Playing Free Poker
1. Navigate to your site’s list of games page After you sign in
2. Pick a game you want (Hold ’Em, Omaha, 3 Card Stud, etc.)
3. Look for games labeled free, just-for-fun, or similar.
4. Join any open seat.
You should be able to start for free to test the waters. Do not forget to also request the max amount if you have the option to — use all the freebies you can.
With free chips, you can learn and practice without cost. In other words, you can blow thousands of fake dollars and never stress about how to explain losing to anyone. Most importantly you don’t jeopardize your family’s financial future. However, you can also establish undesirable habits, which can be hard to break when you switch to real money poker. You have to be cautious as to NOT pick up the false confidence that gambling with free money does.
Enjoying the pros of free play
Now that you know playing free online poker has downfalls, let’s learn what the positive elements are and how to capitalize on them.
Adapting to a new site
First, you should always play the free version of any site before you transfer real funds. Since all sites will be different, you should play for free to get a sense of the new site’s software. Most online poker sites vary, and therefore those variations manifest in all user interactions. Some examples include rate of play, unnecessary distractions, and clear communication of what is happening at the table. This means you need to play for free so that you understand the new mechanics.
It is easier said than done, but you need to play hands exactly how you would as if you had your cash in it. Additionally, you should also watch for other players who are playing like they do not care. This way you can be sure to fully utilize all the settings and have everything perform the way you want with no deal killing surprises.
Switching to a new card game
If you are worn out playing Texas Hold ’em and want to adopt Omaha, free chips are the ideal way to learn a fun new card game. In addition to more adventure, you also keep the same play dynamics without the financial penalty that comes with common game stupidity. You might also find it convenient to get information and tricks from other Omaha players at a free online virtual table.
Adjusting for faster play
Now the greatest benefit to gambling with fake money is becoming familiar with the pace of online play. You play hands almost twice as fast online as you do compared to a live casino table. Therefore you want to grow into that high pace prior to you start betting with real money.
Fighting bad free-chip behaviors
Free chips are like a mall cop. Both have no significant authority, and furthermore, no one takes either seriously. For example, a fixed-limit $5/10 real money Hold ’Em game should produce a healthy pot size of approximately $100. However, that same fixed-limit $5/$10 game using FREE CHIPS balloons to $450. The reason for this is because players stay in, raise, and play nonsense hands. Players fall into a bad behavior of remaining in to try and draw against others since it does not cost any real dollars.
This makes sense now while you are not playing, but fake chips continuously tempt you to make all types of wrong calls. Just like an excessive amount of liquor erodes your liver, too much fake money erodes your sharp playing abilities. Without this awareness, your play gets loose, your decisions get worse, and then you start losing when you move over to real cash.
The most important point you need to know: You should use free chips only up to the point when you perfectly comprehend both the game AND site mechanics. After these 2 dynamics are second nature to you, can you then move on to small limit tables with real cash. Right out of the gate, shifting to real cash only AFTER you get comfortable playing is the greatest thing you can do for your bank roll.
Determining You’re Ready for Real Cash Poker
Now it’s time to make a decision to transfer your real money in the game. You know you are ready when you are content with how the site operates while playing with free chips. Alternatively, if you have ANY uncertainty, you are NOT ready. In this case, keep training.
Getting Yourself Ready for Real Play
Before you launch hard currency into chips, here are a few simple steps you can take to organize yourself:
- Emotionally prepare yourself to lose. Poker statistics guarantee you that you’ll lose on a frequent basis. For example, if you are in a no-limit game and you lose an all-in bet to a poor hand, you have to act indifferent. Mathematically speaking, you play the best way possible. Ultimately, you can only win more than you lose simply by making effective, powerful plays. So remember you need to always concentrate on your overall general performance when playing poker.
- Set your betting limit within 20% of your cash. This means you need to have enough padding to resist the painful shifts of luck. In other words, you should begin with 300 big bets in limit play (if you want to play $1/$2, that means $600), 10 full buy-ins in no-limit play ($50 if you plan to play at a table that allows a $5 max buy-in), or 20 tourney buy-ins in tournament poker. Every time you lose 25% of your cash, move down to a lower limit. Then continue decreasing until you begin winning continuously.
- You cant successfully be conscious of your wins and losses without some sort of poker journal. The best way is to maintain a spreadsheet.
- You will spend a long time in front of your computer or phone, so make yourself comfortable. In addition to being comfy, make sure you do not have any interruptions .
- If you suspect you are not the best player at your table, see if you can switch or leave. If the table you’re betting at seems difficult, then take some notes on the effective players you notice. Overall, do not be nervous to try and find an easier game.
Playing Low-stakes Poker Games
Well alright now! You are confident and eager to gamble with real cash. The time has come and the virtual tables are ready for your cash. As a result of your readiness, you’re gonna bust into low-stakes games.
In the non-online world, low-limit usually means anything under $15. Sometimes you can find casino limits as low as $4 for Hold ’Em and Omaha. In addition to that, you may find a $2 Stud game. Now, when playing poker online, limits drop significantly, often times starting at $0.01. Just keep in mind from earlier that players wager differently with various limits.
In Conclusion, Keep Playing Poker
Here’s a quick wrap up of what you know so far:
- Keep track of your bankroll. Any time you decrease below 25% of your cash, you should change over to a lower limit and play there.
- Don’t plunge into higher limit poker games after winning lower limits. This is because your odds of having a lucky streak are the same as a bad streak. Hence, ramp up your play SLOWLY when you start winning. In addition to taking it easy, you must also give yourself at least 24 hours of play at any given limit prior to progressing to the next consecutive level. This means that you undergo a lot of lower-limit play, but you also grow to be exceptionally conscious of where your skill level is at the moment.
- Keep a poker journal of your wins, losses, and also other essential notes. This helps because after you play poker for about 24 hours, you can then easily glance at your journal to see if you’re winning. If you are making consistent profits, think about switching up a level. Of course if you’ve been losing games, drop down one limit.
- If you are playing at limits so low that it feels like you’re competing against scum and butt-holes after 10 hours, then move up one level! Remember to always move up ONE level at a time AND make sure you have enough cash to support that level.
Finally, you made it! Thanks for taking the time to read this. May good fortune always be with you!