PokerStars players in Michigan and New Jersey can now play Zoom Poker. That’s the company’s trademarked name for fast-fold cash games.
PokerStars introduced fast-fold poker internationally in 2012. Over the past decade, the format has grown in popularity and developed a loyal following.
US players have hoped to see Zoom poker since the domestic launch of PokerStars in 2015. Unfortunately, the small New Jersey player base forced the operator to omit many formats. Zoom was among these.
PokerStars players in New Jersey and Michigan now form a united player pool. Because of that, PokerStars has finally decided to bring the game to this side of the pond for a limited time.
The company hasn’t specified how long the trial will run. However, it will presumably depend on its initial popularity.
PokerStars Zoom Limited Trial: What Is It?
Players from the two networked states can join the Zoom trial, which launched at 9 p.m. on Jan 23. The minimum buy-in is $2, and the maximum is $200.
As mentioned, the trial’s success will depend mainly on the number of interested players. To boost participation, PokerStars is offering double rewards points for the first ten minutes of play to the players who help get the game started. Ten minutes of fast-fold poker can mean a lot of hands.
We expect PokerStars to announce more Zoom promotions and perhaps make the format permanent if the trial is successful.
Zoom Poker Basics
Zoom poker is a high-action online poker where tables change every round. Instead of playing at one table with the same players, you move every round and play against different players each time.
When players fold, they move to a new table without waiting until the hand finishes. Additionally, with the Fast Fold option, players don’t have to wait until their turn to fold and move on.
The number of players is crucial; the more players are playing, the more tables and opportunities to move.
Designed for High-Volume Players
While for some, fast-fold poker can feel robotic and doesn’t allow them to learn their opponents, high-volume players may find it intriguing. In 2019, PokerStars limited the number of tables players can play simultaneously. The company set the limit to four tables, as many high-volume players would play dozens of low-stakes tables at once without moving up.
The good news is that Zoom poker is not part of that limit. The game is still limited, but players can simultaneously play up to eight tables as Zoom tables count triple. Players can combine fast tables and regular tables. So if a player is already playing four regular tables, they can add up to six fast tables. While possible, it will take a lot of work to keep up with the number of hands.
For perspective: Poker players in retail casinos get to see about 30 hands per hour. Online players at conventional tables can play up to 80 or 90 hands. However, the fast-fold format allows players to see 200 or more hands per hour.
Unfortunately, it seems as if PokerStars encountered some difficulties with the roll-out. Players on Twitter have reported tables failing to start even with dozens of players ready to play. Others say they’ve been unable to rejoin if they leave the queue.
Michael Gagliano (@Gags30Poker on Twitter) tells us:
There were a bunch of people in the pool waiting, but it never dealt a hand. It seemed to start trying to make a new table a few times, but it still was broken.I haven’t tried today yet, but looking at the lobby it’s the same two broken Zoom tables from yesterday, so I assume it’s still not working right.
MichiganSharp is looking into the issue further and will update you on the status of Zoom in Michigan as more information becomes available.