Chances are that by now you will have come across the concept of fast-fold poker. Having first arrived on the market in 2010 courtesy of Full Tilt Poker, the idea has since gained enormous traction and has been followed by quite a few big name players – 888 included.
Going by a variety of titles including Party Poker (Fast-Forward), Titan Poker (Speed Poker) and 888Poker (Snap Poker), each and every one is still essentially the same concept. Which of course leads on to the all-important question – what is it? Or more importantly, should you get involved?
What Is Fast-Fold Poker?
In the simplest of terms, fast-fold poker refers to an online poker variant where you have the option of folding your cards at any time and immediately being transported to the beginning of a brand new game. Traditionally, if you were seated at a table with 7 other players and decided to fold immediately after being dealt your cards, you may then be in for a pretty excruciating wait while the hand plays out. With fast-fold poker, this isn’t the case at all – you fold when you want and then find yourself back at the deal at another table, with a gaggle of new players.
Needless to say, the immediate benefit of this means no hanging around and waiting for the hand to play out – all of which wastes valuable money-making time…maybe. After all, in the time it takes just a single hand to play out under traditional rules, you might find yourself able to play half a dozen hands of fast-fold poker.
On the other side of the argument, critics insist that fast-fold poker is so spectacularly different (and indeed tainted) that it largely has no right calling itself poker. The rules might be the same, but the way the game is approached changes absolutely everything about it.
Still, analysis of traffic since the introduction of fast-fold poker seem to suggest that it is something the punters are well and truly falling in love with. In fact, PokerStars alone reported somewhere in the region of 30% of its total traffic flocking the way of fast-fold poker – and that’s a hell of a lot of people!
But to look at the idea from a strictly logical and objective standpoint, what are the advantages and disadvantages of fast-fold poker?
The Pros of Fast-Fold Poker
So assuming that you are an average poker player with a decent grasp of the game but not exactly at WSOP levels yet, what are the biggest advantages of choosing the new fast-fold poker format?
Wins. Along the same lines, the fact that you don’t spend so much time waiting around means you have more time to spend concentrating on increasing your win rate. You may find yourself seated at a table with opponents you aren’t exactly fond of – the good news being that you can disappear in a split second and be taken to another.
Fish. It’s also fair to say that fast-fold poker can be particularly advantageous for beginners as it makes it largely impossible for sharks to get online and go about their usual weak-player-hunting tactics. When fast fold is an option, it is much more difficult for newcomers to end up being taken for a ride in cash games that are completely unbalanced and unfair.
Simplicity. Another (apparent) benefit of fast-fold poker is the way in which game play is generally more simplistic, given the way in which you find yourself seated at so many different tables with an endless array of opponents. This way, not only is there no time or requirement to start thinking about learning the playing styles of your opponents, but they likewise will not be able to pick up on your own and take advantage of it.
Points. Last but not least, the vast majority of leading online casino sites count fast-fold poker hands exactly the same as those of traditional poker games. Which means that when it comes to stacking up loyalty points and qualifying for added bonuses, you’re far more likely to end up with a solid hand-count with fast-fold poker.
The Cons of Fast-Fold Poker
On the downside of things, quite a number of professionals won’t go near fast-fold poker for the following reasons:
- Leaks. As already mentioned above, moving from one table to the next with new opponents on a constant basis means never being able to pick up on rival players’ leaks and play styles. This may be great for newcomers – not so much for professionals.
- Blinds. The tendency to continually fold even when you’re the one posting blinds is much higher with fast-fold poker. Which in turn can lead to a situation where you fold so repeatedly and habitually that you end up making a serious loss simply due to posting blinds.Folds. One thing absolutely every fast-fold poker would most likely agree on is that when playing this particular style of poker, you are exponentially more likely to fold the kinds of hands you would have definitely played in a traditional poker game. As such, you find yourself in a position where you are effectively training yourself to play in a certain manner which may prove extremely detrimental in future regular poker games.
Social. Last but not least, one of the most important and enjoyable aspects of playing poker has always been that of conversing and socialising with your opponents. This is something that is completely removed from the equation when it comes to fast-fold poker, given the fact that every few seconds you might be taken to a different table.
So it’s clearly a tale of two halves, but the truth of the matter is you’ll only know for sure if fast-fold poker is for you by giving it a go. And given the fact that there are so many awesome poker sites offering the facility right now…well, what are you waiting for?
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