Rush Poker: Hands On Demand

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last week Full Tilt released Rush Poker, a new "hands-on-demand" online poker concept that enables the fastest games of poker the world has seen. From the Full Tilt website:

Warning: Rush Poker is extremely fast paced – prepare yourself for the most intense poker action in the world!

Available exclusively at Full Tilt Poker, Rush Poker is the ultimate high-speed poker experience.

This new poker format is designed to minimize your wait time between hands and keep you in the action. You’ll join a large player pool and face a different table of opponents every hand you play. When you fold your hand, you’ll be rushed to another table for a new hand right away.

To play even faster, use the Quick Fold button to move to a new table for the next hand immediately.

By dealing you a new hand at a new table every time you fold—instead of forcing you to wait on your opponents—Rush Poker creates a frictionless poker game that can deliver speeds of up to 600 hands per hour at a single table. Yet despite its name, Rush Poker doesn't actually feel rushed. Like driving a well-built car, you just cruise along, unconscious of your speed until you glance down at the speedometer.

So yeah, Rush Poker is the fastest game of poker in the world, but not in the intense, balls-to-the-wall, Team America Fuck Yeah! sort of way that people are describing it. Playing Rush is more like driving the Autobahn. Efficiency, not excess, is the watchword.

That efficiency is possible thanks to a first-of-its-kind (in online poker) automated player seating system and a streamlined fold and forget user interface that allows you to play a new hand at a new table the instant you click the Fold button. My only complaint? I wish the Quick Fold button was fully twice as large.

I say that because the Fold button in its different incarnations (Quick Fold, Fold checkbox, etc.) is the focal point of Rush Poker. The designers have done an amazing job of creating an experience in which the Fold button actually starts to feel like a big NEXT button, pulling you from one hand, to the next, to the next. It's effortless and intuitive and there's a distinct sense of momentum to it, reinforced by the slide and fade animations the software uses to transition between hands.

Imbuing the most odious button in the game of poker (the Fold button) with the promise of better cards and greener pastures is a neat trick. There's a subtle reinforcement loop in effect here—click this big shiny button repeatedly and get rewarded with new cards! But notice that every bullet point on the Rush Poker feature list is designed to help or enable the player in some way:

  • By making it easier for them to fold.
  • By wasting less of their time
  • By preventing collusion with randomized seating
  • By removing speedbumps like waiting lists and reserved seats
  • By freeing the player to join or leave any game at any time for any reason without paying a penalty in blinds, double-paying the blinds, wasting some of his allotted hands for the blind, and other messiness.
  • By getting rid of messy blinds like dead smalls and late-positions.

And of course, I'm sure there's a decent profit incentive in there as well. But looking over that laundry list of features, I think you'll agree. Pound for pound, Rush Poker is the most outlandishly clever and yet succinct innovation online poker has ever seen. It's an evolutionary leap, complete with forebidding stone monolith and tribe of genuflecting cavemen. 

It really has to be experienced to be believed.

Now you can't actually observe a Rush Poker table in action unless you're seated and playing—Rush Poker tables are transient, you could even call them solipsistic—so your best bet is to head over to Full Tilt and try it out first hand. Rush is currently being offered in microlimit NLH and PLO flavors during its "test the waters" phase. For more information, check out the usual suspects:

  • Official Rush Poker website
  • Full Tilt forum's Rush Poker thread
  • Two Plus Two official Rush Poker thread
  • Rush Poker thread
  • Google

Oh, and you PokerTracker/Hold'emManager cats will be pleased to hear that both tools will support Rush Poker. For PokerTracker, a new Rush-compatible HUD is in the works. Here's a preview:

Hold'em Manager achieves something similar by exporting player statistics into the Full Tilt player notes which can then be viewed on hover or with the click of a mouse.

Tags: Rush Poker, Full Tilt, online poker, poker news, poker

28 comment(s)

Hey sweet, you're still blogging!

I gave Rush Poker a twirl a few days ago--- fun, but I'm not sure it's accurate to say it takes the wait out of poker. You still wait, only instead of waiting for the next hand, your waiting consists of clicking through 28 garbage hands before you get your next pair of Kings. Still, intriguing.


Thanks man!


intersting news! What does such rush poker tables mean for bot creation? I mean, that basically reduces the need to develop bots who can select tables and play many tables in parallel. You can now set up a bot on a rush table and let him play 600-700 hands/h... of cause one can scale this up, too.

Or does something speak against it?

Sweet, no we won't get another post until May but something is better than nothing!

I'm interested to see what PokerStars will come up with to combat Rush Poker.

This is probably one of the best reviews I have seen on Rush Poker so far. I tried to write one for one of my sites, but this blows it out of the water. Nice job!

Team America Fuck Yeah!

Shit like that is EXACTLY why I LOVE this Blog! Great to see you back, and keep up the kick ass posts, James!

America, Fuck Yeah!

Where did you get the 600 hands/hour figure?

I've been Rushing for a couple days now and the speeds are always in the 200-300/hour range. Maybe fixed limit or heads up Rush could do 600/hour but the full ring games are going about half that speed.

Unless maybe you're talking about some max theoretical uprate?

Hi Larry,

you are probably right. My numbers were way to high but also 300/hour are a lot - and you get it without any efforts! Another aspect is also good for bots: a good rush game player will play highly mathematical because reading the players woun't work... and noone is as good in calculating as a bot.

Hey guys, 300 hands an hour is just an average. The fastest players in the pool do 400-600 hands an hour. Slower players might do 150-250. It depends on your speed. You can see the top speeds in the lobby and usually around 550-600 HPH.

@Larry: Rush heads up poker poker will play at the same speed as regular poker: in heads up "fold" == "next hand"

Concerning boting rush seems a good thing. Firstly, as Comman says, there will be less opponent modeling which is hard for a bot to do well. But there is a second good point: if you can see the hand/hour for all players in the lobby (I do not know if you can, I'm basing myself on Khoi Tam's comment) this is a very good measure of pre-flop tightness -- that's where you bet the biggest speed increase. A human will not be able to check this info for every player every hand, but a bot can. So unless this info is in some heads-up display the bot has a clear advantage over humans....

You know you're hardcore when you can 4 table rush poker :D

Anyway, I think Full Tilt are really onto something here. Not only is this hugely popular and addictive, it is also a HUGE money making scheme for the company. More hands - more rake. The business model for rush poker is the nearest to perfect I've ever seen. Only a business genius can think of something as profitable and popular as this

Have played a couple thou of hands so far of Rush, absolutely love it. Best thing of all: they store the complete hand history for each Rush hand even if you fold preflop and get magic carpeted away to a new table.

People say that in Rush you can't get a read on your opponent but I think you can, it just takes more time. You have to encounter the Rush regulars enough to get a good feel for their stats. The new PT3 and HM HUDs will help with this.

James did you get a job at full-Tilt on your hiatus?

James, thanks for the link. A lot of us follow your blog actually. :)

America, FUCK YEAH!!!

More poker bot series please. With Rush poker, this should be even more of a priority considering the amount of hands and rake it could potentially pull in.

I beg you, please more botting series.

Any there wouldn't be less opponent modeling. There would be just as much, but different. Just because PT3 or HEM can't bring up their stats fast enough (yet, I know it on the way), doesn't mean the bot will forget that your opponent 3Betted the last 10 times from the the button.

In addition to the math aspect, this makes the bot even better in the Rush scenario.

What I actually meant was not that opponent modeling of human opponents by the bot woun't work in rush poker - as Anonymous said, this works just the same way as on a regular table.

I meant that flaws in the bot strategy wouldn't be easy to exploit by human players, because they do not get a "feeling" how the bot plays...

They see me once a day and then only one or two games - this is not enough for most people to remember how one plays and to exploit it - as long as they do no opponent modeling with PT3 :)

I wonder, this sounds like an ad. The bot-series seems to have stopped...

You didnt by any chance got a deal?

(I wouldnt fault you for accepting...)

sat with a friend of mine on his rush session, 2-3 tables for a couple hours. i probably won't play it unless they do rush mtts but it's pretty cool. sort of like slot machines meet online poker, but still with the skill element.

Please give us tournaments in Rush format if any Full Tilt people are reading this... :) 300 HPH in a multitable tourney would be an awesome format even if you kept the blinds at 10 minutes.

Four months wait for this???? Cm'on... back to the bots, please!!

Europe Fuck yeah !

America is owned by Cinese and will sink in it's own SHIT...

Obtenez le meilleur personnalisée chemises courir aux Etats-Unis! Visitez mon site Web à

Get the best personalized running shirts, custom tri suits and custom cycling gear all in one website. Visit MyRaceRagz at and enjoy huge discounts!

xl pharmacy o god. this type of poker is so fast! I mean it

Thank you for another significant article. Where else could anyone get that type of information in this complete way with words? I've got a presentation incoming week, and I am on the lookout for similarly info. [][1]

[1]: http://valet parking

Use the form below to leave a comment.

Coding the Wheel has appeared on the New York Time's Freakonomics blog, Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror, and the front page of Reddit, Slashdot, Digg.

On Twitter

Thanks for reading!

If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing to Coding the Wheel by RSS or email. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. And even if you didn't enjoy this post, better subscribe anyway. Keep an eye on us.

Question? Ask us.



Building the collective hamster wheel, one line of code at a time.


You've read our technical articles, you've tolerated our rants and raves. Now you can hire us anytime, day or night, for any project large or small.

Learn more

We Like

Speculation, by Edmund Jorgensen.