Free Online Poker

Not everyone can afford to play poker for cash when they get started.  Some of us either by financial circumstances or for various other reasons choose to play in free online poker games.  The knock on many of these games are that since there is nothing actually being risked, they are not worth your time to play.  This is untrue.  Let’s look at some ways that free online poker games can be of benefit to your game.

If you are just starting out to playing poker, whether Texas Holdem, Omaha, or even Stud, it is probably a safe bet to say that you are not totally clear on the rules of the game.  You don’t want to go into a live poker game or even an online cash game and have to ask other players how to play.  This makes you an easy target and in some unscrupulous games, can set you up to be cheated.

Playing free online poker can allow you to learn all of the basic rules of playing a game.  You will learn what blinds are, what hands are best, and even how to make an appropriate bet.  All of this may sound like simple information, but it is information that players have to learn somewhere.  Experience is indeed the best teacher, so why not learn while doing in a free online poker game.

Playing in free online poker games can allow you to develop solid poker habit.  The reason I state this is due to the fact that many of the players that you see online will be either very passive or hyper aggressive.   Since players can reload their play money at will, you will find many hyper-aggressive players.  This will allow you to sit back and learn to play solid, patient poker.  In fact, there are times where you may play a very limited number of hands and turn a good profit due to the crazy nature of the game.

Online single table sit n go’s are very popular on many online sites.  You will find that many NL Holdem games will have some insanely fast action.  There are times you can cash in these games without even playing a hand.  Obviously, this is not an ideal situation to be in, but it happens.  Other times, you will have someone decide that their 10-2 is the nuts and push when you wake up with pocket kings.  Barring some incredible bad luck, you just stacked someone.

While you can get a grasp on playing tight, you can try your hand at playing a looser style as well.  You will see the variance that this style brings.  If you want to play like Gus Hansen and donk off your entire roll with garbage, you can do so without the risk of financial ruin.  At the same time, you can also learn spots where you can play substandard hands wisely and use them to increase profits.

Another fantastic advantage of free online poker games is the fact that you can learn the basics of many different poker games.  While Texas Holdem is the most popular game worldwide, it is not the only popular form of poker.  In Europe, Pot Limit Omaha is the king of the poker rooms, especially cash games.  If you are an east coast player in the United States, especially the northern east coast, then you know that Seven Card Stud is still a pretty big deal.

Free online poker games allow you the ability to pick up the basic rules and even develop basic strategies for playing all the different games of poker offered on your site of choice.  Your best bet would be to focus on one game at a time.  Omaha may prove to be an easier transition, especially if the only game you have ever played is Holdem.  Again, expect players to play loose and aggressive.  In fact, for some games such as Stud, you will find the quality of play even worse than for NL due to the fact that the other games of poker are not spread as often.

Free online poker can also help you improve your tournament poker game.  While you will have a lot more variance due to players getting lucky, you will also be able to really go deep in free tournaments when your hands are holding up and you are playing well.  While you may not be playing for any real cash, you are being faced with situations that can come in handy when you do decide to play for real.

While free online poker may not involve any monetary risk, the games still have value.  View the games as a training tool that you can use to help take your game to the next level.  Reading books and watching television programs can only take your game so far.  You need to test your abilities against live opponents.  In lieu of making a deposit and playing for cash, free online poker games give you the best opportunity to hone your skills.

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