Play Money - Poker for Fun?

Poker Web Watch RSS / Dave Allan / 05 March 2009 / Leave a Comment

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One of the great things about Betfair Poker is the ability to learn the nuances of poker without having to risk a single penny of your own money.

Due to the ability to play with play money chips, you can sit down and start understanding the mechanics and principles of the game without any danger to your wallet. It's not identical to cash poker though, and play money games have to be understood in the context of the game in order for you to understand exactly how they differ from real games.

The first point about play money games is at the very lowest stakes they play unlike any other game of poker on earth (except perhaps the odd home game where players are so drunk they can barely see their cards). As players can just instantly rebuy a set figure of chips they have no problem just throwing them all in the pot over and over again. These games are not really representative of cash poker, as they are far too wild, but they will give you a good insight into the basic mechanics of poker.

The interesting games in play money are those that start to exist at the higher stakes. As you only get one set figure of play money when you reload (say 1,500), clearly games with a minimum buy in of 5,000 are going to have to have players in them who have some grasp of the game, both in terms of actually playing their cards and in having some form of bankroll management. Here the games start to much more closely resemble low stakes cash poker, with players paying attention to those around them, looking to play strong hands and generally resembling the more disciplined players you find at the cash tables.

If you are able to spin up and maintain a play money bankroll and win at the higher play money stakes, you will receive a poker education that usually would cost you if you had just sat down in the lowest stake games. Do not be put off by the crazy games at the lowest play money limits - as you start to move up you will encounter many players who are just as tough as those at the low limit cash tables, and these can give you a free education that may very well one day make you a lot of money.

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