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In this paper we propose a new fast mode decision (FMD) algorithm for H.264/AVC to reduce the computational load of the motion estimation (ME) process. It is oriented to dramatically reduce the encoding time regardless of the level of motion present at the sequences (high or low-motion). The algorithm decides as the best mode the skip mode or mode 1 without need to compute the rest of coding alternatives if some conditions are satisfied. These conditions ensure these modes to be used appropriately for low motion and high motion sequences respectively to achieve an appropriate rate distortion (RD) cost based on the results of the previous encoded frames. Tests have shown reductions of the encoding time around-81% for all kinds of sequences, while moderate loss of coding efficiency.