News: Poker Basics – Running It Twice

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If you have been playing cash games for a little while and wondered why the poker room asked you to ‘Run It Twice’, wonder no more.

Most sites give you the option to Run It Twice in cash games

Running It Twice only happens in cash games, it only happens when all the remaining players are all-in with their cards face up and everyone has to agree to it. 

The dealer will then deal out the remaining cards (Flop/Turn/River) not once but twice (or more times if agreed). 

Let’s look at an example. In a $1/$2 game you 3-bet preflop and get to a flop of T 9 3 with A K and it goes bet bet bet until you are all-in, you get called by J J. Your opponent asks you if you want to run it twice?

You have 53.54% equity against your opponent, even though they have the current best hand. The pot is $403 and you agree to run it twice. 

The first run out is 2 7, meaning the Jacks hold up. The second run out is 3 Q meaning your flush draw gets there. As a result you both win half of the $403 pot. A very small profit. 

Decrease variance and keep games loose

You can Run It Twice once everyone is all-in

Poker players run it twice to decrease variance. Over the long term your overcards with the nut flush draw is the favourite but in the short term it loses almost half the time. The more times you play that exact situation the more EV you will win overall. A lot of poker players do not have this exact mindset, instead they simply run it twice either to ‘avoid a bad beat’ or because they like the increased action. 

Running it twice does not increase your odds of winning, it simply irons out short term variance. 

The best reason to run it twice is nothing to do with your own odds and more to do with game flow. If you are seen as a player who runs it twice, your opponents might play looser against you. They might make a weak semi bluff against you when you have a big hand safe in the knowledge that you will give them a chance to have two (or more) shots at getting even. It’s also just more fun and tends to keep a game friendlier. 

Running it twice is no guarantee that you will split the pot, however, as many famous televised hands can confirm:

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