Rush Poker Strategy - Guide to Winning at Rush Poker

Rush poker
It's like crack, but poker.

Full Tilt’s introduction of Rush Poker has the entire poker world talking, and everyone from fish to nosebleed pros are playing the game just because it’s so much fun.

But what’s the correct strategy?

For those of you that don’t know, Rush Poker is Full Tilt’s latest brainchild. Poker for the action junkie, Rush Poker automatically deals you into a brand new hand at a brand new table the very second you fold.

There’s no downtime at all - fold and you’re instantly back in the action. There’s even a quick-fold button that allows you to fold the second you get your hand, regardless of your position.

The Obvious Changes to the Game

The biggest change to the game by far is that you instantly change tables when you fold your hand. Meaning you never have history with your opponents.

Tom Dwan

Each hand is at a new table with new opponents. You don’t know who the fish are and you don’t know who the regulars are. Everyone’s just a blank face.

Because you can’t develop reads through playing multiple hands with the same opponent, you have to treat each opponent the same. But that works both ways.

Since you can’t develop reads on your opponents, they can’t develop reads on you. In Rush Poker you don’t have to worry about leveling, balancing your range, or anything like that because your history with your opponents is going to be minimal.

So How Should I Play?

In small-stakes poker the bulk of your profits come from fish.

Even if you’re the best small-stakes player in the world and you regularly own other reg’s souls, the majority of your profit is still going to come from playing the fish.

Unfortunately in Rush Poker you may not know who the fish are and who the regs are until after the hand's over. And by then it’s too late. So the best way to play is a basic ABC poker game.

In fact you can play even tighter than you would normally because your opponents are never going to notice and never going to be able to adjust.

When you’re moved to a new table it’s a clean slate. They have no idea that you just hit quick fold twenty times in a row and are now cold four-betting AA from the blinds.

They’re just thinking, “Wow, I’ve got AK. I’m supposed to felt AK.” And they call it off, drawing nearly dead and chalk it up to a cooler.

Just like when you first started playing poker, tight is right. The mantra is especially true for Rush Poker.

Wait for big pairs, AKs, set mine, make top pair or better and value-bet relentlessly. That’s how you’re going to make money in Rush Poker.

The Not-So-Obvious Differences

Of course the whole game is changed by the fold and quick-fold buttons. Players don’t have to wait around for a great hand. They can just fold their junk and move on to a new table and a new hand.


That means your average player’s range is going to be significantly tighter. The fish are going to be fish and do what they always do: play strange hands and take them way too far after the flop. But the regulars are going to be playing a much tighter range.

It’s because of the quick-fold button. If you’re sitting with 6-8o in the small blind, are you going to wait around and see if you get the chance for a BVB steal? No, you’re going to hit quick fold and move on to another table.

So when you raise from under the gun and get called in the small blind you have to realize that that player had the chance to quick-fold and get a new hand at a new table but he didn’t. He waited around to play against you.

Either he’s a fish or he has a pretty damn good hand.

Because he didn’t choose to quick-fold you can already start assigning him a range. It looks something like JJ-22, AQ and maybe AJs. Anything else is definitely too wide vs. a UTG raise in Rush Poker.

From there, as the hand plays out, you do what you always do. Start narrowing his range down until you have a good idea of his actual holdings.

The Big Blind

The big blind is the only position where you can’t insta hit quick-fold. That’s because you have the big blind invested already. You have to wait until there is a raise before you can quick-fold.

Meaning that the above is not as true for the big blind in unraised pots. He didn’t have the opportunity to quick-fold his hand, so if it’s folded to you on the button or in the small blind and you raise, when he calls it doesn’t mean his range is necessarily tighter.

Bertrand Grospellier
A mass multi-tabler's rakeback wet dream.

For that reason, as of now, the majority of “light three-betting” comes from the big blind. Because any other position wouldn’t wait around until their turn to three-bet some trash hand, they’d just fold and move on.

The big blind doesn’t have that chance so he gets mad and three-bets those steal raises far more than he would from the small blind.

Obviously not every player plays the big blind like this, but it’s something to be cognizant of.

Shorthanded vs. Full Ring

Like in any form of poker the difference between shorthanded and full ring is very real, only in Rush Poker it’s absolutely huge.

A six-max Rush game plays only slightly different than a regular six-max game. With so few players and everyone playing so fast, you often can’t even hit quick-fold before the action is on you.

While everyone’s early position ranges tighten up, the late position raises remain wide.

In full-ring the tightness is extremely magnified. Why even bother calling a raise with ATo when you can just insta-fold and get a new hand? There’s no reason. Ranges are, or at least should be, tighter across the board.

There’s just no need to be involved with marginal hands.


As the novelty of these games wears off and more people start playing a better Rush strategy, I think the real value in these games will be for the rakeback you can make.

Eight-tabling $100nl Rush (four six-max and four full ring) nets you 2,000 hands an hour. In those 2,000 hands you pay approximately $100ish rake. At 27% rake back that's $27/hr in rakeback alone.

If you can beat the game on top of that, you’re going to be making a pretty good wage.

Last Word

Rush Poker is a fun, action-packed game. This article was written on the second day of its existence. This is the proper strategy in my opinion for the games that I've played at this point.

I’ve only played 10,000 hands and I have no idea how the games may change and evolve in the future.

As of now, tight is right is the best strategy for Rush Poker. Rock it up, and rake it in. In the future I may be re-writing this article.

More Strategy Articles from Dan Skolovy:

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Mark 2011-01-08 06:03:34

playing real tight is good..and also at Rush poker,,if you fold a hand you would normally not fold,,you don't have to watch the flop or the river or turn, which would flop, river or turn what you need,,then you will never fold again...folding is easy....

Jackh02 2010-08-19 10:43:19

I am astounded by the comment that a blind every 4 hands is unusual.
There are 9 players per table so you will be in either the BB or SB 2 of 9 hands, on average. That is 1 of 4.5 hands. I tracked 90 hands and was in one of the blinds 20 times. I don't expect such exact results all the time, but in addition I have tracked consecutive hands and am often in the blinds several times in a row, and am sometimes not in a blind for 10 hands. I agree with the commenter who stated there is no advantage for Full Tilt picking on specific players re blinds.

Also, the only real difference in the game mechanics is that reads are hard to make. But, does anyone think that AA comes more of less frequently because of the number of hands played. The odds are 1 of 221 regardless of how many hands are played. I agree that the 2 basic styles are super tight and raise everything, but this is just the way many people have interpreted the great many hands per hour. The odds of getting a hand are identical with non-rush poker.

As for raising every hand with a 3xBB raise, you are laying, depending on the level played, about 2:1. That means that you must win more than 67% of the hands to show a profit. Of course you will win some hands regardless of what your cards are. But, I doubt this is enought to overcome the overlay a player is providing by raising every time. I tracked raising every time for several 100 hands and found that I would win the blinds about 50% of the time, not enough long term, in my opinion, to overcome the 2:1 overlay a raiser provides.

If anyone strongly disagrees with me, please make a response.

Rush Poker 2010-07-26 18:31:38

Would make sense but I think it balances out anyway!

Andrew 2010-06-25 15:59:09

Tbh I think the blinds aren't decided at random; the player who hasn't had the BB / SB for the longest is the one that gets it, imo..

lytwaytLaz 2010-06-09 11:00:43

Tro: I believe there are no fixed tables or fixed amount of tables. A new table is created every time there are 9 players who folded and are ready to play. With several hundred players in the pool this should occur more than once every second. The finished tables vanish so the number of tables stays about the same. This works just fine even if the number of players in the pool isn't divisable by 9. All it takes is good programming and fast enough computing. I'd say it works pretty well. CU at the tables!

Tro 2010-05-25 05:15:02 people are complaining about the blinds being too exessive. Now i have read all these posts and what caught my eye is that none of you have come to realize that you play around 230ish hands an hour...your bound to be big blind atleast 25 times in a full ring table (9). Now mathematically, it doesnt make any logical sense that fulltilt excesivly blinds its players as its IMPOSIBBLE to bb and sb everyplayer every four hands and the table of 9 cant logically allow it..that is unless ofcourse their is a cheat and your playing a table agaisnt lets say 4 players and the other nine (who suposebly quickfolded already) vanish into thin air. I believe only two things are dealing with the BB. One theory, yes its random and math says that it IS possible to be bb theoretically 20,000 times. Now odds of that happening in a life time are kinda freakin hard, but theoretically when your hand number is in the BILLIONS even TRILLIONS, 20,000 can occur multiple times as its merely a fraction to such large numbers. This theory applys to everything in gambling. Say Casino War or Roullete, its possible to get all red or loose 20,000 times and math will back it up. So, like i said, either your just the worst of luck and get BB alot. Or the second theory is that fulltilt poker is cheating your arses off. Think about how its system works, I assume theres aroudn 250 players per lobby and that results in about 27tables. Now heres the thing. Some tables will have all fold to the BB while others will play around 3 players who called the BB. And so you got these 3 players playing a hand while the extras are zooming in and out of hands with the "assumed" other nine players. The only way to accomplish a COMPLETE set of 9 players on a table is if the total number of people playing to the people folding is divisable by 9. Now since there isnt no "wait" or "delay" when you fold to a new table, (assuming that the wait means your getting thrown into a full table prior to dealing the hand) odds are theres more then 27 tables. So whats happening? More tables mean more bigblinds. Basically, How is it possible to get a complete set of 9 every time before a hand is delt, you have to take account into the changing variables. This includes folds, calls, new players and bankrupt players. These variables CONSTANTLY change and it is foolish to believe you are constantly playing with 9 people. The INSTANT fold, the no waiting for a new hand, the quickfold button. All only prove this theory. Now this is just a theory and i aint the math professor, but its something to look into. Just how does rushpoker work? I hope it makes sense, enuff chit chatter. adios!

undurrrdog 2010-05-15 19:40:36

As far as Rp goes its a gimmik not poker. It takes what online has already ruined for poker to the logical next level. Pure poker is a game of psycology, logic, math, and heart. Online make it all about math and a little logic. (ok for those that play 1k+ nl theres heart involved too) My point being that online poker is becoming a game of math and patience, not skill, and rush poker only furthers this flaw. Id like to see any online reg come to vegas and play 5ooNL and not get destroyed. Poker is meant to be played with the guy your bluffing looking right at you, no hit and run, no grimstars, no chat box sht talking, this game just furthers the antisocial and extra-interverted element of online poker creating more geeks sitting at home for 12 hours 12 tables of 25 NL calling themselvs "Poker pro's. LOL. if online is real poker at all is only at the highest stakes among people who already play together live.

undurrrdog 2010-05-15 19:33:09

Witheld-Being in the blinds every 8th and 9nth hand means 2/9, so yes you still pay blinds 1:4.5 hands. think of this way, hand 1 2 3 4 (blind)- hand 6 7 8 (blind) eaither way 1 in 4 is about right. Its even worce at 6 max being 1 out of 3 hands you pay a blind. If blinds are 1 and 2 then you pay 1.5 every 3 hands or 1.5 every 4.5 hands at FR.

bigstake 2010-05-14 17:22:23

Rush poker is like a poker room from horror dereams for me 8). You start with an AK and hit a A 8 2 on the flop. You think you got it, but you are so owned by three of a kind! In rush poker your full house will be eaten by four of a kind, two pairs will be beaten with three of kind and so on. Its to much for me.

witheld 2010-05-11 20:37:46

Thanks Rushnoob I see your logic but look at it this way. In a typical 9 player ring game you are in a blind ( big or small) on the 8th and 9th hand as the dealer moves around. What I am trying to explain is that I am in the BB or SB every 4th hand or so and thus at least double the amount of blinds I pay . I understand your logic so I am being more clear to express what I mean. I am being raked by the blind so to speak.


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