Since its official launch in 2012 (although a similar version existed before then), fast-paced Zoom Poker has soared in popularity, especially at the lower limits of the game.
Essentially, there are few similarities with regular poker. There are the same two blinds, the button still acts last, and a flush will still always beat a straight.
However, the key differences include the fact that for each hand you are moved to a new, random table and seat to face fresh opponents. You don’t face a group of fixed opponents on a single table and you’re never on the same table twice.
Equally, for any hand you don’t want to play, you can ‘fast fold’ – meaning you’ll immediately be allocated a new hand. This applies to both cash games and tourneys.
With Zoom Poker, while the win rates (i.e. number of big blinds won per 100 hands played) are usually lower than those of regular poker, the fast pace lets you play more hands, and win more in the long run.
Zoom Poker is available across Hold’em, Draw and Omaha tournaments and cash games, with options for free play – it’s also on desktop and mobile. The free software can be downloaded in minutes.
How to play
How to Play Zoom Poker
With cash games, pick your game and stake level in the Zoom lobby, to be found below the Zoom tab. If it’s a tournament you’re after, find the one you want, again under the relevant tab.
Cash games are played by pools of players who have chosen the same game and stakes, tournaments by a group of players who have registered for that event.
Select your buy-in amount and how many tables to play. (You’ll probably want to choose just one to begin with, given Zoom’s pace, although you can play up to four at once.)
You’ll be seated at random with players from the game you’ve chosen, and your first hand will typically be from the big blind. Blinds are set according to which player has been the big blind less frequently so that everyone pays the big blind for the same amount of time.
Hold the CTRL key when you click the Fold button to see how a hand plays out. (Note – you can’t do this if you pick the Fast Fold option since you are taken to a new hand immediately.)
Try out the various Zoom table animations, available via Settings in desktop mode.
Zoom Poker Strategy
Given that you don’t know your opponents at all, you can play more aggressively than normal at an earlier stage to exploit this lack of knowledge. Equally, your own behaviour can be chameleon-like to throw them, because, remember they won’t know you, either.
Often, the best decisions just boil down to your best guess within the framework of playing a solid, tight and aggressive strategy.
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