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March 16th, 2010
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Poker Lesson: Thinking About Strategy in Rush Poker*
Author: Brandon Adams
Rush Poker* is an innovative new form of poker offered by Full Tilt Poker that allows players to see up to four times as many hands as they would see in a normal game.
There is not much of a learning curve with Rush Poker*; it plays pretty much like a regular poker game, but faster. There are, however, certain idiosyncrasies to Rush Poker* that suggest a slightly different style of play.
In a normal poker game, your personal speed of play has little effect on the number of hands you will see in an hour. In Rush Poker*, this is far from true; it’s possible for a very speedy player to see twice as many hands per hour than the average player.
Rush Poker* has an innovative feature that allows a player to fold out of turn: the Quick Fold button. If you are dealt, say, 2-3 offsuit on the button, you have the option of folding the hand well before the action gets around to you. Once you fold, you will immediately be taken to a new table and dealt a new hand. The players will not know that you opted to fold the deuce-three offsuit out of turn, because they will not observe your fold until the action gets around to you.
Most of the unique strategies associated with Rush Poker* stem from the Quick Fold feature. Although players can’t see that you have opted to fold out of turn, they can reliably guess that you have done so based on the speed in which you act. A very quick fold is a reliable indicator of an out-of-turn fold. Both recreational players and experienced pros are folding out of turn: the recreational player so he can see more playable hands per hour, and the experienced pro does so in an attempt to increase his hourly win rate.
The pro is willing to take a small drop in per-hand win rates in exchange for seeing many more hands per hour. Folding out of turn, by my estimation, causes only a small drop in per-hand win rates. Some pros will play many hands of Rush Poker* each day and will become somewhat familiar with the player pool. These pros might know who is folding out of turn a lot, and they will recognize that these players are probably making few moves and are probably paying minimal attention to the actions of the other players.
You should only fold out of turn when you know for sure that your hand will be unprofitable. Suppose you have 5-6 offsuit on the small blind. The first instinct is to fold and quickly move to the next hand. You might have a situation, though, where almost everyone at the table limps; in this situation, you should call and try to hit your hand.
If you play at these tables, you will realize that most players are folding out of turn quite a bit. To me, this suggests that some strategies that are bad or terrible in a normal ring game might be good for Rush Poker*. For instance, in Rush Poker*, strategies involving limping go way up in value. Sometimes you will limp and everyone at the table but the big blind will have folded out of turn! A good strategy for Rush Poker* might involve limping from early position with a mix of super premium hands and speculative hands that you would normally throw away.
With Rush Poker*, as in every other form of poker, your best strategy is to go against the flow of the table; play fast when everyone else is super tight, play super tight when everyone else is playing fast. Rush Poker* seemingly gives players the opportunity to play only super premium hands without being easily detected by other players as a super-tight player. If it seems like players in your player pool are doing this, you should go against the grain. You will be able to achieve high win rates by simply stealing blinds. Against a super tight Rush Poker* player pool, you should have a strategy of min raising a lot of different hands, especially when you are in late position. You will steal a lot of blinds this way. The caveat to this strategy is that, if you are raised, you should only proceed with your very best hands, and, if you are just called, you should only become active on the flop if you hit it especially hard.
Best of luck at the tables!
* Patent Pendin
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