Many poker enthusiasts and even poker professionals had to start somewhere. Many of them took up playing poker with friends and family and that is how they learned, through practice and experience. Despite popular belief, most of the poker greats were not born with this skill; they had to work hard at it and gained it over time. With the current trend of technology, and seeing how easy it is to find a gaming website and play poker, there is no excuse for players looking to get better. However, some may say that since they are not skilled enough, they will lose all of their money to the better players and will not really learn how to play. This is where the concept of free poker has come in so handy, and more people are opting to play free poker before they start playing for real money. Before anyone starts playing, they need to know what poker is. After gaining that knowledge, they can evaluate the pros and cons of free poker and choose for themselves.

What is Poker?

Poker has been around for a long time, and has been evolving ever since. Poker can be played between 2 or more players; usually maxing out at 8 players per table seeing as they play with a single deck of cards. When talking about tournaments or official games, there is usually a dealer involved that does not play but instead, hands out the cards and takes in the bets. Depending on the type of poker game they are playing, as there are many different types with different rules, the player will either get two cards, all the way up to five. There will be a certain number of rounds, where the player will be able to bet, trying to beat out their opponents. After a certain number of these rounds, the players that are still competing will show their cards, the person with the highest combination will be the winner.

Poker can now be played face to face, whether it is between friends, in a casino, or at a big time tournament. It can also be played through online websites and software, connecting players from all over the world that want to play poker.

What is Free Poker?

Free poker is just that, free. It is when someone plays for the fun of it, and does not bring money into the mix. For online venues that allow poker to be played will sometimes have this option available to their players normally in different formats: freeroll tournaments, points or free play money, and for some, their .net website will usually be all free play. Before playing poker for real money, they can test out the software and the gameplay by using the free play first. It is a chance to play poker without the pressure of having money involved.

Pros vs. Cons of Free Poker

With anything, there are always positives and negatives involved. There are a few of each when dealing with free poker. Some of the pros for free poker are knowledge, no pressure, and build rapport. The cons include things like not realistic competition and bullying.

Building up knowledge and experience are essential for a person that wants to get good at playing poker. By playing free poker, these players can gain the skills through experience, without the need of having a big bank account. Free poker will also take the pressure off the player, since there is no money involved, they do not need to worry about losing a large pot. This is also a good way to find friends and opponents that each player enjoys competing against. This may lead to money games between players that already know each other, creating a closer community.
There are some negatives to playing free poker. By not having real money in the mix, some players may not care about losing all of their “fake” money and will start to play recklessly; which is the opposite of how they would play if it were real money. By playing this way, it would create a false competition, and not giving the players a realistic outlook at what playing poker is all about. More experienced players that enjoy passing their time playing for free may bully other players with their experience, but this is not as likely to occur.

Free poker is a great tool that is being used by many to both gain experience and skills or simply to play for fun without the pressure of having to win any money. Poker is a very competitive and high pressure game, and one should not play it without the necessary arsenal.