At most online sites, the hands in a ring game are dealt at nearly twice the speed of what would occur during a live session. This isn’t quick enough for some players, who prefer playing at multiple tables to earn more money for their bankroll and satisfy their desire for action. A new innovation at Full Tilt Poker has responded to the call for faster play on the virtual felt.
Called Rush Poker, Full Tilt Poker has come up with a game that could draw a great deal of attention from those with the need for speed. If a player at a table is dealt a hand – for example, J-2 offsuit – and doesn’t want to play the hand, the player can click the “Fold” button (once in action, there is a “Quick Fold” button that can be used at any time instead of waiting for your turn). Instead of sticking around to watch the remaining players at the table battle it out, the player is immediately jetted off to another table, with a completely new batch of players, and a new hand is dealt. The only time a player stays at the table is when they are actually in action with a hand; once a player folds, the player is gone to another table with a new group of players. This leads to a monumental number of hands during any given session.
Team Full Tilt is firmly behind the Rush Poker variation and they will step in to the fray along with their regular players. Howard Lederer commented on his Twitter account, “Had fun giving Rush poker a try on FTP. 300 hands per hour at one table. Cool.” Fellow Team Full Tilt member Andy Bloch was equally impressed when he stated on Twitter, “Playing new Rush Poker on Full Tilt Poker. Online poker may never be the same!”
Be prepared for a tremendous amount of action if you approach the Rush Poker tables, however. Poker News Daily examined the lobby at the Rush Poker tables for this article and, at the time, only No Limit Hold’em had action, with three Six-Handed tables ($0.25/$0.50, $0.10/$0.25 and $0.05/$0.10) and three nine-handed ring games (same levels). Among the six groups that were in action, the low count for players was around 420 players and the high was approximately 1,550 players.
The average number of hands dealt during an hour of play fluctuated between 277 to 318, negating the need for multi-tabling. Average pot sizes were quite similar to what happens at the regular speed tables. It did seem, however, that players played a bit tighter on the Rush Poker tables, with the “players seeing the flop” percentages ranging from 19% to 25%.
At the tables, the action runs very smoothly. Whether you wait until your action to fold or use the “Quick Fold” option, as soon as you make your decision, an entirely different table of players loads up for action. When you move, you can land in any position at the table. In the span of less than ten minutes, this author played 50 hands, making for a rough average of 300 hands per hour.
There is a downside to the quick action, however. Players who prefer to learn their opponents’ tendencies will not have that luxury, as each different hand is played with a different group of opponents. Checking the previous hand history is useless as you are no longer playing the same opponents with the table change. Using any type of poker software is nearly impossible; with the quick table changes, the software cannot keep up. If a player receives a few bad beats, the quick action can also rapidly burn through the stakes a player brings to the table.
Whether Full Tilt Poker’s new Rush Poker will catch on is up to the players to decide. At the time of writing, the Rush Poker tables accounted for only about 10% of the total action on the site. Full Tilt Poker has also applied for a patent on this variation of online poker, making it highly unlikely that other sites will pick up on this new phenomenon.