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Why play free poker games?

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There is a lively debate on the internet as to whether there is any actual real benefit to playing free games of poker, in terms of learning to play poker well. This article will cover both sides of the free poker or not free poker argument and give a final analysis on what I think.

The Advantages of playing free poker:

1. You get to learn about the mechanics of the game. For example you will learn when to raise, fold, bet, how hands are ranked, etc.

2. You get to learn patience! If you have read any of my articles before then you will know how I think this is one of the KEYS TO POKER!

3. You get to assess your skill level. If you are trying to establish yourself as a good player and want to go up in the stakes, then everyone knows that you go up from one stake to the next i.e. 5/10c, 10/20c, 25/50c, $1/2 and so on. The higher stakes you go, the tougher the competition gets. So why would you NOT start at stakes where you lose nothing?

4. You do not have to worry about losing all your hard earned cash. This creates for you to have a more relaxed attitude when you play poker. You should always play within your limits, so that you can keep a clear head and so that when you lose a big pot you won't get too flustered and go on tilt.

The Disadvantages of playing free poker:

1. You cannot properly assess what style people are playing. Most people that are playing free poker will play incredibly loose as they don't mind losing. They can just reload and go all-in again. So when you go to play for real it will feel a lot harder to win a big pot.

2. You are 'wasting' time by not winning real money.

3. There is no real good way to tell if you are winning because your game is good, or if you are getting lucky. As soon as you sit down on any kind of real money table, you will very quickly be able to tell if you are winning due to luck or due to your skill.

As you can see there are good arguments on both sides of the debate. People say that if you want to learn to play real poker then you have to play for real cash, not play money. I would say that this simply isn't the case! Considering people are so loose on the play money tables then you should be making a 'profit' very easily. If you cannot win on those tables, consistently, then don't even bother progressing onto the paid tables.

This is how I started. I especially liked to the free multi-table tournaments. It was great training and by the end of it I was able to get into the top10 of most freerolls I entered. I was doing great! [Then I progressed onto the money tables, yes it is harder but if I hadn't had the experience from playing for free, then I would have lost a lot so quick.

So play on the free tables, focus and win. You weren't unlucky buddy - you just misplayed it! Enjoy it, have fun!

Good luck!

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