Poker is a great amount of fun, but it can also be time consuming. We’ve all had those days where we pop online for a brief game or two and find ourselves spending several hours at the tables.
If you’re a player with a tight schedule, you should consider Zoom Poker or one of the similar fast poker games offered by the leading card rooms. This form of poker emphasizes rapid-fire gameplay, although all other facets of the game are the same as usual.
This article is meant to give you a basic understating of fast poker, whether you’re playing Zoom, SNAP, Rush, or one of the other brands. All the essentials are covered in the following section, and we’ll conclude with a list of some of the leading names in high-speed online poker.
How to Play Fast Poker Games
No matter which online card room you’re playing at, you’ll find the fast poker rules to be similar. In this section, we’ll look at how the game works, as well as the benefits offered to players.
As the name would imply, fast poker games are all about speed. The defining characteristic is this: whenever you fold or a hand ends, you’re immediately taken to a new table where a new hand is about to be dealt.
Instead of facing a specific table of opponents, you’re playing against a pool of players. These individuals are moved around just like you, so every hand allows for a diverse experience by pitting you against a new group.
You might think that these games are only available for Texas Hold ‘em cash games, but you’d be wrong. Depending on the site, fast poker is available for Texas Hold ‘em, Omaha, and Draw. In addition, players can experience the lightning-fast speeds in ring games, tournaments, free games, and even one-on-one contests. Just make sure to read the details on your poker room of choice to learn the specifics.
Another advantage to this type of game is that you don’t have to wait until it’s your turn to fold. If this were the case, a player in late position would continually be forced to sit idle while his opponents went first. All versions of this game have a “fast fold” button, allowing you to immediately surrender your hand as soon as a bet is on the table. The moment you take advantage of this feature, you’ll be whisked to another table (although your opponents won’t know you’ve folded until your turn arrives).
Even though you’ve folded, you may still be curious about how a specific hand is going to play out. In this case, most card rooms with fast poker allow you to watch the hand unfold while you’re playing a new one at another table.
Getting started is also simple, regardless of which site you’re using. Just head to the lobby, select the fast poker option (the name varies by site), choose the type of game, and enter your desired buy-in amount (for cash games). Within seconds, you’ll be seated at a virtual table waiting to add to your online poker resume.
Most sites with this feature also allow for multiple games to be played simultaneously. It’s suggested that you start with a single game due to the rapid pace, but you can usually increase that number up to four once you’ve become accustomed to the speed. Thanks to the software at each site, it’s also impossible for a player with multiple entries to wind up playing against himself at a table.
When players jump from one table to another, they’re seated randomly. The blinds, however, are not assigned entirely at random. In all versions, the big blind is given to whoever has paid it the least over the course of the game.
If players had all day to consider their next move, much of the advantage of fast poker would be wasted. In order to prevent delays and keep things moving along at a rapid pace, each player has a limited amount of time to make a decision about their hand. This time restriction varies, but 15 seconds is common.
All leading poker rooms offer some manner of loyalty points based on the number of real-money games you participate in. This also applies to fast poker games, and many players have reported a noticeable improvement in this area After all, the quick pace allows for more hands, more games, and an increased number of VIP or loyalty points.
Leading Brands of Fast Online Poker
Your favorite card room probably has a version of fast poker, but please be aware that their competitors also offer their own take on the game. Most of these are identical in nature, but the names are always different (for marketing purposes, I suppose). Here are some of the leading options:
- fastforward – Offered by Party Poker, this version of the game is available for Texas Hold ‘em and allows players to compete at up to four tables within the same contest.
- SNAP Poker – This version is available at 888Poker, and it comes in both cash game and tournament formats. Also available on the mobile version of the 888 software.
- Rush Poker – Available from Full Tilt Poker, with playable options including Hold’em, Omaha Hi, Omaha Hi/Low, and tournaments. As the playing field begins to thin during tournaments, tables become short-handed to preserve the rapid pace. At the final table, however, the rush mode gives way to a more conventional speed of play.
- Zoom Poker – Play this version from PokerStars in ring games or tournaments, and you can choose from Hold ‘em, Omaha, and Draw. Up to four tables can be joined at the same time, and heads-up tables can also be selected (with a new opponent appearing each time you fold).