I can imagine a new poker player who, after watching some episodes of the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour, suddenly gets ‘inspired’ and tries out one of the big advertised poker sites.
Suddenly – suddenly – as he imitates the plays he saw in some episode, like moving all-in with 4-4 in early position – he thinks he is making a good play. Of course it is sometimes a good play, but not always.
As it is, the overenthusiastic player loses a large stack and it costs him hundreds of dollars in real money.
Why not tell him to try the same play on a free poker site, so that he will recognize his mistakes? He can play free poker get knocked out, learn from it and still have hundreds of dollars left.
Free poker sites are also a great way to build a bankroll, if you don’t have one, and if you play long enough. And you will learn to play poker for free and learn from your mistakes and those others make.
Sure, you can try playing your Q-7 offsuit and then flop a Q-5-3 dewapoker and then get called by A-Q later or K-K – that is when you realize your Q-7 is trash, and you ought not play it again.
Of course, you can watch someone else play the Q-7. He may flop Q-5-3, as above, or even A-J-7. Now you know you have him, because you have K-K (in the first flop) or A-K, or J-J (in the second).
Now you remember the times when you win, and when you recall these times every time a similar situation arises, you will win the pot.
If you play free poker long enough you will see what these situations are and then be able to characterize them like this: On the first flop, it may be ‘Playing Overpairs’; on the second, it may be ‘Playing Top Pair’ or ‘Playing a Set’.
There is, however, a downfall if you are not careful: Suppose you play 3-2 off and you win. You might think 3-2 off is a good hand, and then suddenly you rush to play real money poker. You lose. You think, “How would 3-2 be harpooned in this board! This just won last week!”
- If you are observant enough for a long time in playing free online poker you might notice plenty of players doing the same (playing bad hands) and they win.
- However, you can watch if they are winning consistently or not, and oftentimes they don’t.
- Someone plays 7-2, the wins; someone plays it again later, then loses.
When you play free poker it may not yet teach you that A-10 is sometimes dangerous to play after a raise because it might be a better Ace, but it teaches you what hands to avoid and what to play.
In free poker you should not just play any old hand. You must play as if it is really big money at stake.
Play only good hands as if your big money bankroll depended on it.
If you keep playing bad starting hands without the ability to represent them (and representing hands is not so practical in free poker because many free poker players play just any hand, bet when they hit the Flop and throw when they don’t) you will be a bad player sooner.