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Can Play Money Games Prepare You for Real Money Poker

Play money poker is where you play poker for free, using chips that can’t be exchanged for real cash. When you join a play money table, you’re not risking any of your own money, making it much more relaxed and less daunting for beginners. The reality is that if you’re a new poker player, you’re probably going to lose money when playing at cash tables. Using play money games is a great way to learn the rules and understand the game better as there’s less pressure. However, while it is easier, does it really prepare you for real money games?

The simple answer is that yes, you’ll gain more experience in poker while playing for free. However, while it can provide a good foundation of poker knowledge, it doesn’t really prepare you for real money games. New players can start off with play money, but if you want to develop your skills, you’ll need to try out real money tables. That said, there is still a lot you can learn playing with play money online poker, especially if you follow these tips.

Get a Grasp of the Basics

The main reason why you should play poker with play money is that you’re still learning the game. You want to spend most of your games learning, with little attention given to trying to win or collect fake chips. Because the chips don’t matter, you have a lot more freedom to learn through mistakes and improve your game. The basics that you should be looking to improve on include learning how position affects strategy and calculating the pot odds. Additionally, you’ll also learn that even with the best decisions and strategy, you can still lose. Learning this will help you stay calm when playing for real money.

Keeping Things Tight

When people play poker with play money, there’s often the temptation to play aggressively and play every hand since it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. However, this is a bad habit to get into. If you play like this with real money, you’ll be punished for it. You want your learning experience to be as close to real money poker as possible, so try to play tight and don’t get carried away. Playing tight is important as you should have a good understanding of which hands to fold and which to play by the time you get to the real money tables. You’ll have a much higher chance of reaching showdowns with better hands than your opponent if you play this way over time.

Measured Aggression

While playing tight is important in poker, aggression in the right situations can make a big difference. Learning when you should raise will give you a good chance of making the most money, and you’ll need to get into the habit of building the pot yourself when you have a good hand. Compared to play money tables, the real money tables are much more passive, so this is a good habit to develop. You should avoid playing good hands slowly, raising when possible, and ensuring that your opponents call.