Inside the Game

Ring Game changes: Making poker fast and fun

By Dominic Mansour Posted at 8:00 am on 28 July 2015

We recently revealed that we are making some big changes at Full Tilt to improve the playing experience by making the game more accessible and exciting. Online gaming has evolved considerably since poker arrived on the scene, and the way in which people play has also changed.

Many players that are new to the game can find the traditional online poker ring game lobby unwelcoming, so we’re streamlining the journey, helping people to get into their game smoothly and quickly, wherever they may be playing.

When a player arrives at a live card room, they tell the poker room manager what game they want to play and the poker room manager will take them to a table with a free seat so that they can start playing straight away.  As players join and leave the live card room, the poker room manager brings new people together to create new tables, and moves players from short-handed tables to ensure every player has the best possible experience.


Full Tilt is introducing a very similar system for our online play – an online system that will make it as easy as possible for you to load up the software, choose your game, and start playing immediately.

As a player, you can choose your game type and preferred stakes and be instantly seated at a table, getting straight into the action. It keeps things fun, fast and simple. Tables will be merged if and when two or more become shorthanded. This new system will ensure that your success is determined by your talent at the table, not your skill in choosing opponents.

In addition to these changes, we’ve decided to remove Heads Up tables from our ring game offering. We’re doing this for two important reasons; firstly, Heads Up games were being adversely impacted by the minority of experienced players who targeted ‘weaker’ opponents rather than take on all challengers, and secondly, new players who tried out the Heads Up games found it intimidating and confusing (asking themselves “why are all these guys not playing each other?”). Unfortunately, these table selection changes didn’t fix this problem so in Heads Up we had no choice but to remove them altogether, as we know the more new players that play it, the less likely they are to return and keep playing. In short, Heads Up ring games just didn’t form part of a healthy poker ecosystem, which made our decision to remove them easier.

We are also removing nosebleed stakes, Stud, Draw and Mixed Game ring game tables. The new structure will present a clean offering for all players and we consider these ring game changes to be key to Full Tilt’s ongoing commitment to provide a level playing field and attracting and retaining more casual poker players.Full Tilt

We also recognize that in the past, a proportion of players have used extensive table selection to their advantage and that those players might not like these changes. Their advantage over other players will now be negated and we don’t think that’s a bad thing. Good things happen to those who play and we believe the changes we’re making will see even more good things happening to more players at Full Tilt.

We hope that you’ll enjoy the new lobby experience and will let us know what you think by emailing us at feedback@fulltilt.com .

Dominic Mansour is the Managing Director of Full Tilt.



Dominic Mansour

Dominic Mansour, Managing Director at Full Tilt


  • MZA

    “We are also removing nosebleed stakes, Stud, Draw and Mixed Game ring game tables.”

    I’m genuinely upset by this – for years, Full Tilt was one of only 2 places to be able to play different variations of poker such as Razz, Draw and Mixed Games. It opened up my eyes and made me a much better player as I can confidently say that the skills you learn in one variation can be applied to others. I recently started playing 8 or 10-game cash tables in order to improve my game too. And now they’re gone. One of the greatest things about Full Tilt was the ability to watch nosebleed games take place too, and with this new lobby structure it seems like you can’t even do that.

    I can understand the reasons behind changing the lobby (to an extent) but just don’t understand why you would remove some games that there was obviously a following in. Now all we have is the odd tournaments to play Draw and Mixed Games, but how long will it be before they get scrapped too? =(

    • FullTIltBlog

      Hi MZA, we also love mixed games, and definitely hope to be able to bring more back in future. For now, we believe that this was necessary to give the best experience to more players, and we didn’t take this decision lightly. We hope you’ll give the ring games a try, and that you’ll like the changes we’re making in the coming weeks.

      • MZA

        I sincerely hope that you do bring them back in the future – my loyalties lie with Full Tilt and don’t want to have to play at ‘stars…

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  • Nic

    YES About TIME!

  • johan313

    This might actually bring me back to FTP, however the rake structure is still not on competitive terms with other sites, which is the main reason I’m playing elsewhere.

  • Shawn Salter

    This is a very good move by Full Tilt. I only hope it isn’t too late. I’m afraid it is too late as Full Tilt is a ghost town now. Where are these new players going to come from in a shrinking poker economy?

    I think it is a bad decision to remove the nosebleeds. The nosebleeds attracted people to the site to watch the games and some of them would end up playing(or maybe not?).

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  • Ivan Naydenov Naydenov

    i cannot watch any high stakes poker ,it’s really weird about me ..it’s just like i am lost in here of corse i try to fix somehow the lobby but is not possible ..why u did that ,man..

  • cam427

    The changes sound great in general but I agree with MZA that I dont see the advantage of removing the mixed game formats sine they are the most fun to play.

  • chucklz

    Watching tables and choosing opponents is part of the live game and should remain part of online play.

    Waiting for a seat at a table is a choice, not an inconvenience.

    And why remove stud, draw and mixed games. These are popular games I’ve enjoyed on the site for years, now they are suddenly gone. Making it easier for new players should not punish regulars.

  • HiImHigh

    Good move, Full Tilt.

  • duke750

    I agree with MZA. Mixed games provided instant variety as I played, rather than the tedium of NLHE