Running It Twice in Poker
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Imagine you are in a situation where you are all-in and your opponent seems to have a very strong hand. Now if you try to use any strategy, let’s say a semi-bluff, he will call and you will lose the entire pot. However, poker allows you to use a very different process which can easily increase your chances of winning. Also, you won’t have to risk the entire pot. This process is called ‘run it twice’ in poker.
To ‘run it twice’ in poker refers to a situation when two players are all-in and decide to deal the remaining streets twice. This means that half of the pot at each time will go to the player with a strong hand. However, players can ‘run it’ even more than two times, if they agree upon mutually and the game allows it. Basically, it is a method to determine the winner of a poker hand, once all betting is done on the hand before the dealing of final cards.
The main reason to run it twice in poker is because it helps reduce variance without affecting the profit incurred by the situation. It can possibly happen that a player who has a better hand can call another’s semi-bluff. Here, the whole pot depends just on a single turn of cards. This situation can be avoided if both the players agree to run it twice, so that chances of winning improve for both players.
Running it twice is most commonly seen in games such as Omaha and Texas Hold’em, which involve community cards. When the two players decide to run it twice in poker, it means that two sets of cards will be dealt. The first 50% of the pot goes to the winner of the hand using the first set of cards and the other 50% goes to the winner of the hand using another set of cards.
There are certain conditions that need to be fulfilled before running it twice:
❏ The casino that is hoisting the game must allow this.
❏ There can be only two players in the pot.
❏ One of the players must have all-in.
❏ Both the players must have agreed upon to run it twice.
❏ The final card has not yet been dealt.
After checking all of the above mentioned conditions, the players must ask the dealer to stop dealing any more cards; else the dealer will continue with the rest of the cards. After the players agree and the dealer also understands their agreement, the process is continued as follows:
❏ The remaining cards are dealt by the dealer as usual.
❏ Then, these recently dealt cards are slid upwards by the dealer, and the previous ones remain in their place.
❏ Then another set of finishing cards is dealt by the dealer.
❏ If a player wins both the hands, the entire pot goes to him.
❏ However, if a player has the best hand using one set of cards and another player has the best hand using another set of cards, the pot is split into two equal halves.
Running it twice or thrice or as many times is just a way to reduce that much variance. As you try to reduce the variance, you will get more close to your expected result. Many of the poker players choose to run it twice because dealing with variance is something very tricky.
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