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I bet there isn't a single online poker player who has never tried the play money feature all poker rooms offer nowadays. I also bet that none one of the players who had a clue about the game previously, ever returned to a play money table again.

What exactly is play money poker? A useful learning device? A simple means for beginners to ease their way into the flow of the game risk free?

While it may be considered a good way for complete rookies to learn the game (rules and basic things like that) it is by no means a useful learning device. On the contrary. But before I begin to go on about how free money tables will ruin your play, let me tell you what I think Free online poker is:

A non-threatening way for the poker room to present it's product, and a simplistic way to lure as many clueless rookies to the real money tables as possible.

What exactly does free online poker teach you? That you should stay in and pray that the river hits you with something solid? That you shouldn't fold any hand because you never know what the flop turn or river might bring?

That you should have no respect for your bankroll? That you should raise and reraise preflop with 3,6 three times around the table? Be loose and aggressive on any hand you're dealt?

Well, yes, it teaches you all that. Quite funny if you think about it, but I wouldn't laugh if I were you and I intended to hit the real money tables any time soon...

Bottom line is, play money poker is crap and it teaches you all the wrong things. It's much like play money online casino. Whatever makes you win in play money will make you lose in real money.

Do not be drawn into the flurry of abysmal poker play you will find at play money tables. Sure thing, use it till you get a hang of the software, or until you get the rules down if you play a game you haven't tried before, but leave as soon as you're done. Trying to learn poker at free tables is worse than doing nothing.

Real money tables will teach you - for a tuition, that is - the right kind of skills. Here you'll learn table selection, ( one of the most important aspects of online poker), starting hand selection, reading your opponents, and the right kind of betting skills.( how much to raise and when to do it).

You'll also come face-to-face to one factor that will have a huge impact on your poker game, one that is in no way reflected at play-money tables: poker rake. The rake will have you looking at the game in an entirely different light. Because of the rake, you'll understand pot-equity better, and you'll be able to calculate pot odds based on your equity.

These are all things which are absolutely imperative for a good poker player, nonetheless they're completely ignored by play money players. You'll understand the importance of small consistent edges, and you'll also be able to see the potential impact rakeback can have on your game.

Only then - after covering all the above issues - will you be able to truly understand why some people insist that poker is a game of skill rather than a game of chance.

If you want to play Poker for real money and looking for special online poker bonuses, check out the list of bonus offers per cardroom.

Online poker freerolls are plagued by the same issues as regular play-money ring games. The action is just not serious enough to teach you anything you'll be able to later put to use. The game is full of maniacs and a bunch of those guys who are only there to ruin someone's day.

If you manage to get past the break in online freerolls (remember, the action gets a bit more serious once you find yourself in the money) you're just about ready to move on to the real deal. Besides, the prize pool involved in online freerolls just doesn't justify your playing for four of more hours. Next time you win a bunch of play-money on a streak of pure luck at a play money table, do not draw the conclusion that you're ready for the big leagues.

US casino sites offer you a bonus to play video poker and other great casino games.

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