expect you to have pretty good cards, so any big card on the turn could easily have improved your holding. Always remember that both Kings and Aces on the turn are perfect indications for second barrels.
And lastly, when the turn should be bad for your opponent’s range don’t hesitate to apply this technique as well. Achieving success in a barrel means that the turn card has to be bad for your opponent’s rank. If you notice some insecurity from your opponent to invest more money, go for it.