I was told there is etiquette regarding running a hand more than once. Three times was suggested, so as to give your opponent an opportunity to not lose all his chips/get stacked. Three times gives him a chance to win 1/3 maybe, instead of lose all his chips. Please advise. This is a cash game, 1/2 not limit - buy in $500 max. lots of good players, and the host is a pro.
He also 'just runs it' - will run the cards out with no more betting - with his dad and his best friend. He also 'puts in' (schill?) players to fill the table and does not play against them hard.

  • 1
    I don't really understand exactly what the question is. Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 8:08
  • True: what is it that are you asking? Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 11:30

2 Answers 2


It's important to realize that running it more than once does not change the odds at all. It will only reduce the variance for you and your opponent. If you want to reduce your variance as much as possible, you could run it as many times as the stub (remaining cards in the deck) would permit. Even more efficient would be to just chop the pot based on your equity at the point, but that takes out all the "fun." In my opinion, running it more than once also removes a lot of the fun.

There is no etiquette regarding how many times to run it. Basically, both players can make their own suggestion. Whatever is the lowest suggested number is the number of boards to deal (because players do not have a right to have more boards than 1). For example, if you want to run it twice and your opponent wants to run it once, then only 1 board should be dealt, because you don't actually have a right to more than 1 board, and your opponent is not obligated to take more than 1 board.

The game host you describe seems very "friendly" and soft. If the rest of the game plays that way, this would suggest that players would be more inclined to run it more than once (since that reduces variance, which is consistent with the other features of a friendly and soft home game). However, you should still make your own decision.

As a side note, I would be concerned about cheating/collusion in the game you describe, with so much soft-playing, and one player backing others in the game (this is usually frowned upon), and perhaps some close relationships. If I sat in a 6 player $500 buy-in game where my 5 opponents all had a piece of each others' action, and were just checking it down against each other, then playing seriously against me and suggesting I run it multiple times when I'm ahead... this is a very shady situation. It's basically 5v1 at that point.

  • +1 for using the keyword "variance" ;) Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 7:45
  • @nsw: this... It reduces the variance due to all-ins. Note that "just chop the pot based on your equity" would require everybody in the deal who folded to reveal their holecards, which some players who folded would probably have issue with. Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 21:21

I don't think there are set numbers on how often you should run the board. If anything, most people base it the pot equity of the respective hands. A flip is going to get less runs than other hands that are more dominated. In some cases, running it 3 times (as you suggest) may be too many or too few. It just depends on the hands at the given time.

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