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Practical Probability — Part XIII

Running it twice

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Jul 24, 2009


I ended my last column with an introduction to the idea of “running it twice.” Running it twice is a way to take some of the randomness out of a poker hand, when one of the players is all in and the betting has been completed. In many high-stakes games, it has come to replace someone giving insurance to the players in all-in situations. The person selling the insurance almost always got the best of it, sometimes by quite a lot. One player might want to insure against his opponent making a heart flush on the river, but the player offering to provide the insurance knows that he had folded two hearts. Negotiating the insurance often took a long time. When the New Yorkers swarmed into Vegas no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha games, we brought with us a technique for these situations that involved dealing it multiple times. Instead of ...

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