There will be many times where you have raised before the flop and bet the flop with nothing and still not improved on the turn.

But the pot is starting to escalate and you feel a little lost as to the correct course of action. It may be fine when you are playing free poker in the play money games but when real cash is at stake and the palms get sweaty then life just gets a whole lot tougher.

For example you open raise on the button with Kd-3s and the big blind calls you. The flop comes 9h-8c-5d and they check.

Getting The Pot Size Correct

You bet three quarters of the pot and get called with the turn card bringing the 2c. Whatever you do here then you are in a tricky spot.

If you check then your showdown equity is poor with just a weak king overcard that you will have to hit to stand any chance of winning the pot. But if you carry on firing then nothing has changed with the arrival of the turn card and so your fold equity is very low if you fire again.

Balance Pot Equity and Fold Equity

I like to use a balance of pot equity and fold equity to dictate whether or not I fire a second barrel. If my pot equity is weak and so is my fold equity then I simply check.

There is no shame in giving up as you could have extracted money from your opponent when circumstances were better rather than trying to bang your head against a brick wall.

Change your hand to say Qc-10c and the board to say 8c-4s-2d and things are different. I have the back door straight and flush draws and six outs to my overcards.

That coupled with the fact that a c-bet can take the pot down indicates that a bet is correct. Now if the turn card was another club then my equity has increased.

If it is a big club like the Ac then so has my fold equity as well because my pre-flop raise represented the ace. So I would definitely fire a second barrel here for sure.