What Does it Mean to Run it Twice in Poker?


Running it twice in poker is a practice that is often used in cash games or high-stakes games. It is a way to reduce variance and potentially split the pot between two or more players.

When players agree to run it twice, they essentially agree to deal the remaining community cards twice and determine different outcomes for each deal. This is usually done when all-in players want to mitigate their risk and reduce the impact of luck on the result of the hand.

Here’s how running it twice works:

1. All-In Situation: Let’s say two players are all-in and have reached the showdown with their respective hands.

2. Agreement: The players involved in the all-in situation must agree to run it twice before the remaining cards are dealt. Running it twice is optional, and all players must be in agreement for it to happen.

3. Dealing the Cards: Instead of dealing the remaining cards once, the dealer will deal the next set of community cards and complete the first run, and then deal a second set of community cards for the second run.

4. Determining the Outcome: After both runs are completed, the pot is divided into two equal parts, with one part going to the winner of the first run and the other part going to the winner of the second run. If one player wins both runs, they take the entire pot.

Benefits of Running it Twice:

1. Reducing Variance: Running it twice helps reduce the impact of luck or bad beats on the outcome of a hand. By giving players two chances to win, it reduces the volatility of the game and provides a more balanced result.

2. Fairness: Running it twice is seen as a fair way to distribute the pot, especially in situations where players are all-in with a significant amount of money at stake. It ensures that each player has an equal opportunity to win.

3. Smoother Action: Running it twice also speeds up the game by resolving the outcome of a hand quickly. Players don’t have to wait for a single run to finish before moving on to the next hand.

It’s important to note that running it twice is not a common practice in all types of poker games. It is more prevalent in cash games or high-stakes games where players have larger bankrolls and want to reduce the impact of variance. In tournament play, running it twice is not typically allowed.

In conclusion, running it twice in poker is a voluntary agreement among all-in players to deal the remaining cards twice. It reduces variance, provides a fairer outcome, and adds an element of excitement to the game. It is not a common practice in all types of poker games, but it is popular in cash games and high-stakes games.

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