What is ‘Go Hog’?
Go hog is a poker term used to describe a Hi/Lo player who is aiming for both pots at once. The player might declare their intention to go hog, or simply place their chips in both pots – to hog, or just hog. The term describes a player’s decision to go both ways, and play for the high and low pots together.
‘Go Hog’ Explained
When a poker player chooses to go hog, they are chasing both of the pots in a Hi/Lo poker game. In some versions of poker, players have the option of building the highest ranking hand according to standard poker rules, or making the best hand possible when the values of the cards are reversed. In highball poker, the best hand is a suited set of 10-J-Q-K-A. In a lowball game, A-2-3-4-5 in a matching suit will beat all other hands. Unlike most other forms of poker, aces play high or low.
A Hi/Lo player is usually expected to declare which of the two kinds of hand they are building, and they will be eligible for half of the final pot. However, there are some combinations of cards which have a chance of winning both the high hand, and the low one. A good example is a set of four aces, which could play either way. To ‘go both ways’ means to declare an intention to play for both pots, and ‘go hog’ is a common slang term which describes this play.
The term might be used by the player as a verbal declaration, but it can also describe the act of betting into both pots – signalling the intent to chase a high hand along with a low hand. If a player chooses to go hog on an A-A-A set and wins the low hand but is beaten by the high one, they will take half of the pot. If they are successful when playing high and low, they keep both halves.