Crash Course in Zoom Poker Strategy

Chances are you’ve seen the Zoom Poker beta in the PokerStars lobby.

Below is a guide to getting started in Zoom Poker including some background information and basic strategy tips.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be putting in Isildur1-style volume in no time!

What is Zoom Poker?

PokerStars’ Zoom Poker is a high-action online poker variant similar to the old Rush Poker on Full Tilt Poker.

The basic premise is simple: fold your hand and immediately get a new one at a new table with new players. If you hit the fast-fold button, you can even fold before the action is on you and get reseated even quicker.

It’s essentially poker for adrenaline junkies as the action never stops.

If you’ve ever 8-tabled online poker or played multi-tasking video games like Starcraft there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the speed of Zoom Poker.

Right now Zoom Poker is offered in No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and Five-Card Draw and at up to four tables per player.

What’s Good About Zoom Poker (Hint: Volume)

Zoom Poker is a godsend for any ADD-riddled poker player who simply needs more action.

It’s also very good for generating massive amounts of frequent player points and for players trying to reach SuperNova status. For those who don’t know, PokerStars has a very lucrative VIP program with prizes, cashback and more.

You can triple or even quadruple the amount of hands you can play in an hour quite easily with Zoom Poker. That means that even if you’re breaking even you might be earning cash in the form of some serious FPPs.

Downside of course is you’re paying more in rake, but if you're a solid player you should be making it up in FPPs.

Zoom Poker Lobby
Hope you like PLO or NLHE

Is it Real Poker?

This remains a contentious issue as Zoom Poker is lacking one major aspect of regular poker – the chance to develop a read on a player.

Because you’re always moving to another table you’ll constantly be playing against opponents you know nothing about. It gives the game a much more robotic feel.

It also means that math plays heavier into the game as well as the ability to develop quick reads on virtually unknown opponents.

Zoom Poker also discourages seasoned grinders from hunting inexperienced players because they are constantly being moved.

Differences from Rush Poker

Although very similar there are a few differences that separate Zoom Poker from FTP’s Rush Poker. Amongst them:

  • No Rakeback. One of the best features of Full Tilt’s Rush Poker was the ability to earn rakeback. There is no rakeback on PokerStars. Fortunately you can earn FPPs, which are almost as good.
  • Only Cash Games. PokerStars has yet to release tournament Zoom Poker.
  • Sit Out Options. You can actually choose to sit out the next hand or the next big blind. In Rush Poker you could only sit out the next hand.
  • Smooth Software. Although it’s still in beta, Zoom Poker seems to run a bit smoother than Rush Poker. It’s clear the PokerStars developers spent a lot of time on it.

Some Strategy Tips for Zoom Poker

  • Tight tends to be right in Zoom Poker. No one can tell how tight you’re playing so it’s possible to fold every hand unti you get aces and stack someone who has AK.
  • Speaking of AK, be careful with it. It’s far weaker in Zoom Poker than in a normal game.
  • You can watch the end of a hand by holding the CNTRL key when you click the fold button (That’s the command button on Macs).
  • There are several different Zoom table animations. Some feel faster than others. You can find these by clicking ‘Options’ > ‘Table Display Options’ > ‘Zoom Animation’. We like ‘Flip’ a lot but default ‘Fade’ still seems fastest
  • Play fewer tables with Zoom Poker (It’s freaking fast!)
  • Be mindful of your blinds as you’ll pay more of them
  • The big blind is the only player who doesn’t have the option of fast folding. Expect a wider-range of starting hands.
  • Each Zoom Poker “game” can have hundreds of players. You can open multiple tables in the same game.
  • Be prepared for massive swings as you’ll being playing a massive number of hands
  • You’ll see a fair amount of min-bets from late position as people attempt to steal a pot off the players who have already fast folded.
  • Quite often you’ll run into deep stacks with 100+ big blinds behind. Check this article on NLHE Deep Stack strategy.

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4-5 tablespoons sugar, for aloha shoyu or 6-7 tablespoons for Kikkoman soy sauce

daniel 2013-02-14 10:53:37

i start to wonder if online poker is really poker. buying hand histories? getting a program to tell you an opponents range? learn how to think for yourself or your ceiling will be very low

Patrick 2012-12-18 01:40:02

- If u get a 3-bet postflop you nearly always are beat with less than a set.
- Donk flop check turn is often a try to steal the pot in hope of fast-folding.
- Draws are generally played passive. So be careful although you have a set and a draw appears on the river.
- Don't bluff turn or river at the micros -> Villians have a fold problem cause they only see their own hand.
- LAG players often have a big stack. They are 3-betting much pre-flop and nearly always make their c-bet, but can give up their hand on turn if you take the initiative.
- Don't c-bet vs. more than 1 player if u don't have a value hand. Somebody will call you.
- Bluff inducing is very important cause your opponents just think that you are weak if u check and don't have a history of you and don't know you are able to check-raise.
- Don't get active with weak hands, cause people will only call you with stronger ones.
- Many opponents are waiting for KK or better until they play. So be careful with very strong pockets too. Sometimes you can fold KK preflop.

Alex 2012-07-06 13:57:58

Good article.
Few tips of my own:

Colour code players who are running 4 tables, you can check this from menu. These will often fold the blinds to a late raise and avoid complications.
Colour code players who call with weak hands. Use instant hand history to check results of certain hands. People calling a raise with ace small or small pairs to a single raise for example
Play tight generally but mix things up a bit--- on the button, or one off, raise with any two cards now and again. If the blinds call and check into you bluff at any ace\king on the flop.
You can also raise with small pairs in early position and lead out if you only get one or two callers on an ace flop. Many people call with pairs incorrectly hoping to hit a set.
Much easier to fold at Zoom, like the article says don't chase AK to the river.
I like to play at the standard 100BB. Playing with a small stack I get raised more when attacking the blinds. It causes more variance.
There are many short stacks and impatient players in Zoom. It is better to play these people postflop.
Play 1-2 tables until you can beat them.
Don't min raise or limp, too easy to get 3 bet. 3-4 BB.
Colour code the players who put all their stack in preflop.
Can't recommend deep stack play in Zoom, there are gamblers who want to martingale any big stack as soon as they can.
Small blind steal only with an ace or king x.

Charlie 2012-04-27 16:46:09

Hey thanks for the strategy post looks really interesting. I'm thinking of buying some hand histories, and wondered if you thought that was a good idea for zoom poker? PTR don't seel any stars histories any more, but hhsmithy does ( and they appear to be a fairly decent site I was thinking of using them. Do you think hand histories are as important when you're playing zoom?

Also do you think a short stack strategy would work well on zoom or is it better to play full stacked?