fastforward Poker (PartyPoker) Party Poker “sells” its fastforward poker by saying “it's exactly the same as regular poker except we've cut out all the boring stuff.” - the boring stuff I assume includes learning how to play poker by watching how others play their hands. The concept is identical to Rush Poker – PartyPoker's version of the “Quick Fold” button is called “forward fold” and once you've pressed it you'll find you've a whole new table of poker buddies to say hi to. You can only play Texas Hold'em, and you can play a maximum of four fastforward tables at once if you can keep up, plus the software makes sure you never suffer the embarrassment of meeting yourself at the same table.
fastforward is available on partypoker's mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app also supports Sit and Go tournaments and ring games. A full review of the app can be found here.
Perhaps a little inadvisedly, 888poker has chosen to prefix the word “poker” with the world's simplest card game that most of us learn while we're still in nappies to describe their version of fast-fold poker. It follows all the conventions of a typical fast-fold poker game, with one very crucial difference that is sure to please poker purists. A recent update to Snap Poker has added the concept of “position balancing”, as opposed to the random re-seating common with other fast-fold poker games. When you fast-fold when playing Snap Poker, the software tries to maintain your next position when you arrive at a new table, so if you were the big blind last time around, you will be the small blind for your new game.
In addition, instead of snap folding you can select the “fold, watch and play” option which allows you to fold your cards yet remain and watch the play unfold, as you would with a normal deal. When the deal is completed you are re-seated at a new table. This option is only available for Snap Poker ring games, as you can also play SnGs and MTT versions of the variant. Snap poker is not available yet on mobile. Read our 888Poker Mobile review for a full run down of all the apps features.
Terminal Poker - InstaDeal®
Terminal Poker claims that InstaDeal® was the first network to offer fast-fold poker. The game is a pretty standard fast-fold poker game, although you can only have a single entry in a player pool, but you can play in multiple pools at once. The game is fine on iOS and Android mobile devices although it does look a little dated and cluttered in design. InstaDeal® is available at Terminal Poker, CardCasino, HandBet, BuzzPoker, DF Player and PlanetWin365 Poker.
Speed Poker (iPoker network)
The iPoker network's version of Speed Poker is one of the few places where Omaha fans can get a little bit of the poker rush that speed Texas Hold'em players have become accustomed to. Other than that, this is pretty standard fast-fold fare, although you can opt-in for iPoker's “Grind for Glory” promotion which runs on a monthly basis, and by which you can grind at least one poker point each day on your way to a $200 bonus. Speed Poker is not available on mobile, and not all poker rooms on iPoker's extensive network offer this fast-fold variant.
Rush Poker - Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker is credited (or condemned, depending on your point of view) with foisting fast-fold poker on an unsuspecting poker world in 2011. You can play both ring games and tournament games with Full Tilt Poker's poker client, and has a “Quick Fold” button which means you don't even have to wait until it's your turn to act before throwing in your pocket cards and going to sit somewhere else. Most poker players would consider this rude behaviour, although none of the other players at the table are told you have folded until it is your turn to act.
If Rush Poker isn't fast-paced enough for you, there's also Adrenaline Rush Poker, in which you play in a 4-handed ring game, with a minimum buy-in of between 5 and 10BBs. There's also no betting on the flop, turn or river, and you can only raise to a maximum of 10BBs. Once someone reaches the 10BB limit, no further betting is allowed.
You can play Rush Poker on your mobile device, and both Android and iOS are supported.
If you are a United States citizen you should check out our guide to the Top Fast Fold Poker Apps for U.S. Players. I blame the movies. Whenever you watch a film in which poker is involved you can be assured of one thing – the main players will always have stellar cards. Just a bad guy #1 flips his full house, Kings over Jacks, bad guy #2 beats it with Aces over Queens.
Poker newbies have to get used to the idea that poker just isn't like that. The majority of pocket cards are garbage. Newbies either learn to be patient, or they learn to lose their chips by playing too many hands.
Actually, there is a third alternative – so called “fast-fold” poker. This is a concept that's only possible in online poker, although I suppose it could be tried in the real world (and maybe even has), although the logistics would be a nightmare.
Fast-fold poker begins like any other form of poker. You're dealt your pocket cards, and if they are not worth a bet, you fold. As soon as you hit that fold button, you're whisked away to another table where you wait a couple of seconds for the table to fill. When it does, you're in a fresh new deal … and the whole process starts all over again.
The idea of fast-fold poker is obviously to eradicate the 'tedious' wait for hands to play out before you're back in the deal, and you get on average four times as many deals in per hour. It's a game that's sure to appeal to casual players who rely much more on luck or judgement than knowledge and strategy. Serious poker players are only likely to consider fast-fold poker as a bit of a fun distraction, although there may be money to be made due to the increased number of fish swimming about the tables. Unfortunately, due to the random distribution of players, there's no steady orbit of the button, and while position still plays a part, there's no way of telling where you're going to be sitting next. Poker strategists advise that you narrow your starting hands down to the bare bones of AA, KK and QQ (you might add AK and JJ when late) when playing fast-fold, which sort of renders the 'speed' concept of the game largely pointless.
If you do fancy a little fast-folding as a distraction from the usual grind, then here are some sites that offer fast-fold variations:
No, you're not experiencing deja vu – PartyPoker's fastforward fast-fold poker app is also available at Bwin, although with a different bwin skin in black and gold. Everything is the same as with PartyPoker's app, including the fact that you can play at four tables at once, either within the same player pool, or across different pools, and you can play in ring games from heads-up play up to 9max.
A speedy conclusion …
Opinions on fast-fold poker are mixed, to say the least. Some say that fast-fold poker is the table tennis to the lawn tennis of “traditional” poker games, while others say there is virtually no difference between the two aside from the fact you are capable of playing (and folding) more hands per hour than you can at a normal ring games. Fast-fold poker fans also point out there is zero difference to poker grinders who have sixteen to twenty-four tables open at once, and whose poker-playing revolves around folding most hands, and only ever playing the nuts or semi-bluffing the blinds to stay profitable.
There's no doubting fast-fold poker's popularity. When Full Tilt Poker announced their light-speed version of fast-fold poker, Adrenaline Rush, the game immediately grabbed 10 percent of the site's cash game traffic, although after a week or so this had fallen to 6 percent and has remained steady ever since.
Different players are likely to have different opinions on fast-fold poker, and its position within the spectrum of poker variants. Every player has experienced the disheartening grind of spending two to three hours in a ring game without seeing a single, decent and playable pair of pocket cards. At least the existence of fast-fold poker gives players the opportunity to see more playable starting hands, whether they want to play the game just for fun or not.