The Ultimate Zoom Poker Cheat Sheet (2022)

Zoom poker cheat sheet

This article was written by blackrain79.com contributor Fran Ferlan.

One of the biggest advantages of online poker is the ability to play multiple tables at once. 

This allows you to put in way more volume than you could at a regular brick-and-mortar casino. 

Zoom poker takes this ability to the new extreme, as the action is lightning fast, and there’s virtually no downtime between the hands you’re dealt. 

Almost all poker sites nowadays offer a zoom variant of poker, and they go by different names (Snap, Fast Forward, Speed Poker etc.)

But they all have the same principle: 

Once you fold your hand, you’re automatically seated to a new table and dealt a new hand.

This article will tell everything you need to know about the key differences between Zoom and regular poker, what to expect, and what adjustments to make to crush the game.

Here is your Zoom poker "cheat sheet" 

Let's jump in!


A) You Can’t Table Select on Zoom Poker


Let's discuss a few general principles of Zoom poker games before we get into the heart of the strategy though.

This way, you will understand the "why" much better behind many of the advanced strategies later on in this Zoom poker cheat sheet.

The biggest drawback of zoom poker is, without a doubt, the inability to table select. 

When playing zoom poker, you are automatically seated to the next table when you fold a hand, and you have no idea who’s going to be seated next to you. 

This is of course a huge detriment, as one of the biggest advantages of online poker is the ability to hop tables and find the most profitable one. 

If you’re seated to the direct left of the recreational players, aka the fish, you are often in the best money making situation, as you can play in position against them. 

This means you can get involved in the hand with them and take their money before anyone else does. 

You can isolate them preflop and take advantage of their mistakes postflop, with a very simple proven winning poker strategy.

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about them stealing your blinds, as fish tend to play pretty passively. 

On zoom tables you don’t have that kind of luxury.


B) Zoom Players Are Relatively Anonymous


Zoom tables usually have huge player pools involved, so you’re basically playing against new opponents all the time. 

This makes it much harder to get accurate reads on their playing style and adjust accordingly. 

Even if you use a good free poker HUD, it takes a while to develop a significant sample size to draw any meaningful conclusions about their tendencies. 

Of course, this anonymity goes both ways. 

You can’t get tells on your opponents, but they can’t figure you out, either. 

That’s why it’s best to use this anonymity to your advantage, and try to get away with plays you wouldn’t get away with on regular tables, like bluffing with impunity.

You will see this key principle at play in many of the zoom poker strategies that we discuss below.


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C) Zoom Players Play Tighter Ranges on Average


Another key difference between zoom and regular tables is that players tend to play tighter ranges on average. 

Since you don’t need to wait around for a decent hand as much, you can just spam the fold button until you get something playable. 

Due to the lightning fast speed of zoom poker, even the recreational players will play tighter on average. 

One of the main reasons fish tend to play all sorts of junk hands is boredom. 

They play poker for fun, and don’t want to wait around for hours on end until they get to play. They want action. 

On zoom tables, however, action is just seconds away. 

Even the fish won’t play a crappy hand when pocket Aces are potentially just around the corner.

By the way, I have already written the ultimate guide to crushing tight poker players if you want to learn the strategy to beat them.  


D) Expect a Lower Winrate on Zoom Poker Tables


Zoom tables inherently have more variance built into it than regular tables for the reasons mentioned above. 

More variance means lower winrate, so you should be prepared for this going in. In fact, if you are curious, I have already written an entire article about good Zoom poker winrates.

But a decline in your winrate is just something we must accept in Zoom.

So, if you’re barely breaking even on your current limit on the regular, you should probably think twice about transitioning to zoom tables. 

It's not all bad news though!

Even with the drawbacks of zoom poker, there is an obvious upside, and that is an incomparable amount of volume (i.e. the number of hands you can play).

And this is because zoom poker tables deal hands nearly 3 times as fast as a regular poker table. 


Zoom Poker is Actually More Profitable For Serious Online Players


Say your winrate is 2 big blinds per 100 hands played in Zoom and your winrate is 4 big blinds per 100 hands played at a regular poker table.

Well, even though your winrate is much lower in Zoom, you will actually make more money playing Zoom because as we just mentioned, it deals nearly 3 times faster than a regular poker game.

This is a key point that many people miss these days while obsessing over their online poker winrate so much!

That is, you can actually make more money in Zoom, even with a lower winrate, due to the massively increased volume.

In fact, Nathan has discussed many times that using this volume based approach (which Zoom is literally perfect for), allowed him to quit his job, travel the world, while making a full time living playing online.

Also, it should be noted that if you are a serious online poker grinder, or you want to unlock the poker site bonuses and/or rakeback, zoom poker is also perfect for that as well.

This is why zoom poker is the game of choice for many serious online pros and semi-pros these days.

Alright enough buildup! 

Let's get into the actual zoom poker strategies.

With these key differences in mind, let’s discuss exactly what adjustments you need to make to your strategy to play zoom poker much more profitably.


1. Play a Loose and Aggressive (LAG) Poker Style in Zoom Poker


The single most important adjustment you need to make when playing zoom tables is to adopt a loose and aggressive (LAG) playing style.

This is something that I discussed at length in my hugely popular Zoom poker strategy article. 

The optimal poker strategy is the opposite of the one that most other players are using. 

Since players tend to play significantly tighter on zoom tables (this is true for the regular and recreational players alike), your best bet is to do the exact opposite. 


This is what playing a LAG style in Zoom means in practice:

1. Expand your starting hand selection (play more hands preflop than you would on the regular tables.

2. Steal the blinds liberally (expand your open-raising range from the cutoff, the button, and the small blind.

3. Start light 3-betting and 4-betting light: re-raise more to try to win the pot preflop. 

Also get comfortable with throwing an occasional 4 bet (a raise against another player’s 3-bet).

4. Bluff more postflop

Get comfortable with double and triple barrelling (i.e. firing a second or third shell on the turn and river, respectively, even without a strong value hand). 

Also, float wider in position (call with a wider range and try to take down the pot when your opponent checks to you on later streets).

You could even try this super advanced strategy that only the top 1% of poker players are using, as Nathan discussed in a recent youtube video.


Although, I would be careful of using highly advanced strategies like this too often if you play low stakes Zoom games.

Highly advanced stuff like this works better in mid stakes or high stakes zoom poker games.


2. Steal the Blinds Way More Often in Zoom Poker Games


Since you can expect players to play tighter ranges preflop on average due to the fast paced structure of zoom poker, one of the best adjustments you can make to your game is to steal the blinds way more liberally than you would on regular tables. 

Another reason you can get away with this much easier is the aforementioned relative anonymity of zoom tables. 

When you combine these two factors together, stealing the blinds can become insanely profitable. 

Now, adding 1.5 big blinds to your bottom line doesn’t seem like much, but it’s not the size that’s crucial here. 

It’s the sheer frequency with which something happens that’s really important. 

If you’re playing at a 6-max zoom table, you have the opportunity to potentially steal the blinds 3 times per orbit.

This means that every time you open raise from the cutoff, button and the small blind, you can potentially take down the pot preflop. 


Granted, there are times when this won’t be the case as: 

A) another player will open-raise before you 

and 

B) players will sometimes defend their blinds. 

But remember, they will do that far less often than they would on the regular tables. 

Players don’t usually open-raise from an early position unless they have a strong hand, and they are less likely to open-raise mediocre hands when a potentially stronger hand is just a second away. 

They will also avoid playing from the blinds, because this puts you at a positional disadvantage.

One caveat to mention here is the situation where you are trying to steal the big blind when you are playing from the small blind. 

This can be a tricky position, because you will not have a positional advantage over your opponent. 

Also, you have a worse risk to reward ratio, because you already put 0.5 big blinds into the pot. 

Conversely, your opponent has a better risk to reward ratio, because they already put 1 big blind into the pot AND have positional advantage. 

So in the SB vs BB spots, you shouldn’t try to steal as liberally as you would when you’re trying to steal from the late positions (i.e. the cutoff and the button).

When stealing the blinds, you can use a smaller open-raise size to give you a better risk-to-reward ratio. 

So instead of the usual 3 BB, you can size down your open-raise size to 2.5 BB, or even just 2 BB in some cases.

By the way, for complete bet sizing and starting hand selection charts from all seats at the poker table, just read Modern Small Stakes.

As for what hands you should try to steal the blinds with, you can expand your open-raising range quite a bit, but you shouldn’t just automatically try to steal the blinds with any two cards. 

You’ll still want to use the hands that have at least some sort of playability postflop. 

You should obviously open-raise with all the strong value hands, but you can also add some speculative and/or mediocre hands you wouldn’t open-raise with from earlier positions.


Some examples might include:
  • Weak Aces like A3 offsuit or A6
  • Unsuited gappers and two gappers like T8 or 96
  • Small suited connectors like 32 or 43

These hands could spell trouble when you call with them preflop, but trying to steal the blinds with them is another story, especially when the players in the blinds are tight and won’t fight back as much. 

And even if you get called, your hand still has some sort of playability postflop. 

You also have the range advantage (meaning you are perceived to have a stronger range than your opponent), so you can keep applying the pressure postflop, regardless of how you connected to the board.

This is an extremely important concept that is discussed a lot more depth in many advanced poker training courses these days such as, The Upswing Poker Lab.


3. 3-Bet Liberally to Pick up Easy Money in Zoom Poker Games


The next adjustment you should make when playing zoom poker is to expand your 3-betting range in order to steal more pots preflop. 

Since a lot of players will (correctly) try to steal the blinds with quite a wide and weak range, you can attack these ranges with light 3-bets.

This is something that I discuss in much more detail in my massively popular step by step guide to playing 3-bet pots article.

(A light 3-bet, or a bluff 3-bet preflop is a raise against another player’s open-raise made in the hopes of getting the open raiser to fold.)

This is different from value 3-bet, where you make a re-raise with a strong hand, hoping your opponent will call. 

Since very strong hands don’t come around often in no-limit Texas hold’em (which is true for zoom and regular tables alike), you can’t just wait around for them all day and hope to be profitable. 

In fact, this is what a lot of players do, much to their own detriment. 

Since the next hand is always a second away in zoom poker, some players just spam the fold button until they get dealt a premium hand. 


The problem with this approach, however is the fact that: 

A) as mentioned, these hands are far and few in between 

and 

B) once you actually do get dealt a premium hand, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to extract a ton of value, because everyone else is just spamming the fold button as well.

This is why learning to light 3-bet is so crucial for your success in zoom poker. 

A lot of players will try to steal the blinds, but will give up quite easily if they encounter some, or any resistance. 

Now, that’s not to say you should just 3-bet with any two cards when you see someone stealing the blinds. 

You want to use the cards that have some sort of playability postflop in the case your 3-bet gets called.

Some good candidates to use could be suited connectors (like 87or J♠T♠) due to their versatility. 

They can make very strong combinations like straights and flushes, and they have a decent chunk of equity against virtually all starting hands. 

But as discussed in The Micro Stakes Playbook, by far the best light 3-betting candidates are the small suited Aces (like A5 or A♣3♣) for a few reasons.

Suited Aces have a ton of equity when called, due to their nut potential. 

They can make straights and nut flushes. 

Unlike other suited connectors, you don’t have to worry about having only a second best flush, because you’re always drawing to the nuts.

They also have blocker power, meaning they reduce the number of combinations of very strong cards your opponent could have. 

If you hold an Ace in your hand, it’s less likely your opponent could have a hand like pocket Aces or Ace-King (i.e. you’re blocking those combinations).

By the way, I discuss this in much more detail in my new Elite Poker University training. 

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If you have an Ace in your hand, you decrease the number of combinations of pocket Aces in your opponents range from 6 combinations to only 3 combinations, and you decrease the number of Ace-King combinations from 16 to only 12 possible combinations.

In other words, by having a blocker, you increase the chances of your light 3-bet being successful.


Example Zoom Poker Hand:


You are dealt A5 in the SB.

An unknown player open-raises from the BU (button) to 2.5 BB.

You: ???

You should 3-bet to 10 BB.

This is a textbook spot where light 3-betting can be profitable. 

You have a decent speculative hand, but you don’t want to call from the small blind in this position. 

You will be playing the whole hand out of position, without range advantage, with an easily dominated hand. 

This is the exact opposite of a profitable situation. 

What’s more, you leave yourself vulnerable to getting squeezed (3-bet when there is one or more callers) from the player in the big blind. 

By 3-betting here instead, you can win the pot outright, and even if you get called, you will go to the flop with a range advantage with a hand that can make very strong combinations. 

It should be noted that using a good poker HUD can also really help you know which players to 3-bet in Zoom poker games in particular.


4. Learn to Double Barrel Bluff in Zoom


Double barreling is another great weapon to have in your poker arsenal when playing zoom tables.

A double barrel by the way, is when you raise preflop, make a continuation bet on the flop and then make another bet on the turn.

This is a very strong play that applies a lot of pressure and I have already written an entire double barrelling the turn cheat sheet for you.

When used properly, it can help you win more than your fair share of pots in Zoom.

A lot of players these days will make a standard continuation bet (a bet made by the previous streets’ aggressor) on the flop, but will give up if they keep getting pressured on the turn. 

Conversely, a lot of players will call wide on the flop, but will give up if they keep getting barreled on the turn. 

This is why double barrel bluffing is so effective. 

Simply put, a double barrel bluff is a spot where you make a continuation bet on the turn without a strong value hand. 

Knowing when, and when not to double barrel is a complex question, and you obviously don’t want to double barrel with a 100 percent of your range. 

When we’re talking about double barrel bluffing, your goal is to get your opponent to fold. 

So you should only do it if you think there is a reasonable chance of your opponent giving up. You also want to use the appropriate bet size. 

As a general rule, you want your bluff to look like a value bet, so you should size it accordingly. 


Example Zoom Poker Hand: 


You are dealt T9in the CO (Cutoff)

You open-raise to 3x

An unknown player calls from the BB

Pot: 6.5 BB

Flop: J♣5♠2 rainbow
Villain checks. You bet 3.5 BB. Villain calls

Pot: 13.5 BB
Turn: K

Villain checks. You: ???

You should double-barrel.

You have a standard open-raise preflop. Nothing much to be said here.

You missed the flop, but since the board texture is bone-dry, you can expect your light c-bet to work more often than not. You bet.

On the turn, villain checks again. This is a great spot for a double barrel bluff for a few reasons. 

First of all, you picked up some equity, as you now have an inside straight draw. 

Secondly, the King is a scare card, meaning the board got scarier, and the number of hands the villain called with on the flop got relatively weaker. 

If they had a pair of Jacks on the flop, now they only have a second pair, and will have a harder time calling you down. 

On the other hand, you can credibly represent a number of strong hands. 

In other words, your bluff tells a believable story, plus you got some additional hand equity to fall back on if you get called.

Hero bets 7 BB.

If you want a step by step example of an extremely high level triple barrel bluff, check out this recent video Nathan made.


Although once again, I would caution against using advanced plays like this too much in super low stakes Zoom poker games.

And the reason why is because highly advanced zoom poker strategies like this will often go right over their heads (i.e. they will just call you down anyways!)


5. Get Comfortable With Playing Deepstacked Poker in Zoom


If you want to maximize your winrate when playing zoom poker, you’ll need to get comfortable with playing deepstacked poker. 

A deepstacked poker refers to the situations where the effective stack sizes are significantly bigger than 100 big blinds, say 150, 200 blinds or more. 
 
This drastically changes your optimal poker strategy. 

When the stacks are very deep, you should be more careful with stacking off, because players won’t be inclined to put all of their money in the middle with mediocre hands, as they have much more to lose than when their stack is shallow. 

Another thing to keep in mind is how the stack sizes affect your starting hand selection. 

The deeper the stack sizes, the less valuable one pair hands become, as they get vulnerable to getting outdrawn on later streets. 

Also, one pair hands usually aren’t strong enough to comfortably stack off against your opponent if the stacks are deep. 

If you do get action in such a scenario, it’s quite likely your opponent has a very strong hand, like sets, straights, flushes and so on. 

So if you have a top pair hand with a deep stack behind, you should practice pot control, instead of blowing up the pot, because chances are your hand just isn’t going to be strong enough by showdown.

Conversely, speculative hands (i.e. hands that aren’t strong enough in and of themselves, but have the potential to make very strong combinations), go up in value significantly. 

That’s because they are getting better implied odds.

Check out my wildly popular poker odds cheat sheet by the way for much more on poker implied odds, hand odds and pot odds.  

If you have a speculative hand, you want the stack size to be as deep as possible, because you want to get paid off if you do complete your draw. 

For this reason, hands like small pairs and suited connectors are great to have when the stacks are deep. 

Pocket pairs can make full houses easier than unpaired hands, and have the added benefit so far that your opponent will have a hard time putting you on your exact hand. 

Suited connectors are great because of their versatility, as they can connect with the board in multiple ways. 

They can make straights and flushes, so they have a huge upside potential if they hit.

As you grind the zoom tables, always be aware of the effective stack sizes, and think about how they affect your overall strategy. 

Playing with a hundred big blinds and three hundred big blings is an entirely different sport. 

The decisions get more complex, and you often have to play all three streets post flop. 

The deeper the effective stack size, the more you stand to gain, but the opposite is also true. You can lose a lot more, too. 

And since there’s also more variance on zoom tables than regular tables, losing double or even triple your initial buyin can really hurt your overall profitability.

However, there are plenty of really good poker software tools available these days though that can help you quickly improve your overall Zoom poker winnings.


6. Don’t Forget to Take Breaks When Playing Zoom


One last thing to take note of doesn’t really have to do with the poker strategy as such, but it’s crucial nonetheless, is the fact that zoom poker plays significantly faster than regular tables. 

This means you will have to make a lot more decisions in a shorter time span. 

This is fairly obvious, but it’s important to realize how this affects your decision making process.  

Your brain has limited processing capabilities, and after a prolonged period of decision making, the quality of those decisions tends to deteriorate. 

In psychology, this is known as decision fatigue. 

This can cause the so-called irrational trade-offs, or to put it in poker terms, making negative EV (expected value) plays. 

If you ever had the feeling that your poker sessions start off great, but it all starts going downhill at some point, the poker gods aren’t necessarily to blame. 

It just might be that your attention starts wandering off, you get impatient, possibly tilted, and start making plays you know aren’t the most +EV. 

If that’s the case, you might be suffering from decision fatigue.

What’s dangerous about it is the fact that it’s often subtle, and you don’t even notice it. 

But it can affect you negatively nonetheless.

This is especially important in zoom poker, as you’re likely to experience it sooner than you would at a regular table. 

Due to the sheer amount of decisions you need to make every few seconds, it’s far easier to get overwhelmed and start playing sub-optimally. 

And since the margins are razor thin in zoom poker anyway, you can’t afford anything to take away from your profitability. 

The mental game of poker gets overlooked anyway, which is bad in and of itself, but disregarding it in zoom poker is outright catastrophic.

So if you plan to play zoom poker, don’t forget to take more breaks every now and then. 

This is easy to forget because you can get so caught up in the action, so being aware of it will go a long way.

Bottom Line: 

Learn to manage your play schedule like a professional Zoom poker player, and you will have a lot more success.


Ultimate Zoom Poker Cheat Sheet (Summary)


Zoom poker is wildly popular these days and you don't need to study tons of advanced poker strategy in order to beat these games.

However, there are some important differences with Zoom poker that you should know.

Some of the biggest drawbacks of zoom poker are: 
  • the inability to table select
  • the relative anonymity of the player pool
  • the overall tendency of players to play tighter ranges than they would on regular tables 
For these reasons, you can expect lower winrate on zoom tables. But the sheer volume you can put in can more than make up for it.

Zoom poker tables deal 3 times as many hands as a regular poker table!

But if you don’t want your winrate to suffer dramatically, you will need to make some adjustments to your poker strategy.

The best adjustment you can make is to adopt a loose and aggressive (LAG) poker style.

And I actually wrote an entire step by step how to play LAG poker strategy article just recently.  

This means expanding your open-raising ranges, especially from the late positions (cutoff and button).

You should also start 3-betting and 4-betting more preflop to pick up some easy money, as the edges are usually going to be smaller postflop.

As for the postflop play, try bluffing more by adopting double (or triple) barreling into your arsenal. 

A lot of players will often stick around on the flop, but will give up if they encounter serious resistance on later streets.

Conversely, try floating more (calling with the intention of taking the pot away on later streets) to counteract the aggression from other players.

If you really want to improve your winrate, getting comfortable with playing deepstacked poker is a must. 

Decisions get a lot more complex the deeper the effective stack sizes, and this is where your skill edge can fully manifest.

One last thing to keep in mind doesn’t really have to do with the strategy aspect, but is important nonetheless, is the fact that zoom poker can be a lot more mentally straining than playing regular tables due to the insane pace of action.

For this reason, don’t forget to take breaks here and then. Decision fatigue is a thing, and it can be an insidious killer of your poker results.

The edges in poker are small, and especially so in zoom poker. So looking for edges in your mental game, as well as technical game is a must.

Lastly, if you want to know the complete strategy I use to make $1000+ per month in small stakes games, get a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

The Ultimate Zoom Poker Cheat Sheet