So what is Rush Poker? It is a new format of a cash Texas Hold’em ring game which reduces the wait time between hands to virtually nothing, and thus, greatly increases the number of hands you see per hour. The name may sound gimmicky, but don’t let it fool you: Rush Poker is a huge development for the world of online-poker, and if you are a serious online-poker player, you cannot afford to ignore it.

The easiest way to imagine Rush Poker is to picture a huge poker hall with hundreds of poker tables. Now imagine yourself sitting at a table. You are dealt two cards, the 2 of diamonds and seven of clubs. Garbage, so you fold. But since you are playing Rush Poker, you don’t have to wait for the table to finish the hand. Before the action even comes around to you (before its even your turn), you hit the “quick fold button” and presto! you are immediately transported to another table with 8 different players and two new cards.

To a beginning player this may not seem that different from the typical online-poker game, but the differences are profound: first, the speed of the game is greatly increased. A regular online-poker table will typically see 60-80 hands per hour. Players in Rush Poker rooms will on average see 250 hands per hour and some players will see as many as 500 hands per hour per table! Secondly, since you see 8 new people for each hand, you are not going to be able to rely on your read of the other players in deciding how to play a hand. But this of course goes both ways: the other players are going to have very little information about your style of play since you are new to them as well.

So now that you know about Rush Poker, the next question is, how do you beat it?

The rules of the game are of course exactly the same as a regular Texas Hold’em online-poker game and the basic strategy for winning is very similar. If you are new to poker or have historically lost money while playing, you would be greatly helped by reading some articles on basic online-poker playing skills and to adopt a straight forward “Tight-aggressive” style. This means you wait for good cards and bet aggressively when you have them. (A good book describing how to play this style is Phil Helmuth’s Play Poker Like the Pros (2003). There are also numerous online resources regarding online-poker strategy.)

The play at the Rush Poker tables differs from regular online-poker play in several ways. First, since players can fold and instantly get new cards, many players will be out of the hand before the play even gets around to them, meaning, you can win many pots with a minimum raise. Secondly, as a direct result of this, a greater proportion of hands will be raised pre-flop and players in later position will also re-raise you much more often. As a result, you want to generally be patient and wait for the cards that can stand up to the raises and re-raises, but at the same time, throw out minimum raises often to steal pots. The tricky part here is to avoid getting sucked into hands that you have no business being in. So remember: raise often, but fold readily if you are re-raised and be very cautious (not aggressive) if you are called, especially when called by a player in a later position.

As you get more experienced with poker and Rush Poker, you can begin to play more hands in mid position and get a little trickier. In this position you have the potential to trap aggressive players into huge pots when you hit straights, flushes, sets, and trips. The aggressive betting makes large pots, which in turn increases the likely hood that your overly aggressive opponent will over-play their hand. The large pots will also often give you great odds and implied odds for drawing to flushes and straights.

To summarize the winning strategy for the beginner in Rush Poker: play tight and aggressive, betting and raising big with KK and AA pre-flop, but playing more passively with anything less. Make small raises often pre-flop with speculative hands, but fold readily to big re-raises and be very cautious when you have callers. Allow aggressive players to bet into you when you hit monster hands. This requires patience, but is very successful when playing Rush Poker because the speed of the play guarantees that you wont have to wait very long before you hit a monster again.

About The Author

Erik Allaire is a master poker player who has won many professional poker events, wishes to represent his country at the world level.

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