What is ‘Run a Pot’?
If a player is said to run a pot, they are playing the entire hand on a series of bluffs rather than on the belief that their hand is a good one. The player will bet multiple times on their hand during the game, perhaps even raising, to keep the pot high and keep themselves in the game. The player using this strategy will be hoping for opponents to fold so they can successfully run the pot – take the prize off the back of their bluffs.
‘Run a Pot’ Explained
In poker, players are trying to assemble the best hand they can from the cards available, in order to beat their opponents at the showdown by having a higher ranked hand. This is the simplest way a pot can be won. For example, if one player holds triples and another has a full house, the full house should win at the showdown. However, players can make the game more complicated and interesting by playing hands that are not strong, and acting as though they are. This is known as bluffing, and it is an important part of poker. Even if the player has a weak hand, successful bluffing can get opponents to give in and fold, ruling themselves out of the prize.
If a player is described as running a pot or trying to run the pot, they are making repeated bluffs on a poor hand and maintaining this strategy right through to the final round. They will consistently bet at each round and might even raise the stakes by increasing the bet. This is a strategy designed to make other players drop from the round, so that the player with the bad hand is left as the sole player standing and therefore the winner of the pot.