• The Folly of Using Play Money in Poker

    Free poker online is a favorite past time on the internet. There is no real or actual betting involved here; just play money in poker. There are advantages in using play money in poker but many players feel there are lots more disadvantages.

    Let's examine the advantages first. Play money in poker takes away betting risks with real money. Thus, we can test-run our poker skills safely while at the same time get a taste of what it's like to "risk" investments in poker without losing any real money. We can also test-run new strategy effectiveness before we actually try them in live poker games with real money bets. Play money in poker can give us real value in terms of fun and basic training.

    Thus, basically, play money in poker helps us mainly in two ways: to have a practical understanding of the rules in the game, and familiarize us with online poker. However, there are some disadvantages once we play too much with play money in poker. For one, it accustoms us with unrealistic risk-taking. We may be unwilling to lose play money in a free online poker game but we can never fully appreciate the real emotion of losing. A mature approach in risking bets can only come with real money betting.

    Our skills can only be sharpened to a certain level with play money in poker. But such sharpening is not to the degree of attaining real poker skills competitive in casinos and real money betting online. Furthermore, free online poker is apt to develop bad habits in us that can easily be taken advantage in real money poker. Loose playing is one. Play money in poker, due to the absence of real risks, can easily lead to a loose-aggressive play style that can easily be beaten in real money poker.

    Play money in poker can easily accustom us to play any hands pre-flop and still be in the hand post flop - and even see the flop. It will be hard to learn to appreciate the value of proper hand selection if there is no real money involved, as well as learn proper hand development and hand-reading the opponent. The same with betting strategy where any bet will do with play money in poker because players will not mind so much "losing" big amounts of virtual money.

    Hence, play money in poker should be limited to our first few plays. To attain expertise, we need to experience live betting in poker games.