What Does Run It Twice Mean In Poker?

2 minutes

Last Updated: December 19, 2023

What Does Run It Twice Mean In Poker?

In poker, “running it twice” is an option that allows players to agree and deal the remaining community cards twice instead of once to determine the winner of a hand.

Running it twice is usually done when two players are all in and both have a chance to win the pot.

When players agree to run it twice, the dealer deals the remaining community cards twice, creating two separate boards. In addition, the pot is split into two equal halves, one for each board, and the winner of each board takes half of the pot.

The purpose of running it twice in poker is to reduce the variance and minimize the impact of luck on the outcome of a poker hand. In essence, it can act as an insurance of sorts.

Think of it this way, if two players are all in and they have equal chances of winning the pot, if they run it once, only one player will win the pot, which means that he will win more than he should, and the other player will lose more than he should.

On the other hand, if they run it twice, there is a decent chance that one player will win on one board and the other player will win on the other, resulting in an equal split of the pot corresponding to their chances of winning the hand.

It is important to note that running it twice is not allowed in all poker games or all casinos, and it is exclusive to cash games since there is no way to do it in MTTs.

If running it twice is allowed, but players can’t agree on whether to run it twice, the hand will continue as normal, and the remaining community cards will be dealt once.

Run It Twice Example:

Let’s say that you are playing in a $5/$10 Texas Hold’em Cash Game, you go all in with a pocket pair of 5h 5c for 100bb, and one of your opponents calls you with Ks Qs. There is $2,000 in the pot.

After seeing your opponent’s cards, you realize that both of you have around a 50% chance of winning, so you ask your opponent to run it twice, and he agrees.

The dealer splits the $2,000 into two $1,000 pots and deals all five community cards twice.

  • The first board runs out Kd 7d 8c 9c Jd, giving your opponent a pair of kings.
  • The second board runs out 2s 2d Js Tc 6d making your pair of 5s the best hand.

In this situation, you and your opponent get $1,000 each, corresponding to the 50% that you both had in the hand.

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