Running good is a winning streak, meaning you’re on an upswing due to a string of good cards.
There will be times when you run good over short periods of time. And on other occasions you will run good over longer periods.
An example of running good would be when you’re playing an online cash game and you’re dealt aces, then kings, then queens and then aces again over a 30-minute period, picking up big pots on each hand you play.
Let’s look more at the above example. Simply being dealt a strong hand is not in itself running good, because if everyone folds and you win just the blinds, then you’re not picking up enough chips.
To run good, you need your opponents to have decent hands too, or play bad, allowing you to take down large pots and hurt your opponents’ confidence and chip stacks.
“it’s purely variance”
It’s possible to run good over an entire poker tournament. Some players mistake running good for playing well, but this is a mistake. It’s also wrong to assume you’re playing poorly when you’re actually playing well but running bad.
Running bad or good is purely variance, and every player experiences it throughout their poker journey. It’s important to understand when you are running good, so you are ready if the cards turn against you.
Other ways players may refer to Running Good
We have all been at a table where an opponent is running good. Don’t get scared or distracted by this. In a tournament, you may have seen the last three players be eliminated by the same player whilst holding A-J. You should never just fold the same hand because you fear being a victim of the player who seems to be having all the luck.
It’s not uncommon for players to make poor decisions, like bad calls, but still get lucky. When an opponent is playing badly and running good, it can often tilt their opponents. Some opponents may even start playing bad just to try and get in on the lucky action.
Don’t be one of those players. Let the opponent playing badly continue to do so – eventually their luck will run out. Staying disciplined and focused will mean some of those chips may end up in your stack.
If you’re already a player who puts in the effort to improve your game and learn from mistakes, you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of many of your opponents. When you are playing great poker and then start running good you become almost unstoppable in that moment – a player to be feared at the table.
“Run Good + Good Play = Unstoppable”
You can obviously use this to your advantage by playing a little more aggressive against the players who seem to fear you. There will possibly be players that are on tilt because of this too, and out to get you, so you’ll need to decide exactly how this player plans ‘to get you’.
“If you can tell you’re running good, it means you’re playing good”