Sometimes when you raise pre-flop in games like no limit Texas hold’em and you c/bet into a heads up pot with a weak hand then your opponent often calls both bets. Some players then stop trying to run a bluff through and check thus allowing their opponent a chance to see the river or bluff them from the hand.
You need to learn when and how to make bluffs in no limit play and when to fire that second barrel on the turn. There are several key factors to consider here and the first is if any cards come on the turn that weakens your opponents’ hand. Firstly let us say that your opponent is in one of the blinds and check-calls the flop.
Now a betting action like that is nearly always done with a marginal holding that your opponent feels could be the best hand. Only in a very small number of cases is your opponent in the process of running an intricate bluff or is slowplaying a monster.
The Vital Turn Card
The turn card will have a big factor on whether or not you can fire another barrel. Let us say that the flop is 10s-9c-4h and your opponent check-calls. In this situation they likely have a mediocre made hand like top pair, or second pair or a draw of some sort.
If the turn card doesn’t improve their range and only weakens it then you can make a good bluff here. For example if the turn card is a king then you can represent the king and place pressure onto drawing hands that will struggle to call a second barrel because now there is only one card to come and their implied odds are worse.
So the second barrel makes life very tough for them. Also if your opponent has a tendency to call c/bets and then fold on the turn then you can fire second barrels here also. So remember that the turn card is important if your opponent is to fold to a second barrel.
Less Likely to Fold
On a 4-4-2 board for example then your opponent is less likely to fold to a turn barrel if it is a five than if it is an ace and this is especially the case if you are the pre-flop raiser as an ace could easily have hit your hand. Let us look again at another flop and turn to show the theory in practice.
The flop is Jh-4h-3s and your opponent check-calls your c-bet. They will have a lot of moderate pairs in their range like TT-55 and flush draws that they feel could be the best hand. So if a jack comes on the turn then you can represent three jacks and only if your opponent is holding a jack will they call the second barrel in all likelihood. If you get your bet sizing correct then you should be able to make the bet profitable.