When it comes to free online poker, most of the players involved are just in the game for fun. Sure they want to increase their play money bankroll, but these players also have a good time calling any bet with ATC just to see if their hand hits. This being the case, most people say that free online poker is terrible practice for real money poker. But is this really true?
Well if you’re planning on going straight from free online poker to $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em cash games or higher, free poker isn’t going to properly prepare you. But play money poker games can be extremely beneficial for future micro stakes players who want practice before betting their money.
Simply put, those who are hoping to take their game to the next level should look at free poker as a chance to beat certain limits. After all, $0.25/$0.50 stakes aren’t exactly the nosebleeds, but many of those found at these limits have aspirations of moving up the stakes and eventually playing bigger games. Likewise, free online poker games should be viewed the same way in that they’re a specific limit that can be beaten before moving up.
Now the competition will be much easier in free online poker games because there are so many non-serious players, but the concept remains the same in that you need to observe opponents and make smart plays based on these observations.
Most of the players you’ll see in free online poker are very loose, and will bet and raise with anything. This being said, you can play tight and make lots of value bets to beat your opponents over time. Sure there will be instances where you take bad beats from players who call with ATC, but looking at the long-term, you should have little trouble beating free games.
And if you’re really successful in the play money games, you can move on to real money poker games.