Online poker is very popular, but not everybody plays for real money. The free games are a good way for inexperienced players to get a feel for how the games are played and develop some card sense. It is important, however, to realize that the free games are different than real money games. In order to win in the free games, one must make modifications to the strategy they might use when playing for money. Here are some suggestions based on what has worked for me.
Don’t Waste Your Time Bluffing
Bluffing is a solid strategic consideration in real poker, but in the free games it rarely works. It’s obvious why. If the player is not risking any real money, he will almost always call your bet — if for no other reason, just to satisfy his curiosity.
Play Your Hand Honestly
If you have a great hand, bet it to the max. You want to build the pots as large as you can. If your hand is a little weaker, you should consider just checking your hand and maybe calling the other player if he bets. Deceptive play is a big part of real poker, but in these free games everybody plays so loose that deception rarely accomplishes much.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fold
With so much loose play in free games, you can lose even the best hands to the most miraculous draws. Since you’re not playing with real money it’s easy to keep calling on a hand which you know you’ve lost. If you want to accumulate a lot of points and win, however, you should fold when you are beaten.
The only thing you have to gain in free games is the satisfaction of a high chip count and you can’t achieve that if you keep throwing your chips away on losing bets.
Enjoy and good luck.
Ron Coleman is a cartoonist and an avid poker player. You can see his cartoons and other articles on poker on his website: http://www.coleman-cartoons.com