Posts Tagged ‘real money poker’

Full Tilt Poker gets Player Segregation Right

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

One of the bigger poker stories from last week involved Full Tilt Poker rolling out their ‘New to the Game’ tables. The games are meant to help new and/or recreational players get used to real money poker without being throwing into shark-infested waters (a.k.a. player segregation).

New to the Game tables are open to any real money player, they’re offered in low stakes NL Hold’em and Omaha ring games/tournaments, and players can try these tables for 2,000 cash game hands or 75 tourneys. Additionally, New to the Game tables run at a slower pace and players can only try two tables at a time.

The key in all of this is that players can only participate in 2,000 ring game hands or 75 tournaments. And this is where Full Tilt gets the idea of player segregation right, versus other rooms like Party Poker and Lock Poker.

Both Party and Lock run similar player segregation models where they prevent winning grinders from competing against losing players. In Party’s case, they didn’t even warn players about segregation; they just hid the losing players from winners and certain people happened to notice. In either case, there is no limit on how long the players are divided up, which really punishes winners.

Full Tilt, on the other hand, puts a restriction on how long players can try the New to the Game tables. Once the 2k cash game hands or 75 tourneys are up, people are forced to “graduate” to the regular games. What’s more is that everybody has a chance to try these tables, rather than being restricted to losing players.

Segregation is still in the early stages in the online poker world. So it’ll be interesting to see if more sites take a similar approach to the matter as FTP.

Why Poker Freerolls can be more Frustrating than Real Money Play

Monday, December 17th, 2012

A lot of online poker players initially get their start by playing freerolls. After all, if you’re leery about putting money on the line, open-entry freerolls (no entry requirements) are a great way to build a bankroll from scratch. But there’s also a big downside to starting out with open-entry freerolls. In fact, they can be very frustrating and we’ll explain why below.

Heavy Competition

The main problem with most freerolls is that the proportion between players and the prize money is badly skewed. For example, there might be 2,000 players competing for a $100 prize pool; this works out to $0.05 of expected value for the average player.

Taking the heavy amount of competition into account, it gets really frustrating trying to make money in freerolls. There are going to be tons of times when you make deep runs in freeroll tournaments, only to bust out close to the money. Considering how only around 1.5-2% of the field cashes, it’s really heart-breaking to just miss a cash.


Compounding the stress of an open-entry freeroll is the fact that you’ll be getting very little money out of your time. Going further, you might only earn a few cents per hour when everything is averaged out. This being said, many players are simply better off making a small deposit and grinding their way up from the lower stakes.

A Good Practice

While most freerolls aren’t exactly money-generators, players shouldn’t totally discount them – especially beginners. Anybody who’s new to online poker can get a lot of benefit out of playing these free tournaments. There’s no money to risk, and you get to compete against other opponents for a prize pool.

But the main thing to understand here is that it’s tough making any serious money from freerolls. So if profit is your entire poker goal, make a deposit, keep learning strategy, and grind your way up the stakes.

Struggling Zynga Poker grasping at Mobile Straws

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Social gaming giant Zynga really shows what a difference a year can make. After all, Zynga was going strong around this time last year and had Wall Street fascinated with their initial public offering. Fast-forward to now and Zynga has seen their stock plummet from $10 (December, 2011) to just $2.21 a share and is mired in another nasty legal battle – this time with game-maker Kixeye, which allegedly stole the CityVille concept.

The Good

If there’s anything good happening for the company at this point, it’s that Zynga Poker is still going strong with over 37 million members. Sure growth has slowed, but their large membership base shows that people still have a strong desire to play free poker. FarmVille 2 is experiencing even more success with over 50 million players since a September launch. But even with the success of FarmVille 2 and Zynga Poker, the company still needs some help.

Zynga’s Future

Like many online gaming companies, Zynga has been dedicating a lot of time towards the mobile market. And it’s a good thing too because many feel that the social gaming kingpin needs to focus on mobile games or else they’ll continue to struggle. So far they’ve developed “The Ville” and “ChefVille” and are working on other games.

Real Money Games

Of course, the bigger future of Zynga could be real money gaming. The company has currently been interested in real money poker and casino games. And their social network partner, Facebook, has already entered the UK market with a real money bingo game. Zynga doesn’t plan on going into the international market right now, but they would like to get a license in the US if legislation opens up more. Perhaps then, the company can start to turn things around and improve their landsliding stlcoks.

Is Free Online Poker Good Practice?

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

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.

Zynga Poker is a Waste of Money

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

People seem to be meshing the terms “wasting money” and “wasting time” together these days with Zynga Poker. After all, it was reported last month that Zynga is worth $9 billion, which is mind-boggling considering the fact that Zynga gives online poker players no chance to win real money.

But since the company is doing so well, there must be enough stupid people out there willing to pay for chips, and not get any money in return. Even if someone was too scared or nervous to play in real money games, there are sites that don’t cost any money to play, and are just as entertaining.

It’s hard to imagine how someone can justify paying thousands of dollars for fake chips, knowing there is no chance of making any kind of profit off of the chips. They might as well be throwing their cash in the trash! Those who continue to play are probably missing the part of the brain that contains logic because no one in their right mind would pay for fake chips after realizing there’s online casinos offering free poker services.

These idiots paying for chips aren’t even bettering their poker playing skills because the real players are playing real money poker and not hiding behind fake games. If I’m going to waste money, I’m going to waste it by buying real chips, not imaginary ones. Of course, poker isn’t the only game draining people‘s wallets on Facebook. There are dozens of games that require your credit card number, and it is baffling to think about a person paying an online networking site money to play a game.

Making The Transition From Free Poker To Real Money Games

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

So you’ve been playing free poker online for a while and you’re thinking about making the upgrade to real money poker games. You are probably a little bit nervous and not sure exactly how to go about making the transition. The following tips should help you along.

For starters, it is important to find a real money poker site that meets your needs. You’ll want to choose a site that offers the poker variations you want to play. There are a lot of different poker games, from Texas Hold’em to Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Caribbean Stud and more. Make sure the site you choose offers all the variations you want to play. You should also make sure the site you choose offers limits that meet your poker bankroll. When you are starting out, a site that offers low limits is a smart move, as you won’t want to place huge bets when you are just starting out.

You can choose an online poker site that offers a welcome bonus as well, so you can start out playing with bonus money so you won’t lose any of your actual poker bankroll while getting the hang of the software and real money poker experience.

Start out playing the lowest-limit poker games. As you begin to win more and more, gradually increase the limit at which you are playing until you find a limit you are comfortable with. If you ever feel like you want to brush up on your poker skills, just go back to a free poker game.

UIGEA Goes Into Effect For Banking Institutions

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Most real-money online poker players in the United States are familiar with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which puts limitations on online gambling within the United States. However, not many were aware that the act did not officially go into effect until this month. June 1 marks the date in which banks and other financial institutions are officially responsible for complying with the act.

How will this act affect real money poker players on the web? Fortunately, not much. According to Steve Kenneally, VP of the American Banking Association, most banks and financial institutions have already been complying with the terms of the UIGEA since it went into effect in January of last year.

John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance debunks rumors that this month marks doomsday for online poker in the United States. He says, “Many people believe that any ill effect of the UIGEA has already been felt over the last four years. While I can’t make any guarantees, I do have a sense that this will be more of a blip on the radar screen than a catastrophic event, as some may have predicted.”

Only time will tell if the official enforcement of the UIGEA will affect the real money online poker scene and force all US players to revert to playing free poker. However, the outlook doesn’t look too gloomy. Poker activists continue to try to get the UIGEA overturned.

Free Poker Isn’t Just For Newbies

Monday, May 17th, 2010

I’ve been playing online poker for years now, but I still play free poker games on a regular basis. There are a lot of players that think that once you switch to real money poker games you can never go back, but there are a lot of very good reasons for playing poker for free, even after you start rolling with the high rollers.

One of the main reasons I play free poker games is to brush up on my poker skills when I’m in a bankroll rut. We all go through ups and downs when it comes to spare cash – especially when the bills roll around. If you stop playing cold turkey when you don’t have the money then your poker skills will suffer. Playing for free prevents that from happening.

Playing poker for free also gives me the opportunity to try out new poker games and variations that I haven’t played before, without risking my poker bankroll. I usually stick to Hold’em, so if I want to try out other games free poker gives me a great opportunity to do that.

Finally, a free game can be a great way to get into the groove just before you sit down at a real money table. I like to play a few games of free Texas Hold’em to get ready for real money play. If I am off my game then I find out before I lose money on it. So don’t throw free poker to the wayside, it’s got a lot of great perks.

Free Poker Isn’t Just for Beginners

Friday, March 26th, 2010

I’ve been playing real money poker for years. However, although I enjoy the rush I get from playing money games I still enjoy free poker. Sure, it’s a great way for newbies to learn the rules of the game, strategies and tricks of the trade. But free poker games can be fun for everyone.

There are a couple of situations that I think free poker games are great in. For starters, sometimes you are simply in a money crunch. Everyone has bills to pay and when you just can’t afford playing real money games playing for free can be a great way to still enjoy the game and keep your skills up until you can build your poker bankroll up once again.

I also like to play free poker games when I learn about new poker strategies. For instance, if you’ve just learned about continuation betting (also known as the c-bet) it’s better not to try it out for the first time when you have real money on the line. Playing for free gives you a chance to try out these new skills, practice them and decide if you want to use them when playing for money.

There are all sorts of free poker games on the Web. You can play a Flash game against the computer or compete for fun against other real poker players from all over the world. Free poker isn’t just for beginners anymore!

Why You Should Invest Your Time in Free Poker Online

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

In the world of online poker one of the biggest perks is the opportunity to play free poker games. When you play free poker online you have the amazing chance to practice and improve your skills without having to spend a dime.

When I first started playing poker online I made the mistake of jumping right in to the real money games. From my experience I can tell you that you should always play free games first. When you are first starting out playing poker online you not only have to familiarize yourself with the rules of the game, if you don’t know them already, but also with the software interface and the rhythm of online poker game play. Playing for free gives you the opportunity not only to learn and practice the rules of different poker variations but also to improve your strategy so that you can prepare yourself for real money gaming.

Where can you play free poker games online? Virtually every online poker website allows free gaming as well as real money poker games. You simply have to download the site’s poker software and choose the free game option. There are also sites that allow free instant Flash poker games where you can practice without having to download any software or provide any information at all.

The best advice I can give to any new online poker player is to start out with a free game. Practice, improve your skills and when you are ready you can win big playing real money poker games.