“Poker is a money game and if you are not playing for money you are not playing poker”.
You may have heard a few versions of this quote before but it’s far from being true. One essential aspect of the game might be missing in Play Money Poker, but it still has many other aspects that make it interesting and challenging.
We have listed below 6 reasons to not ignore Play Money Poker if you are still in the early stages of your poker career.
1) Play money remains an excellent starting point for beginners
It doesn’t matter at all whether you are playing for real money or not when you are just starting out. Your main goals should be understanding hand rankings and knowing what hands you should be entering the pot with or folding. You can also calculate whether you are getting the correct pot odds to draw to your hand just as easily in play money as you can in real money game. Getting a feel for how online poker works or understanding new software can also be beneficial for those who are used to playing elsewhere.
This type of game is certainly valid when you want to get started with poker, but also when you want to learn new poker formats.
2) There is no need to lose money to learn
It’s a big misconception that you need to lose money to learn. Making consistent profit in play money requires more than decent basics in poker. If you have already mastered this stage, you will have already learned a lot about the games.
3) Playing play money doesn’t mean playing for nothing
More and more play money sites are rewarding players with tickets for live events and other prizes. This gives real money value to the chips you win. Aside from that, you are sharpening your skills whenever you play, and that has a monetary value in itself.
4) You can meet real opposition at play money tables
We are not saying that the standard of play in play money is anywhere near equal to real money games, however when you accumulate a big play money bankroll and sit in bigger games you will face players who have also built a big play money bankroll. The chances are, these players will not be completely bad.
5) If you don’t beat Play Money games you won’t make real money at poker
You sometimes hear that play money players have no clue of what they’re doing and so it’s impossible to read them. There is a school of thought that It’s not possible to win in these games because these players are not playing seriously.
This is a major misconception. If you cannot beat an opponent who is playing carelessly, you won’t beat better players. Getting the best of a spewy player or a bluffing maniac at play money tables requires the exact same approach as when you face one of those players in real money games. It requires patience, careful value betting and choosing your battles wisely.
Winning at poker requires a lot of qualities and not only being able to make a good read once in a while. You need patience, bankroll management and a keen eye for what you need to exploit, and how.
All these skills matter when playing play money and if you cannot beat these games you are likely missing some crucial qualities you need to succeed as a player.
6) Play Money sites do not offer players experience as good as real money poker sites
This statement is again a big misconception! If you are looking for a good site for play money be assured you will not have to settle for inferior products.
If you want a site that offers hand histories and a large selection of tournaments, leagues, leaderboards, rewards programs like real money ones, it’s possible.
In fact all major international poker sites like 888poker are offering both play money games and real money ones. If you join 888 poker games via their desktop or mobile poker client you will see two options:
- Real Money Games
- Play Money Games
If you select play money games you will have access to almost all features available in the real money poker client, and will even have the chance to win real money via various poker promotions like freerolls or lucky draws.