Normal Cash Games vs. Zoom Poker Variants

Full Tilt Poker's Rush Poker, a fast fold poker variant that's now been introduced on sites like PokerStars, where it's called Zoom Poker, popularized speed poker. This article will explain the basic concept of the game and look at the differences between Zoom Poker variants and normal poker cash games.

This new speed poker format is commonly referred to as Zoom Poker or "fast fold poker" because you can fold hands you don't want to play and get instantly moved to a new table where you can play another hand. Therefore, there is no downtime in between the action, always keeping you involved in a hand. Although first introduced to the cash game tables on PokerStars, fast-fold Zoom MTT tournaments have also been introduced, so every type of player can get amongst the speed poker action.

Players migrating from normal cash games naturally want to know how Zoom Poker games will play differently, even though on first impression some players might make the mistake of thinking you should approach both games in much the same way. I think the general consensus is that since you can fold the majority of marginal hands that will get you into trouble since there's another hand you will be dealt pretty much straight away, this will mean players will be more patient and wait for better starting hands to play.

Although this makes sense, logic would suggest that there would always be thinking players who are looking to exploit that since a large part of the player's pool will be playing too tight. Since when you are playing Zoom Poker you won't be playing as many hands against the same player, it makes it even more important that when you have something worth noting on a player, that you make a player note on him, so that you can get better reads on this player in future hands. Even though you are constantly being moved to a new table after every hand, you will still get to play a lot of hands against the same players, especially when playing longer sessions.

Stealing the Blinds

In Zoom Poker where players are generally raising and defending tighter ranges, it makes sense that you would be more inclined to try and steal the blinds since the players in the blinds will be folding a lot. With that being said, there will be some players who realize this and will be defending and 3betting wider in the blinds. The more a player recognizes what you are doing via your stats the less you should be inclined to exploit the standard dynamics of the game. I think in 6max zoom poker games, players are more inclined to defend their blind with wider ranges since the blinds come around quicker.

Position is Important

As in normal ring games, position in Zoom Poker ring games or tournaments is still a vital component of any game plan, and you should be looking to play more hands in position. The main reason for this is the positional advantage you will have post flop. Being mindful of which position an opponent is raising from is very important in Zoom Poker since players are not trying to create a certain image in this format of the game. Therefore, open raises from an early position at the table should get a lot more respect, unless you have a reason to believe otherwise, like when a player has shown a tendency to be very aggressive pre-flop so you know he is opening really wide. Although it has to be said these kinds of players are the exception not the rule when you are playing Zoom Poker.

When you have initiative and position in the hand, I think it lends itself to lots of favorable positions post flop where you can be more aggressive, knowing your opponents will be more likely to not play back at you when they miss, knowing there is another hand that will be dealt to them on a new table, especially when opponents are out of position and it's difficult for them to take a more aggressive line. This means continuation betting against most opponents will be a very profitable strategy, especially those who are playing fit or fold poker.

All in all, Zoom Poker is a new and exciting version of online poker cash games, and as a result, this attracts lots of recreational players to the zoom tables. So even though you will encounter a lot more readless situations against players you've never played against before, you will often be playing against weaker players who will be making lots of mistakes that you can profit from. Also make sure not to level yourself into making hero calls and the like just because you are playing this format. A lot of the situations will be fairly similar.