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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