The newest craze in online poker, Rush Poker on Full Tilt, combines the best facets of the game all the while avoiding having to wait in between hands. For those who are unfamiliar with Rush Poker it is poker at its purest. Every hand is against new players at a new table, forcing players to act quickly and with out much knowledge of their opponent’s tendencies. After a player chooses to fold his/her hand they are immediately shipped to a new table with other players who have just done the same. This sped up form of poker can allow players who are 1-tabling to play nearly 300 hands per hour.
Rush Poker can be quite intimidating at first, especially for those who are used to taking their time during and in between hands. For those who are used to playing one table at a time it would be wise to perhaps play 2 or 3 tables at once to gain the feel for getting 200+ hands in an hour. Players wanting to dive right in should start with just one Rush Poker Table at once before adding another. While there are only a few tables at small stakes games it can be quite a shock to play multiple games at once. As always in poker, its best to ease your way into a new game, learn its intricacies, adjust your play, and then begin adding more tables.
Adding two crazy games together might be thought of as a recipe for disaster. However, at Full Tilt Poker, the combination of Pot-Limit Omaha and Rush Poker has been quite the hit. For the time being it appears only a small-stakes Omaha will be covered as there are currently just two tables of $25 buy-in PLO and one table of $50 PLO offered. These tend to be the most popular Omaha stakes and Rush Omaha is catching on rather quickly. While the basic game is the same, Rush Omaha plays much differently than regular Omaha ring games.
First of all, the major tendency in Rush Poker is for players to play a tighter range of hands before the flop. It’s quite simple, players do not feel the urge to play as many hands pre-flop because they can just fold and instantaneously be dealt another. This simple observation forces us to play much differently than in normal Omaha games. First of all, if you are not already playing very loose in late position, especially when you have the chance to steal the blinds, you need to start doing so now! Since players are more apt to fold, this means your success rate for either stealing blinds or getting the pot heads-up in position should increase dramatically. Start out by raising with hands you question before folding in normal games. As always, adjust your play depending on your opponent’s reactions. If you find the games are playing just as loose and wild as normal Omaha games, then tighten up and play hands with strong nut potential.
In Rush Hold’em 3-betting light might be a great idea as players are probably not calling/contesting 3bets with out very strong hands. However, in Omaha, that is not the case. We already know players are opening stronger hands and folding marginal holdings. We also know in Omaha players rarely, if ever, fold to pre-flop 3-bets. The better play might be to call with a wide range in position (position is key) and plan on outplaying your straight-forward opponents after the flop. Take advantage of their tendencies to play fit/fold poker and use your position to pounce on weakness and extract maximum value from your strong hands.
Finally, another main difference from Rush Hold’em and Rush Omaha might be the player pool size. Chances are there will be a much larger player pool in the Hold’em games which means concepts such as reads and adjustments do not carry as much weight as normal games. However, the Omaha player pool is smaller, to the point where you will be seeing a lot of the same players through out your session(s). Taking notes can help as the pace of the game will make it nearly impossible to remember everything about each opponent. If you can commit to learning your opponent’s tendencies you will certainly be a step ahead of the game. Rush Omaha is fast-paced and a bit hectic; keep your cool and you will be just fine.