Should You Make the Switch to Rush Poker?

Rush poker
Rush-more? Or Rush-less?

It's fast and exciting for sure - but is it more profitable?

For those that have been living in a cave for the last few months, Rush Poker is a new game introduced by Full Tilt Poker which allows a player to eliminate all downtime between hands, keeping them in the action for the duration of their session.

The idea is that when you fold your hand you're moved to a new table with new opponents and instantly dealt a new hand.

As you can imagine, the game is action packed and a lot of fun. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should make it your regular game.

Before you quit traditional poker and make the switch you should really weigh the pros and cons.

Three Pros

1. Hands per hour - In a regular online Texas Hold'em game you're lucky to be dealt 80-90 hands per hour. Compare that to the 30 you get in a casino and you're laughing. But in Rush Poker you can be dealt over 250 hands per hour - depending on how fast you click!

With more hands per hour comes more good hands - and more hands where you can exploit your edge. Furthermore, with more hands comes more rake. And with more rake comes more bonuses and rakeback, which for many players is a very high percentage of their total winnings.

2. No history - You're moved to a new table with new opponents every time you fold your hand. Playing a different opponent each hand makes it extremely difficult for your opponents to get a read on you.

You can use that as an advantage any way you like. If you only want to play aces and kings, your opponents probably won't catch on. If you want to three-bet every single button and small blind, same deal.

Rush Poker evens the playing field and takes out the read and tells aspects of the game, which you can use it to your advantage.

3. It's fun - The biggest advantage to Rush Poker is that it's action-packed and fun. It makes grinding less of a chore and the fun factor helps bring more fish into the game.

More hands vs. fish is a good thing. The only problem is that it's sometimes difficult to spot the fish until it's too late.

Three Cons

1. No history - This one's a pro and a con. It's a negative because as a good player you should be formulating reads. You should be observing your opponents and figuring out how they play and then using that information against them.

When you change tables after every single hand it's impossible to truly understand how your opponent plays. You have to treat everyone the same and make ABC, generalized, decisions against everybody.

If you're a better player than your opponents, Rush Poker forces you to give up a percentage of your edge.

2. Tilt factor - Because you're playing so many more hands per hour, you're also dealt more bad beats and coolers than you would in a typical session.  Add in the fact that players are often turbo-folding waiting for aces and kings, and coolers happen seemingly all the time.

If you can't control the emotional side of your game and are susceptible to tilt you may have problems with Rush Poker - it's even easier to tilt when you can play 1,000 hands per hour on four tables.

3. It stunts your poker growth -  Maybe the biggest disadvantage to Rush Poker is the fact that it stunts your growth as a poker player. If you're happy grinding rake and winning a little and making a decent earn at $1/$2, then Rush Poker is great.

If however you would like to move up in stakes and improve as a poker player, Rush Poker is not for you.

To succeed in middle stakes and beyond you have to develop reads and use your reads against your opponents. Rush Poker teaches you to treat all of your opponents as equals. If you try and treat everyone the same at medium stakes and above you're going to bust your roll pretty fast.

Rush Poker is a great game and can be really fun to play. But you have to know what you want to be as a poker player to decide whether or not you should switch to the game full time.

Use my list and think of pros and cons of your own before deciding whether or not to make Rush Poker your full-time game.

play rush poker now

More articles by Daniel Skolovy

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Ron U. 2010-07-23 16:39:12

I’d like to offer a different point of view on how Rush Poker can affect one’s overall game.

A couple weeks ago I made the comment “Rush Poker makes me a better player” to someone I see fairly regularly at local games in my area. His reaction was pretty much what you would expect, as echoed above… “It is impossible to become a better player in that format, because there are no reads on your opponents, which are critical to have and improve upon in order to elevate your game.”

Okay, I can’t disagree. Maybe, instead of “…makes me a better player”, a more accurate statement would be “Rush Poker keeps me from getting significantly worse.”

Let me explain. I consider the foundation of decent poker to be a strong, straight forward ABC game. Those basics include things such as starting hand ranges, position, and how you react to the action demonstrated on any particular hand. From there, you can add your reads and throw in varying levels of aggression, as you mix up your game, experimenting from different positions, and loosening up your starting hand requirements. Do this correctly, and you’re taking your game to a whole other level. Do if poorly and you are taking big jumps backward.

Sometimes I fall into a session where nothing seems to be going right. Sure, sometimes you play it correctly and just get unlucky. But very often I can only blame horrible decision making. I occasionally find myself getting too loose, and letting bad decisions lead to more bad decisions. From time to time I throw off my whole game.

I suppose if I was a much stronger player, I may be able to make those small corrective adjustments on the fly, and sometimes I can. For the times I can’t, I find that Rush Poker can ground me. It reboots my brain, directing me back to that ABC baseline foundation. Of course that solid foundation is essential to building your stronger game.

Eddie Kirsch 2010-04-21 03:31:36

Two things:
a) I think both this article and Al's comment do a great job at summarizing the main pros & cons

b) I love that Full Tilt is trying to keep poker sexy-- changing up not just the game that's played but also how one can play the game. Though Rush Poker may not be great, I commend Full Tilt on it's efforts. It keeps people interested => more variance in players => more ways to make money

Al 2010-04-14 23:30:21

It's joker poker.

Here's why:

1. Player tendencies, table dynamics, image etc. are irrelevant. Apart from the most primitive reads like GoSportsTeam76, Shark avatar, 62bb stack -> fish, this is a readless game. The bulk of what makes poker a game of skill is largely absent. There is no need to understand your opponents and change gears. You can simply play super-exploitable mindless poker. This is a slap in the face to those arguing that poker is a game of skill. If the competition were decent, a good player would have almost no edge. At a regular table, a good player could still be a significant winner.

2. This high-octane instant gratification video poker format will initially attract more fish only to have them go broke at a breakneck pace. The large volume of hands even from a single-tabling fish and the extremely tight games means that the fish pool will not be healthy long. Moreover, the fish is less likely to delude himself into thinking he's a winning player with bad luck since there will be far more way ahead - way behind scenarios. He might even make an effort to improve his game and adapt to the format. With a little work, it could become the only form of poker in which he breaks even... so why would he go into a complex deep stacked 6-max NLHE game? Just like overfishing, this is not healthy for the poker economy. It might also put poker in a bad light due to rapid gambling losses and the possibly more addictive nature of the format.

3. This is a solvable game. It would be fairly simple to make or adapt a poker bot to play this format and grind out a modest profit until the action dries up (and it would do almost as well as a good player). Typical bot weaknesses no longer matter here.

4. It won't make you better at poker and has no tangible advantage. One can just multitable more and have the same volume of hands in a much more complex format that allows one to push a skill edge harder.

5. Grinding this for many hours a day will turn your brain into jello and bore you to tears. I might be in a minority but I don't find this to be much fun. In fact, it's the least social and interesting form of poker I've played.

Overall, I think Rush Poker is a poor concept that will not benefit poker in the long-run. I hope other sites don't copy this.

lazer 2010-03-31 06:59:37

OP is isildur1...confirmed

chickenplate 2010-03-18 19:19:41

play a rush session now D.S. and then tell us how it goes.

Sin 2010-03-10 16:49:16

Ehhh I don't care for it, but to each their own.

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