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Speed Poker

Speed Poker
by Hank Cashman of

Sometimes playing poker can be very slow. This is true of online or live games. I have found a couple of ways to fight this.

If you are playing online the best way to speed up the game is to play more tables. This doesn’t speed up the action on each table but it does keep your mind busy during the slow times.

There can be several reasons for the action being slow or an opponent taking forever to make his move. When you are online, the action depends on everyone’s computers and connections. Not everyone has cable. What may seem as someone thinking or procrastinating can be a simple slow modem. Also during large tournaments some players will take their time just to ride out the clock. This is in an effort to let more players drop off and playing fewer hands.

During these slow times instead of just sitting there and typing in “zzzzzzzzzzzz” in the chat box you can be at another table. As it is your turn to act the table will pop up to the front of you screen. This way you will always be prompted to take action on the table that needs your attention. It’s kind of like channel surfing during commercials.

To keep your attention on whichever table you need to, make auto decisions when possible. You can “auto post your blinds” and “fold to any bet” to help. Make your move and then get to the table where there is more action.

In live games I like speed poker or turbos. Speed poker is the same game but you are under the clock for every move. In most cases you are allowed 15-30 seconds to make your decision or your hand is automatically checked or folded. This forces you to pay attention and plan ahead.

When you are at a speed poker table you plan instantly what your play will be and adjust accordingly. Let’s say you are on the button, as you watch the other players check or bet you have to develop your plan of action. Then when it is your time to look at your cards you should already know what you are going to do. You know that if you have a good hand you will call and if you have a low hand you will fold. You have to be ready to act.

The turbos are the regular game but the blinds are shorter. In some cases the blinds don’t even make one round on the table. In the big blind you may have to put in 100 and by the time it gets back to you it will be 200. Try to keep the action moving so the blinds don’t hurt too much.

This is in an effort to speed up the game and it also should force faster action. If someone still wants to take too much time to think, they will catch heat from the other players. In turbos you need to act timely if you want to survive the game.

All of these games help you stay focused and challenged in the game. They also improve your ability to make the right decisions. Isn’t that what poker is all about?

Keep the cards and chips flying.

Visit me at or e-mail me at


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