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The Dangers of Playing Poker With Fun Money

Jan 24, 2008
Learning poker can be difficult but learning online there can be several traps that you will fall into without realising. The worst trap being that once you have learnt the basics you will think you are already an expert.

If you have never played poker before the best way to learn is to play one of the many free games. These are sometimes known as fun money, free play or free money. These types of free games are a fantastic way of learning the basics such as which hands are good or bad and how often the hands are expected to come up.

The trouble with these types of games is that the play is typically very bad. Players will bet far too high for the cards that they have and will usually use all their free chips betting on a pair of twos or an equally bad hand. This generally means that it is very easy to win whilst playing these free games and with a small amount of discipline in your game you will usually be able to win most of these chips and end up with tens times what you started with or more in a matter of minutes.

So when you win lots of chips quickly and easily you will soon feel you are ready to play poker online for real. Using your own money you will have the impression that poker is an easy game and you will soon turn your $10 into $100 or more. However when you start playing this will not happen. You will be up against professional players who deliberately target new players or other experienced players who have played tens of thousands of hands and will easily clean up with all your chips.

The problem occurs when you switch from free money to real money. There is a huge experience gap to bridge. You may know all the hands but you lack the ability to successfully bluff, read other players hands and perhaps most importantly knowing when to fold your hands. These skills can only be truly learnt in real money games however if having had a successful run using free money you can go into a real money game thinking you are much better than you actually are.

To avoid this problem just use free games to learn the basics and realise that that is all you have learnt. When you move into real games proceed with extreme caution as almost everyone out there will be a better player.
About the Author
Matthew Smith has been playing poker online for many years with great success and now offers his expert advice to help new players succeed with free poker cash.
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