Many novice and intermediate players in no limit cash games often get confused as to when they should continue firing further barrels post flop.
I think the best way to approach this is by way of looking at it from a standpoint of equity. This means pot equity along with fold equity. When you have ample pot equity coupled with fold equity then you can continue to be aggressive because as we all know…..aggression wins pots.
Let us look at an example to show you what I mean. You open raise in the hijack seat in NL100 with the Qd-Jc and everyone folds but the big blind. Your raise was a standard pot sized raise to 3.5bb and so there are now 7.5bb in the pot.
The flop comes 9d-5s-2c and your opponent checks. Here I would definitely make the c-bet because I have a combination of pot equity and fold equity.
My pot equity with the six outs to the overcards and the backdoor straight draw are on the low side. However the hand is heads up and I am the aggressor.
On top of that and the board is dry and so my fold equity is high. Couple these two factors and a c-bet is mandatory. Now contrast that to a situation where both blinds call and the flop comes 7h-6h-4s and both opponents check.
Here my pot equity is less because there is no backdoor draw and the fold equity having an extra opponent is substantially less. Betting here is more marginal and a check is a solid play.
In fact if we change the board again to one where there are three diamonds and I would definitely check it back. So we can see that our level of post flop aggression can be dovetailed to how much equity we have got in the pot. More equity means a greater potential to keep our foot on the gas.
What ultimately makes your plays profitable when you c-bet and barrel the turn is the added equity in your hand on those times that you are called.