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Smunk aka Paul B. Omaha NE

/Dec/2010

Does play money hurt or help your cash play?

By: smunk @ 23:44 (EST) / 944 / Comment ( 1 )
The answer is Yes and No. 
OK let us look at the YES first. It will hurt your game if you do not take it seriously. If you just use it as a time killer or if you just want to goof off. You can and will fall into bad habits if you do not treat it just like a cash game. It does not matter if it is a ring game, SNG or MTT play it like it is real otherwise it will hurt your game.

OK so now you think I have a simple answer that since you take it serious that NO it will not hurt your game and that will be the end of this blog.

WRONG!!!

Playing with play money can improve your game. If you are looking to improve your game or try a new strategy Play chip action is one of the best places to do so. Wait wait wait. Everyone does crazy things with play chip games. Exactly. You never know if someone would call you down no matter what they have even 7 2 or what not. 

*** Here is my disclaimer playing in play chip games will not really help you improve your reads of strong players people who play tight people who play tight aggressive. End Disclaimer ***

You are going to start to read beginner players better in the play chip games. you will start to figure out how people who play low stakes games play they both have a like mind set. They don't take the low stakes serious either. You have to if you want to build a bank roll and keep one. You can't afford to relax at the poker table if you want to improve your game.

So what all can you learn from playing in play chip games
Bank roll management
Reading players
Positional play
New game variety ( if you have never played Omaha Hi/Lo why start off in a cash game when you can practice for free?)
Test new table image.
Practice odd calculations (use your computers calculator if needed)
Practice play multiple games at one time.

Yes but I could be play at the tables for cash? then do so. However there are times when it is better to play with play chips where you are not risking your bank roll. Most people walk into poker and toss $20-100 onto a site and do not understand bankroll management. This is profitable for myself and others who watch their bank roll bad for them. So First understand what stakes your bank roll can handle. The smaller you have deposited the lower the stakes you should be playing. The lower the stakes the more action you will run into. That is why I recommend you practice at play chip tables. You will find like minded play between the two. Players do not care about the small amount. 
You should be able to practice bankroll management and reading players and avoid major swings. Try and make a slow and gradual curve upwards. It takes time to go from $20- $1,000. over the course of which you would have gradually increased stakes. unless you got really lucky. But I think you get the Idea.

Positional play - A lot of people just starting out forget Position is a HUGE factor. If you have not gone through the PSO course on FLHE has a great chart for positional action. Print it follow it. For beginners I say use this for NL as well to start until you get a feel for it. Do you remember your 4th grade spelling homework where you had to write each word ten or more times every day for like a week. Playing in play chips allows you to play each position multiple times over and over again.

So you do not know how to play Omaha Hi/lo or Razz. why risk 10% or more of your bankroll while you learn the game. Go to the play chip section and play. This is why I enjoy Poker Stars. The free rolls are not just straight NLHE but a variety of games. This would be your next step at practicing your skills in a new game or even the first step. Its still free.

Practice your odd calculations for pot odds.Take the pot and divide it by the amount you need to call. Practice this over and over compare it to your hand strength even if you are not in a hand. Take it a step further if you want and figure out what the implied pot odds are.

So you want to play multiple games at one time. Scary thought how many can you handle and maintain a positive equity per hour. This rolls in bank management what stakes can you handle? how many tables at that stake can you handle? can you mentally and physically handle playing that many tables? You hear about people playing 4, 8, or more tables at once. 4 tables is not bad but can be done but if you want to see if you can handle it why risk cash when you can use the play chips option.

Wait I left out improving your table image. That is for its own blog "Your online table image"
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