Zoom Poker is a new poker game just released in real-money ‘beta’ by the world’s largest poker site – Pokerstars.com. This works differently to a normal poker game in several ways. Most importantly you are not joining a single table of players – but a pool of players who have chosen the same game, buy-in level and table size as you.
Each hand is played by randomly recombining the players from the pool. As soon as you fold your hand (or the hand is completed after a showdown) you are instantly taken to a new hand with new players.
Speeding the game up even more is a ‘Fast Fold’ button, which you can click before it is your turn to act. This will fold your hand and you can start a new one, though the other players in this hand will not know that you have folded until the action gets to you. Zoom Poker is very fast, with all of the dead time which would have been spent waiting for other players to finish up their hands removed. When you join the game you will be given the option of playing up to 4 tables at a time within each pool. Unless you are experienced at playing multiple tables we recommend you start with just 1 or 2 games – this poker format is very fast indeed.
Zoom Poker Strategy Tips
Strategy for this game is influenced by 2 different factors. Firstly, as the players are randomly allocated it is difficult to get reads and betting size tells on individual players. Secondly, this ‘fun’ type of poker game attracts a lot of recreational players who are not going to be strategy experts – meaning that good players can profit from their mistakes.
The first thing to note is that being able to ‘Fast Fold’ makes it easy to get rid of junk hands. Most players will do exactly that, especially from the early positions at the table. This means that the average strength of hands played is stronger than in an equivalent cash game. Sure, you will see exceptions – however early position raises in particular should usually be respected.
With so many bad players literally giving away their money, a great zoom poker strategy involves staying snug and solid and letting the errors come to you. With sensible starting hand selection (folding easily dominated hands to a raise is key) and ensuring that you play the majority of hands when last to act after the flop – you will already have a profitable edge. Add to this some thought about what kind of flops hit the hands people are raising with and you have the potential to make significant money. While the ‘regulars’ who will settle in this game will be exploitable, so much of your profits will come from stacking the numerous fish that it makes much more sense to adapt your strategy in this direction.
Set Mining is very profitable in this form of poker. If you try this in a normal cash game then your betting will often give away that you “have it” to an observant opponent. Since the random allocation of players in Zoom takes away these tells, you are far more likely to get paid off – for example by someone with an overpair.