Tips For Beating Speed Poker Games

Speed Poker is a new online poker variation which dispenses with the idea of fixed tables and instead pools players into groups based on their game and buy-in level preferences. This game works by combining players 5 at a time into a poker hand, and as soon as a player folds they are immediately put into another hand with players from their pool.

This makes for a fast and entertaining poker game, with none of the 'dead time' between hands which is the norm in poker while other players make their choices.

In order to beat Speed Poker games you will need to make adjustments. Since you will not have the time to make reads on individual players and situations, playing a 'standard' poker strategy can leave you vulnerable.

Here are my 5 tips for beating Speed Poker Games:

#1 - Position Becomes More Important

Acting after your opponents is a huge advantage in any poker game, you get extra information on how they act after the flop (for example) before you have to put more chips into the pot. In the pooled-player game this is even more important. You need to make some assumptions about the ranges of hands opponents will be playing, and how they bet on each betting round can slowly complete this picture. Vital when you do not have the opportunity to read any one individual for long.

#2 - Avoid Easily Dominated Hands

Hands which are easily dominated include holdings such as Ace-Eight and King-Jack. With these hands you could hit the flop and still not know whether you are ahead or behind in the hand. For example your opponent could have an ace with a better side-card or a pair above the 8 - leaving you a 70% underdog to win.

When you have little information to go on (as opponents are coming and going fast!) then being unsure of where you are in a hand is very dangerous. In fact, it can often be better to re-raise with these kind of hands - if your opponent comes over the top you can always throw them away.

#3 - Some Opponents Will Play Systems

With pooled poker games there will always be someone coming up with a 'system' for winning. These can include always raising twice the blind, always betting full pot on the flop or always re-raising from the button before the community cards are dealt. If you are observant you will spot players who always do the same thing... once you do it is easy to beat them by putting in a big scary raise at the appropriate moment.

#4 - Beware Of Small Blinds Who Raise

When in the big blind in a speed poker game, you can not fold your hand until someone raises. In the small blind you can instantly fold, if you have a bad hand there is no need to wait and see what the action ahead looks like. This makes players inclined to fold even reasonable small blind hands and move on to the next deal. Following this logic through, if someone waits to act in the small blind it is not usually with a mid-strength hand, if they raise you had better watch out - it could easily be a monster!

#5 - Stay Fresh And Keep Away From Tilt

Players often ignore the psychological effects of playing poker, preferring the more interesting card strategy side instead. This can be an expensive mistake. Tilt, or anger after a bad-beat can be very expensive in such a fast format of the game. Players need to be aware of this and have a plan to walk away before blowing through their bankroll. In addition you should plan regular breaks while playing such a fast format - this can be more mentally draining than some players expect.

For more information on online poker variations check out SNG Planet the quality online poker resource, Speed Poker fans should read my Terminal Poker Review today!