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Coin Flips in Poker Tournaments

Though many people are familiar with coin flips in football games and the like, many people are often shocked to find coin flips taking place in poker tournaments. They are a normal part of these events, however, and they help ensure that everyone has a fair shot at winning.

What is a Coin Flip?

In most situations, a coin flip is a way to make a decision between two people or teams. Each participating party or team has a 50/50 shot at coming out favorably. In poker, however, the term 'coin flip' does not refer to the actual tossing of a coin; instead, it simply refers to a situation in which two opponents have an equal or near-equal opportunity to win the pot.

How to Proceed with a Coin Flip

Players who find themselves holding a pair in the pocket--or the two cards that the other players cannot see--may be perfect candidates for a coin flip. If the player holding the pair is certain that their opponent is not holding a higher-ranked pair, that player may choose to go all-in. Of course, the odds of winning here are almost never 50/50, but they are close enough that it just may be worth a chance at throwing everything into the pot and letting Lady Luck handle the rest.

Using a Coin Flip Correctly

Even when there is an obvious coin flip situation in front of a player, there will always be times that it is best to hold back and play the hand out normally. For instance, if a player has a significantly higher bankroll than their opponent, a coin flip is often too risky as it could quickly close the gap between the players. It may be best to allow the hand to proceed normally and go all-in after the turn or river has been laid.

Players who want to get the most from their poker playing experiences should understand the term 'coin flip' and how it can affect their games. Though many players simply avoid the situation and play every hand out, others can certainly use it to their advantage.