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Free Online PokerFree Online Poker

Contrary to poker freeroll tournaments, free online poker uses fake money (play chips) for buy-ins and prize pools.

Also in contrast to freerolls, there is no possibility of conversion to any real cash value.

Benefits of Free Poker

Since free online poker offers zero monetary risk, there are a few benefits that players can use to their advantage beside simple practice.

Playing for free allows new poker players the opportunity to get accustomed to various formats of poker risk free, including rare variations like:

Likewise, free tables and tournaments can be a fun way to let off some steam after a long tournament or to occasionally play without stress or restraint.

Consequences of Free Poker

Careful not to fall into any of the following traps common with free online poker:

Poor Bankroll Management

Since you and your opponents are not risking anything real to play, the seriousness of tournaments is minimal if it exists at all.

Also, since play money can often simply be reloaded at whim, players have no opportunity to learn about bankroll management.

Bad Habits Transfer to Real-Money Games

The combination of these two issues means that players, whether new or experienced, can develop some terrible habits including playing too loose, and a lack of patience.

These traits can carry over into real-money games and often means losing otherwise lucrative tournaments.

Where to Play Free Online Poker? PokerStars Play Chips

Free Online Poker Games at PokerStarsThough PokerStars starts players off with 1,000 play chips for free, tournament buy-ins can cost 'millions' of chips.

That being the case, players have the option to buy PokerStars chips from the poker site and packages range from $1.99 USD for 350,000 chips to $499.99 for 450 million.

It seems crazy for someone to dump nearly $500 into a free game when real money poker games exist for far less and offer the benefit of actually winning your starting capital back plus thousands more.  

Major Poker Sites vs Casual Gaming

With the boom of poker's popularity over the last few years, many gaming companies joined the fervor and released their own poker applications for mobile and PC users.

One of the larger companies that has released apps for multiple platforms includes Zynga, the company behind no download mobile games like FarmVille and CityVille.

Why Stick to Traditional Poker Sites?

Though these games offer in-app purchases, their base of players are generally much more casual than those found on major poker sites like PokerStars or Full Tilt. As a rule of thumb, this means that players looking to truly polish their game should avoid sites and software geared toward general markets. Playing through them will likely lead to worse habits than the free games found on major poker sites.