Feb 06, 2014
Fast Poker Strategy
By RTR Dennis
Whether you're playing PokerStars' Zoom Poker or the MPN network's Blaze Poker, fast-fold variations definitely add a new wrinkle to online poker. The games are quicker, players can get in more hands, and there's virtually no downtime.
Given that fast-fold variants speed up poker, they can be very exciting. However, a player can also lose lots of money if they're not careful with these games. This being said, let's take a look at some good basic tips for playing speed poker variants.
Tip #1 - Every Opponent is the Same
In regular online poker games, you'll normally have a lot of time to dissect opponents, learn their betting patterns and make reads. But speed poker is largely different because every time you fold, you're moving to a completely new table with new players. You never really gather any information on your opponents, which means you can't tell who the fish and experts are. So you can treat every player the same, which means there's no reason for balancing your range or building a profile.
Tip #2 - Tight is Definitely Right
We've all heard the expression "tight is right." Of course, most players eventually add some aggression to their arsenal to take advantage of nits. But when it comes to variants like Zoom, Blaze or Rush Poker, tight is especially right. Nobody's going to know if you've folded the last 15 hands because you're constantly switching tables. So it definitely pays to know the fundamentals such as value betting, set mining, pot odds, implied odds and starting hand selection.
Tip #3 - Never underestimate Opponents' Hands
As we just discussed in the previous tip, it's wise to play tight. But there are always going to be a few fish in every lobby pool that play a wide range of cards in bad spots. On the other hand, though, the majority of players you come across in fast-fold games have a decent knowledge of starting hand selection. In other words, don't raise with pocket 10's in middle position and expect the small blind to be re-raising you with Q-T(o). They likely have something good because stealing loses some of its value in fast online poker.
Tip #4 - Understand the Big Difference between 6-Max and Full Ring
It's no earth-shattering revelation that 6-max and full-ring poker strategy differs. But this difference is painfully obvious when you're playing speed poker. Players are so much tighter in full-ring fast poker than 6-max that it's ridiculous. Most players don't want to wait for 9 opponents to act when they're holding T-8(o). So why not just hit the fast-fold button and move on to a new table with fresh cards?
Tip #5 - Document your Own Experiences with Fast Poker Games
What we've discussed so far presents some nice strategy that'll help you get off to a good start. However, your own experiences are going to have a huge impact on how you improve with speed poker. It's important to notice the subtle differences between these fast poker variants and regular poker, then figure out how to apply this to making more money. And make sure that you get on forums, read articles and watch training videos on how you can play better speed poker.