Rush Poker, a newly introduced game mode on Full Tilt Poker, brings a lot of unique twists to the normal Hold’em games we know and love. By understanding the fundamental differences between Rush Poker and standard No Limit Holdem, you will be able to understand how the strategy deviates between the games, and also be able to devise your own strategy.
For one, Rush Poker is infinitely faster than other standard games of poker, even Turbo ones. The reason being? Every time you get dealt a hand and you are not in the Big Blind, you can opt to "Quick fold". When you do a quick fold by clicking its appropriate button, you will instantly be given a new seat at another table, with animation and all. What this means is that you have very little time for reads and also that you could play hundreds of hands in the span of literally minutes on a single table.
This also means that it's going to be very hard to multi-table. The amount of poker hands that you will be playing in such a short time with very short time banks and always requesting immediate action from the player makes it very hard to effectively load up a ton of tables in order to maximize your frequent player points earned. You can enter up to 4 times in the same Rush Poker "pool".
And this brings us to the next point. Rush Poker is played in "pools" instead of the actual tables we have been accustomed to. Basically, you choose your stakes, and every stake has a single "pool" you can enter multiple times (up to 4) into. This means you will get 4 seats, none of which will ever be seated at the same table obviously, and can theoretically four table a single player's pool. You can do 4-table multiple stakes (player pools) at the same time if you are truly a masochist and like to bleed lots of money quickly, but hey, that's you.
Oh, and then we have reads. Due to the hectic nature of the game, it's not really possible to get good reads on particular players, only after several sessions in which you happen to encounter the same player and play vs. him. In that regard, Rush Poker is even more extreme than tournaments because your seat is shuffled every hand instead of every few like in normal online tournaments.
And you can forget about HUDs giving you proper information, because HUDs can't currently react and configure themselves properly for every table and for every player who will also be seated at a random location. So Rush Poker is an Epic Win for people against HUDs. It's also impossible to observe somebody else playing, because there are no consistent tables to observe and the fact that every player has a unique view of their own action. What you can do though, is to go over the hands you played though, for example using Full Tilt's graphical hand replayer, and make notes on any of the players after the game, which you might use in subsequent sessions. This might give you a leg up the next time you might meet the same player.
Now what adjustments do we have to make? If you have been following this article properly you may have a few ideas already.
First up, we should forget about fancy plays. There is no useful history to be made between players due to the nature of Rush Poker (which we have just discussed), so it does not pay to deviate from normal ABC-play. So, Tight is most definitely right here, but beware of playing too tight, as it can be easily exploited by blind stealers.
Next, be very mindful of the stacks you will be up against. You need to see how much money is behind other players who have acted, and those left to act, in order to make it worthwhile for you to play speculative hands. In other words, be very very mindful of the possible effective stacks before you play a hand. Also, it could also affect how you play premium hands depending on how the board comes and how much money is behind (a classic example would be with KK on an A-high board vs. with very large effective stacks). Also, if you arrive on a table with only 10BB stacks while you have 100BB stack, quick fold your way out of there unless you have a premium because a preflop all-in and showdown is imminent.
And the most important thing of all, just as it is in a normal holdem poker game but arguably even more important in Rush Poker because it's pretty much all you have, is Position. Position, position, POSITION! Because reads are not really important at first, the only thing you can hang onto is position. This means you should abuse position a bit more than you normally would. Open more from late position, reraise dealer raises from the blinds a bit more often, and basically be generally more aggressive than you would in a standard game. For example, you can raise every hand on the button, whereas you would not do that in a normal cash game because the players would pick up on it and start paying back.
In general, people who play Rush Poker will tend to fold fold fold everything but premium pairs, then raise like nuts when they get these, and hope they are paid off by some loosey goosey. The current train of thought is to take the tight-aggressive style of play to the extreme. The problem with this kind of think is that you will not win a lot when (and if) you do, and you will be quite exploitable by more aggressive players because you never bluff. All the free money on the table, particularly by those that fold every hand, is just laying there up for grabs by the more aggressive player.
With this thinking, you should be ready to reraise more lightly to protect your own blinds. Blinds are coveted in Rush Poker, and therefore you should be prepared to engage those who try to take away yours, while taking away that of others as well.
So, here follows a quick summary of the strategies you have to use to dominate the opposition in Rush Poker at Full Tilt Poker, in no particular order:
- Position is of utmost importance. Abuse it when you have it.
- No fancy plays. Stick to the book. An occasional little adventure does not hurt though.
- Tight is right, but be careful to not be too tight.
- Bet. Never limp when first in pot.
- Be very mindful of effective stacks, both current and possible.
- Do not underestimate how demanding multi-tabling Rush Poker is.
Hopefully these strategies will be enough to aide you in having a lot of fun in Rush Poker. Because, you know, making money is fun.