How to Beat Fast-Fold Poker Games Online
One of the frustrating things about poker games is that you need to fold more hands than you play to make a profit. Whether you are playing live poker or online games, you’ll spend more of your time waiting for others to complete their betting and play of hands than you will playing yourself. Of course, you could play more hands… only that runs into the issue of wasting money vs. players who stay tight.
Fast-fold poker was invented to get around this wasted time issue. It does this in a novel way. Instead of sitting at a poker table, you join a pool or group of players – one for each buy-in level. You’ll go to a table, and things will look normal, until you hit the fold button.
At that point, you leave your table, and will find yourself in a brand-new hand against other opponents from your pool. No need to wait and watch the other players in the last hand complete their betting (unless you want to, in which case you can click a ‘fold and watch’ button.
What makes Fast-fold poker even faster is that you do not even need to wait until your turn to act to get a new hand. If you get trashy cards, then hit the ‘fold’ button right away. You will move to a new hand, and your opponents will not know that you have folded until the action gets to you.
This makes it possible to play several hands per minute. You simply fold the trash and wait until you get dealt something playable.
Fast-fold poker started off as a cash game, and has since been adapted to tournament play too. In tournaments, the final table is played with static seats. Pot Limit Omaha Fast-Fold games are also popular.
Strategy Basics for Fast-Fold Poker
The fact that most players are folding their trash hands, and even marginal hands in many cases, makes a big difference to your strategy. You need to take account for the fact that when your bet is called, it will be with a stronger hand range on average.
You also need to keep in mind that your opponents will know that this is what you are thinking, and that many of them will try to take advantage by stealing often!
This makes taking notes on the tendencies of specific players even more important than in regular cash games. Just a few notes a session will soon add up to a valuable resource. For example, you might find a player that 3-bets most of the time on the button. If you raise, get 3-bet in this spot and know that your opponent could well be raising light, then you have a shot at winning a big pot. Let that same opponent build the pot by bluffing.
Loose opponents do not last too long in these games. Mathematically speaking, bridging the gap in hand strength when they are called is too hard.
Hands Which Play Well Against Strong Ranges
If your opponents are raising with strong hands, then you have an opportunity to adjust your own starting hands to exploit this. If people’s raising range is made up of premium pairs, they are less likely to want to fold after the flop – at least on average.
This makes small pairs valuable in Fast-fold poker games. You can call with these – preferably in position. When you miss the flop and face action, no big deal, fold and move on. When you do hit a set, you have a big chance of winning a big pot from someone with aces. They are less likely to have a read on your tendencies, and know that you are adjusting in this way.
Suited connectors and suited ace-x hands can also work in these spots. What you will find is that you partially hit the flop more often, so you’ll need to know which opponents you can raise and when to slow down. I prefer a raise with these hands, though once again, position is key.
What Fast-Fold Poker Games Can I Play Online?
To make Fast-fold poker work, a site needs to have enough players to populate the pools at different buy-ins. If there are not enough players, there will be gaps between the hands while waiting for enough people to recombine into a new one. This somehow defeats the purpose of fast-fold in the first place.
Here are some big sites, and what they have to offer in terms of Fast-fold poker.
Zone Poker - Ignition Poker and Bodog Poker:
These sites share a game called Zone Poker. Ignition Poker are US friendly, and are currently the only poker site to offer this format to US players. Bodog are open to Canadian players and have recently expanded into Latin America. Zone Poker is in cash game format only, and only gets busy at the lower buy-in levels. This game works on both desktops and mobile devices.
SNAP! Poker – 888
This is the softest fast-fold game for global players, and is available in both No-Limit Holdem and PLO format. The smallest SNAP! Poker buy-in is just $1 for the 1c / 2c game. You’ll find 6-handed tables and a lot of action, especially evenings (Europe time) and weekends. SNAP is not currently available in tournament format.
Zoom Poker – PokerStars
This is the biggest site for fast-fold poker, and has the most variety and biggest buy-ins with regularly large pools. Zoom is super-smooth and very fast. You can play different table sizes (9 handed or 6 handed) and choose PLO or Holdem. Zoom is available in tournament formats, with very quick blinds, you will find rebuy tournaments work very well in this format.