Rush Poker - the future of online poker?

Mat Hare By Mat Hare, 25th Feb 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Gambling>Poker>Online Poker

Is Full Tilt's new poker offering, Rush Poker, the future of online poker? A semi-pro gambler takes a look at what it means for online, and offline, poker.

What is Rush Poker?

If you've played cash game poker online then you'll know the frustration of folding hand after hand waiting for something decent to come along. That can get to you, so much so that after half an hour of folding you get a hand like QTo under the gun and play it as though it were Aces as it's the best starting hand you have seen for ages. Only you run into another player who really has Aces and plays back at you. Ouch. You've probably tried multi-tabling on the basis that you'll see more hands per hour that way so the wait between decent hands will be less overall. But you still find that you have terrible cards on at least one table, right? Rush Poker could be just what you're looking for...

Rush Poker is a new form of poker that is exclusive to Full Tilt Poker. It's billed as the ultimate high-speed poker experience. It's an action game with the wait between hands minimised as much as possible. How? Rather than joining a specific table you join a pool of players, with the software seating players from this pool at a table until they have played out the hand they are dealt at which point they are whisked off to another table to play with a different set of opponents. This way you can play several hundred hands per hour, all at the same table.

For more details see the Full Tilt website.

How do I play?

The Rush Poker lobby looks like a standard online poker room lobby, listing the details for each 'table', such as the game (Hold'em, Omaha etc), the betting structure e.g. fixed limit (FL), no limit (NL) etc., the stakes, number of players and so on. Unlike a standard online lobby where you may see multiple tables offering the same game at the same stakes, there is only one of each type in the Rush Poker lobby as you join all the players playing that type of game rather than a specific table. So there is only one $0.05/$0.10 full ring no-limit Hold'em game (Mach 10), for example. Simply select your desired game type and click Join Now. You'll be prompted to buy your chips to take to the table after which you'll see a 3...2...1... countdown and you'll be thrust straight into the action.

On your first hand you'll be the big blind. Action will procede round the table in the standard manner with players folding, calling and raising as in a normal poker game. The actual structure of the game is no different to standard poker; there are still the same number of cards dealt out, the same four betting rounds and the same rules apply. You still have the normal 'quick action' options too, but if you're facing a bet (either because you're not the big blind, or you have been raised) you also have a new option: Quick Fold. Click this and your hand will be folded when it is your turn to act. In the meantime you will be whisked away from that table and will be dealt a hand at another table. Simple as that. You remain playing a given hand until you either fold or win the pot. Then it's on to a new table and a new hand.

The Quick Fold button is an action junkie's best friend. If you get 83o click the Quick Fold button and move on to the next hand. No waiting around for the rest of the table to finish playing that one; you're done with your hand and ready to go again. All of this means the wait between hands is much shorter, especially if you're folding the majority of your hands pre-flop. No more boredom waiting for the rest of the table once you've folded. If you don't like your hand, bin it and play at a new table.

As you're changing table after every hand there is no smooth progression of the button, and hence the blinds, round the table. Instead the software calculates which player at the table has seen the most hands without posting the big blind and puts them in the big blind seat, with all other players seated at random in other positions. Overall you'll be in the blinds approximately as often as if you were sat in a normal poker game.

Will it catch on?

It looks like it will, yes. Full Tilt Poker are promoting it heavily and offering bonuses to players willing to try it out. And there are clearly enough players willing to give it a go. At the time of writing there were over 4500 players across the various games, and that's mid-afternoon in the UK so early morning for most of the US.

There are already a few Omaha Hi games to go with the Hold'em tables and stakes ranging from $0.02/$0.05 to $1/$2 and no doubt more games at varying stakes will be added in time as this game grows in popularity. There will soon be something for everyone wanting to try this innovative form of poker, if there isn't already.

Rush Poker is a quick way for cash game grinders to play without multi-tabling yet to get the action they desire. It's also a quick way to earn bonuses and loyalty points that can be exchanged for merchandise, tournament entries etc.

At the minute it is only available at Full Tilt but I guess there is a chance that, if it truly takes off, they will license it's use by other online operators.

Will it replace standard poker games?

In a word: no. It can't as there is no way it can as it can't be dealt offline in brick & mortar casinos. This is an online-only form of the game so unless casinos install some form of console allowing players to play online games you won't see it in your local casino. And even if casinos did install such consoles, who would go to a proper casino to play online poker when you can do it from the comfort of your own home?

As b&m casinos can only offer the standard form of the game then major tournaments such as the World Poker Tour, European Poker Tour and Word Series of Poker events will continue to be based around the normal game. This, in turn, means that online poker rooms will always offer the usual games to fuel the live game through satellites and other promotions. So while Rush Poker may be here to stay it's never going to completely replace the game as we know it today.

Is Rush Poker the future? Of online poker, maybe. Of poker as a whole, no way. But it sure is fun!


Full Tilt, Gambling, Online Poker, Poker, Rush Poker, Texas Holdem

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author avatar Mat Hare
Semi-professional gambler and software developer

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