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Rush Poker Strategy

Rush Poker, the fast paced poker format from Full Tilt poker is very similar to a normal ring game in many respects, but with some obvious differences.  For a start you’re not playing against the same opponents each hand, since as soon as you’re no longer involved in a hand you’re rushed off to a new table.  That of course affects reads and table image, and the fact that players will be folding so many hands means that when you are involved in a pot, you can assume that your opponents actually have a hand – that means you need to tighten up in order to have an edge.

I’ve been playing quite a lot of Rush Poker these last few weeks, and also keeping an eye on the poker blogosphere and I’ve managed to narrow down the strategies needed to win at Rush Poker to 7 top tips.  Read on, or check out the video further down the page to give your rush poker strategy a boost!

Update - Rush Poker Mobile now available for Android based mobile phones!

Seven Tips for Rush Poker

1.  Play Premium Hands

It’s common sense really – if your opponents are folding all their weak and marginal hands, you should only be entering the fray with premium hands.  Pocket aces, kings and queens are obviously ideal.  Aces in the hole are dealt 1 in every 221 hands in holdem, so in a normal online game you could expect them on average once every 2 and half hours or so, but since you’re playing so many hands in rush poker, you’ll actually get them on average twice an hour!  That means you can expect aces, kings, or queens in the hole on average once every ten minutes, and that means they are worth waiting for!

Play Online PokerAK and AQ are still strong, but remember that they are drawing hands, so you need to be cautious if you miss the flop.  If you raised preflop (which you should have with this hand) and you are chcked to on the flop you can try a c-bet to take the pot, but definitely get out of the way if you are reraised.  Also bear in mind that you’ll be up against aces or kings more often than in a normal ring game!

Middle pairs such as jacks, tens or nines are still reasonably strong and should be profitable long term, but again bear in mind that your opponents on the flop will have big pairs more often than usual since they will be tending to only play strong hands, so be very wary of overpairs on the board.  In fact, the ideal situation is to hit a set with these middle pairs, otherwise look to get out of the way if the betting heats up.

2. Play In Position

You really want to be on the button in rush poker.  The cutoff, and maybe the hijack are playable but earlier than that and you should expect a raise behind you.  Steer well clear of playing anything but the best hands from middle or early position.

3. Steal From The Button (and cutoff!)

When you’re on the button you can look to steal the blinds if there have been no raises before you.  3BB plus 1 extra for each caller will take the pot on a regular basis, you’ll get looked up or raised from time to time, but I’ve found this play to be profitable in the long term.  From the cutoff I have found it to be marginally profitable.

4. Don’t Limp

Unlike in a ring game, limping with a hand like a small pair hoping to flop a set is a bad idea. Not only is there likely to be a raise behind you (which you can assume is a strong hand) but when you do manage to see a cheap flop and hit a set, there’s a stong possibility that your opponent made a higher set since people are playing more pocket pairs.

5. Avoid Marginal Hands

Apart from small pairs, suited connectors and hands like KQ tend to be -ev in the long term, so stay away from them unless you’re in late position, and then consider them an oppoertunity to attempt a steal.  Even from later position I would avoid these marginal hands if there is a raise before you.

6. Don’t Defend Your Blinds

Defending your blinds also seems to be a -ev play in rush poker.  Since you keep getting moved to a new table there’s no point in defending your blinds to prevent future steals, so unless you have a strong hands it’s better not to defend.

7. Take Notes

Finally, take notes on the other players.  There might seem to be little point in taking notes when you keep getting moved around, but in fact you’re playing so many hands so fast that you’ll be up against the same players quite a few times over a session, and every little bit of information you can gather gives you an edge.  If you know the same player always steals the blinds from the button you might want to reraise if they try it when you’re in the blind.  If you know all the players behind you have been using the auto-fold button (you can tell because several players appear to fold at the same time!) then you know a min-raise is worth a try as it might fore them all off the hand.

While you’re taking notes, it’s worth remembering that other players are probably taking notes on you, so just as in a normal game you don’t want to become too predictable.  Mixing your game up just a little is the final part of this rush poker strategy, and with the other tips above should see you nice and profitable at the rush poker tables!

Got some other strategies for this new format? Then leave a comment or drop me an email and I’ll add them to the site!

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1 Comment to Rush Poker Strategy

  1. ste's Gravatar ste
    November 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    i find that playinng low/mid paits and SCs and one gappers in position to be a better strat. if you just play premiums then you’re basically waiting to cooler someone and it can easily happen back as well. if you open raise all these hands then there’s a better chance than normal that you will take the blinds (as everyone is playing tighter) and also your implied odds will be great when you do hit straights, flushes and sets because more often than normal your oppenents will have a big overpair.

    play tight at loose tables and loose at tight tables. take advantage of people not entering pots as often. i’ve also found that frequent 3betting is effective because a) people expect you to have big pairs and b) hitting the board hard will be completely disguised.

    get in there and stack the nits when then can’t let go of aces. that’s the way to do it!!!

    (i kind of agree about broadway cards being a nightmare though. i would rather play 68s at these tables then KQs)

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