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Speed Poker: A Solution for Bored Poker Players

Poker can be so-o-o boring.

Most of your time is spent folding preflop. You’re dealt a hand – it’s not good enough – you fold. Rinse and repeat, over and over again, until you get something playable.

I want action! We want action!

So, what if there was a way around this? What if there was a real doom switch, but for the boring part of poker? Would you be interested?

Well, good news. A few years ago Full Tilt came up with a brand new poker game. A variation that lets you skip the boring stuff to focus on more playable, premium hands instead.

They called it Rush Poker. But the genre as a whole is called “speed poker.” And with this variation you’ll get dealt 2-4x as many hands as a normal table, which means you’ll be twiddling your thumbs less often.

Let’s look at how speed poker games work, followed by where you can find these games Then we’ll finish with the pros and cons of these games so you can decide if they’re a good fit for you.

How Speed Poker Games Work

Let’s talk about how speed poker games work.

It’s pretty simple, but I know lots of people (myself included) learn best by watching. You can see a live example of a speed poker hand or two below:

Getting started will be like choosing any other game.

You’ll choose the game, like normal. Depending on the site you’ll be able to play cash games, tournaments and SNGs.

Stakes are limited, but usually micro and small stakes are offered.

Once you buy in you’ll be added to a pool of speed poker players (for both cash games and tournaments). It’s this pool of players the site uses to create each new table once you fold.

You’ll be seated like normal. Then you’ll be dealt your hand. From here you’ll have the normal options – when it’s your turn you can raise, call, check or fold.

But here’s where things get interesting.

When you fold the room will take you from that table and seat you at a new table with new/different players from the player pool. There you’ll instantly be dealt a new hand and the process will start over again.

Many rooms will have a ‘fast fold’ option. You can click this at any time – even before it’s your turn to act – and you’ll fold in advance. Then you’ll be taken to a new table.

As you can see you can get LOTS more hands in per hour this way.

Speed Poker Options by Brand

Where can you play speed poker?

Here’s a current list of the poker sites that offer a speed poker variation, what they call it, and details about the games and stakes they offer.

  • Rush Poker – This is Full Tilt Poker’s speed poker. They offer speed poker 6-max and full ring cash games.
  • Zoom Poker – This is PokerStar’s. Here’s what they offer:
    • No limit holdem: .01/.02 – 2.50/5
    • Fixed limit holdem: up to 1/2
    • Pot limit omaha: up to 1/2
  • Fast Forward – This is Party Poker’s. They offer no limit holdem and pot limit omaha cash games.
  • Speed Poker – This is the iPoker Network’s variation. They offer no limit holdem from .02/.04 to 2/4. They also have fixed limit holdem and pot limit omaha.
  • Blaze Poker – This is Microgaming’s speed poker game. They offer no limit holdem in the following stakes: .05/.10, .10/.20, .25/.50 and .50/1. Games are either 6-max or heads up.
  • Fast Fold – This is from the Ongame network. All their games are no limit holdem. They offer limits up to .25/.50.
  • Snap Poker – 888 Poker offers this. They offer both cash games and tournaments.
  • Sprint Poker – This is from Bet365.

Most – if not all sites – will let you play their speed poker games from your mobile device.

Pros / Cons of Speed Poker

Thinking about playing speed poker? Here are some pros and cons:

PROS

Play lots of hands in a short time frame. You can double, sometimes even triple the number of hands you play per hour. This is great for earning points for bonuses and VIP rewards.

Bluffing, steals and continuation bets can be more effective. Since lots of players fold and wait for stronger hands, this gives you the chance to pick up uncontested pots.

This is great for mobile devices since you can’t really multi-table (well) anyway.

It may be hard to get a read on other players, but that also means it’ll be hard for better players to get a read on you.

CONS

It’s easy to nit up. To think you can just fold until you have the nuts. But this can be an easy leak for other players to exploit.

Since there’s a lot of folding, you might not see as much post flop action as you would sitting at one table. This might ruin the mood for some players.

It’ll be hard to get reads or collect data/stats (if you’re using a HUD) until you’ve played for a long time.

Since you’re playing more hands you’ll pay the blinds more often. You can burn through your bankroll faster if you’re not careful. It might make sense to move down a level.

How to Win at Fast Poker Games

Here are some tips for winning at speed poker games.

  • I suggest sticking to ABC poker. This will depend on the game you’re playing (holdem, omaha, etc.). But since it’ll be hard to get any tells or data on your opponents, you’re not going to know what their playing styles, ranges or tendencies are.
  • If you’re going to stick to stronger cards, I highly suggest not slow playing – or not slow playing often. Since you’re not playing as many hands AND your opponents won’t have much information about you, you should be betting and getting as much value for your hands as you can.
  • If you notice players are tight (waiting for strong hands), I suggest you increase how often you continuation bet or steal the blinds. You might be able to pick up more uncontested pots which might offset the increase in blinds you’re paying.


Conclusion

Speed poker has its pros and cons.

But one thing you can’t deny – if you want to play less boring, and more action oriented poker, this is the game to play. You’ll get double, if not triple the action than you would at a normal table.

I can’t think of a player who’d complain about that.

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