The Power and Speed of Ignition Zone Poker

There are many differences between playing online poker for real money and playing at a live casino. One of the biggest is volume – the number of hands you can play per hour. At a live venue, you’ll get to play maybe 30 hands in an hour; when you sit at a full-ring Texas Hold’em cash table at Ignition Poker, you’ll get in roughly three times that amount. More hands means more opportunities to win, and less of a chance for dumb luck to spoil your session.

What if we told you there’s an even faster way to play Texas Hold’em? When you play Zone Poker online at Ignition, you can easily double the number of hands you’ll get in per hour compared to a standard online game. And that’s just at a single table. Ignition lets you play up to two Zone Poker tables at the same time, for an even faster poker experience. Make sure you deposit and play now if you haven’t entered the Zone yet; it’s by far the best way to rev up your poker experience.

What is Zone Poker, and How Does it Speed Things Up?

Zone Poker works by shrinking the amount of time between hands. After you fold, instead of waiting for the rest of the hand to play out, you’re teleported to a fresh table with a new set of hole cards. This allows you to play 200 hands per hour with relative ease – maybe even 300 hands, depending on how many players there are at the tables, and how quickly you make your decisions. Play two tables at the same time, and you’ll get some serious rapid-fire action.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. Playing that many hands per hour and making that many decisions uses a lot of mental energy, especially when you’re relatively new to poker. Start with a winning poker strategy – you can learn a lot about Texas Hold’em (along with Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo) by visiting our Ignition Poker archive, where we cover just about every aspect of the Beautiful Game. The more ingrained your strategy, the more automatic your decisions will be, and the fewer mistakes you’ll make under stress.

Once you’ve got your strategy figured out, start increasing your volume by playing one table of Zone Poker, preferably at the lower stakes where the player pool is less talented on average, and mistakes less costly. Then, after you’ve gotten used to one table, add the second. If you feel overwhelmed at any time, that’s a sign you’re playing too many hands, so take your foot off the gas pedal and move back down to a single table.

The Benefits of Zone Poker

For players who can handle the volume, life in the fast lane definitely has its benefits. Here are five reasons why Zone Poker is such a great way to play Hold’em:

More Volume: We can’t stress enough how valuable it is to play more hands per hour – as long as you’ve got an edge over the competition. Not only will your hourly expectation go up, you’ll also smooth out your variance, protecting you from downswings and minimizing your chances of going bust.

Shark Protection: Since you get to switch tables repeatedly in Zone Poker, you’re no longer sitting in the same position with the same opponents for multiple hands. That makes it harder for smart players to develop a read on your tendencies and exploit you.

Simpler Strategy: While other Zone Poker players will find it harder to get a read on you, the same holds true in reverse. But this also allows you to play a standard “balanced” strategy where you don’t have to think too much about how to exploit your opponents. In fact, playing tighter than average will help further reduce the number of tough decisions you have to make, reducing mental fatigue in the process.

Looser Competition: The player pool for Zone Poker is quite soft at the lower limits. You can take advantage of recreational players who have the need for speed, but not the tools to handle it. There are a lot of pros at the higher limits, though, so tread carefully.

Multi-tabling: Two tables of Zone Poker might not sound like much to experienced players, but there’s more poker where that came from. Ignition also allows you to play two standard cash tables alongside those two Zone tables, giving you the most hands per hour possible. 

Assigning and Timing Blinds in Zone Poker

One of the biggest questions we get asked about Zone Poker is how the blinds work. At a standard Hold’em table, the small and big blind move clockwise from player to player, so everyone in the game pays the same amount. The distribution works differently when you play Zone Poker, but fairness is still maintained by using the following priority for determining who the big blind is:

1. The first candidates are any players at the new table who have yet to pay the big blind. These will often be people who have just entered the Zone Poker pool.

2. If none of the players satisfy the first priority, the big blind will be whichever player has gone the longest without having to pay. “Longest” in this case means number of hands played.

There will be times where more than one player falls under these categories; when this happens, the big blind will be assigned at random to one of those candidates. Overall, there will be rare times when you pay the big blind multiple times in what would normally be a single orbit – maybe even in consecutive hands. But on average, everyone will still pay the same amount in the long run, and get to play from every position at the table equally.

Now that you know the ins and outs of Zone Poker, give it a try today at Ignition and see just how fast our fast-fold variant can be. Again, start with one table before adding the second, start at the microstakes before moving up, and your chances of success will improve considerably. Best of luck on the felt!