Zone Poker at Bovada
Zone Poker is the first fast-fold poker game for United States players. It follows all the standard fast-fold poker conventions – once you fold your cards at one table, a “sliding table” animation pops up as you slip into your new seat. Once the table fills, you're off on a new deal.
Zone Poker uses an atypical way of settling the allocation of the blinds. Rather than the blinds rotating around the table, or being allocated randomly, each player at a new table is evaluated to see how many times they have posted the blinds, and anyone who hasn't posted the blinds yet is handed the task, or if everyone has posted the blinds, the person who has posted the least gets the job. This idea may seem fine in principle, but how it works in practice is debatable, as surely players who have been playing for a lengthy spell will go long stretches without posting the blinds, as each time a new player enters the room or there are a number of players who have only been playing for a short time, such players will automatically be assigned them?
STOP PRESS! PokerStars granted U.S. Fast-fold Patent
Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars, have been granted exclusive rights to develop fast-fold poker in the U.S., even though they do not currently have a U.S. licence.
Full Tilt Poker, who are also now owned by Rational, tried the same tactic when they released Rush Poker in 2011 but failed. As a result, and as influenced by the traffic generated by Rush Poker, all other major poker rooms developed and released fast-fold poker variants.
As a result of PokerStars' success, once restrictions to online poker in the United States become increasing loosened, as has been seen in New Jersey, only PokerStars will be able to offer fast-fold poker. Bovada's Zone Poker will be unaffected as Bovada operates beyond U.S. jurisdiction.
This news means that when fast-fold poker does become legal in the U.S., anyone wishing to play the variant will have only option – to sign up at PokerStars, although it's extremely doubtful that other poker giants such as 888 and PartyPoker allow the U.S. Patent Office's decision to go unchallenged.