What Is A Run In Poker?

What Does “on a Run” Mean in Poker?

If you play poker, you might hear someone say they’re on a run, on a good run, on bad run, or even on a “sun run.” 

What is a run in poker? The term “run” can actually mean several different things when it comes to poker.

When you say that you’re “on a run” of some kind in poker, that usually means you’re either on a hot streak or a cold streak in terms of cards and/or winnings. Let’s take a deeper look:

What Does “Running Good” Mean In Poker?

If you’re on a good run (or “running good”) in poker, that means you’ve been winning a lot and the cards have been falling your way.

If you’re playing Texas Hold’em, that could mean you’ve been picking up a lot of premium hole cards like pocket aces and kings. When you get hole cards like smaller pocket pairs and suited connectors, you’re making a lot of very strong hands like sets, straights, and flushes.

Your strong hands are often holding up through the river, and you’re managing to get those hands paid off by opponents that have inferior hands. When you’re running good, everything is going your way.

When everything is going your way, you win lots of money. You’ll sometimes hear poker pros refer to running good as “sun running.”

It’s great to go sun running, but in poker, you’ll have to endure stretches where the opposite kind of luck is in effect.

What Does “Running Bad” Mean In Poker?

“Running bad” (or going on a bad run) means you’re having the opposite kind of luck and results compared to what we’ve discussed in the “running good” section.

When you’re running bad, your pocket aces and kings are getting cracked by inferior preflop hands, and you’re losing big money.

You might go all-in with every strong hand when you’re way ahead, only to see your opponent hit a miracle two-outer on the river and take the pot. Or, you have a very strong hand like the second nut flush, only to see your opponent turn over the nut flush.

When you’re running bad, it might seem like you’re never going to win another hand of poker in your life. But make no mistake about it – even the very best poker players in the world run bad.

The more you study and commit time to improving your game in poker, the more you’ll be able to handle the unavoidable stretches of running bad.

Let’s cap off this article where Upswing Poker founder Doug Polk runs about as bad as you possibly can in a high-stakes live-stream game at the Lodge:

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About the Author
Geoffrey Fisk

Geoffrey Fisk

Freelance writer and poker player based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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