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Rush Poker strategy

Rush Poker, Full Tilt’s newest creation is a poker variant which completely eliminates downtimes. I’m not going to get into details about the game mechanics in this piece. If you’re on this site, I’ll assume that you already know how Rush Poker works. The aim of this article is to offer a few strategy-recommendations regarding the new game-type.

The biggest difference between Rush Poker and regular online poker is that in Rush Poker, nobody has any kind of history with his/her opponents. As soon as one hits the fold button, he gets transferred to another table where he’ll have to play the next hand against an entirely different cast of characters. Some argue that this is why Rush Poker kills the essence of the game. While I do have my opinion on it, this article is not the place to debate whether or not that is the case indeed. The bottom line is, Rush Poker takes the psychology-based aspect out of the game completely. You will no longer make any reads on your opponents, to use those reads to your advantage later. On the other hand, they won’t make their reads on you either. Strip away the psychology aspect of the game and what you’re left with is the bare-bones math-based side. That’s right, just whip your pot odds and hand equity calculus into shape and you’re fine to go.

Rush Poker strategy is a return to the basics. The good old strict starting hand-selection coupled with being the definition of TAG is the way to go in Rush Poker. Because of the speed of the game and because of the 0 downtimes, you can quite literally afford to just keep folding until you hit A,A. In small stakes poker, your profits come from fish. Even if you manage to outplay your skilled opponents, you won’t make nearly as much money on them as you do on fish. The same principle works in Rush Poker. You wait for your A,A and the fish call you with an A,K. They bite the dust and they write it all off to bad luck.

The only problem is, other people can resort to the same approach too, and then you’ve got a tie on your hands. This is where rakeback comes into the picture. Assuming that in time everyone wisens up to the – pretty simple – way to play optimal Rush Poker (which should be as soon as the novelty of the whole thing wears of), your edges will pretty much disappear. You’ll be dropping off all that poker rake, and the rake is going to drive you into the ground. Then again, everyone else will be hit by the same problem. Securing a rakeback deal is pretty much the only sure-fire way to secure a lasting edge in Rush Poker. If you already have a rakeback deal at Full Tilt Poker, then good for you. If you don’t, go to our Full Tilt rakeback page and open a rakeback account now. If you open a rakeback-less account (by signing up directly at Full Tilt’s website) it’ll be quite impossible to have that account turned into a rakeback one later.

The fact that everyone wisens up to the above described strategy carries another conclusion too: the general starting hand requirements shall sky-rocket for everyone. Make sure you adjust your starting hand range accordingly.
The only position at the Rush Poker table that is an exception to this rule is the BB (Big Blind). The player in the BB does not get the instant fold button all the other guys do. He’ll pretty much be compelled to see that flop, therefore he will take a much worse rage of starting hands to the flop than the other players. Make sure you adjust to this too, even though this may not always be the case.  

In conclusion, to sum up the essence of this article in one idea: don’t get involved with anything less than premium starting hands. In Rush Poker, you can afford to wait around. There will always be people trying to swim against the tide, trying to take advantage of the general tightness. By keeping your cool and being patient, you’ll be able to take advantage of those people.


by Jim Jackson

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