Home / Community / Forum / Poker Education / Poker Education & Beginners Questions /

What's Your Experience Of Play Money Games.

View Poll Results: Are Play Money Tables Good For Beginners?
Yes, it's wise to start off playing these tables. 25 75.76%
No, don't waste your time. Deposit and start playing real money tables. 8 24.24%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

What's Your Experience Of Play Money Games. - Mon Jul 15, 2013, 07:11 AM
royalraise85's Avatar
Since: Jul 2011
Posts: 26,026
(Community Coordinator)
Hello all,

Can you remember when you first began to play online poker? Did you jump right in and deposit straight away or did you try out the play money tables first?

The next question to that then I guess is whether the play money tables are a good place for an absolute beginner or not, what's your thoughts?

Personally I think that an online poker room can be kind of intimidating to an absolute beginner who's playing for the first time ever. It takes time to get used to the software, all the buttons and sounds let alone the fast action at a table.

So let me know what you think. Are the play money tables a good place for a beginner or not?



Bracelet Winner

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 08:33 AM
ArtySmokesPS's Avatar
Since: Oct 2011
Posts: 7,353
I think the play money tables are great for learning how to use the software, and also for trying out games you're unfamilar with.

Just before PSOSOP Event #1, I went to find a 2-7 Triple Draw table in the play money lobby, just so I could see how the game is played. It took me a few hands to work out what the hell was going on! If I'd immediately played on a real money table, I'm sure I would have lost some cash.

I think players will learn about "correct" strategy more quickly by playing on real money tables when they're ready, as staying with play money too long could lead you to develop bad habits, like limping and calling too often.
Having said that, I hear that there are some very solid play money regs out there, due to US residents not being allowed to make deposits. If you can find a good play money homegame, that would be a great way to hone your skills with no risk of going busto.

Bracelet Winner
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 08:47 AM
Fadyen's Avatar
Since: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,917
I certainly think it's a great way to get used to the software and learn how everything works but I'd be wary of trying to learn any strategy from play money games. I remember my first online experience of play money on another site, I was a complete novice and yet ran 1k up to 4 million in just 3 days. It made me over-confident and lets just say I deposited a few times when I played on the real tables.

I think once you've spent a little time getting to know how things work but are not ready to jump in at the deep end a good compromise would be freerolls. There are plenty of them running and while the fields won't be made up of solid players you still can learn better game play than at play money. And maybe even help start off your bankroll while you're at it.

Tournament of Champions Winner 2013

Bracelet Winner

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 09:03 AM
Ovalman's Avatar
Since: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,778
I'm not voting but all play money tables are good for is learning the rules.

I'd open a real money account and play freerolls although as I did you can also deposit $20 and play the Privilege Freerolls making sure I didn't touch any of my initial deposit.

Bracelet Winner
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 09:06 AM
Cairn Destop's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,477
You really have to ask the old hedgehog? In the beginning, play money offered a way of learning the software. I graduated to the games and learned how loose play worked. It gave me a feel for those astrology freeroll games and the PSO style of play.

As I learned the game of hold'em, I experimented with the other forms of poker. Some I liked, others I found too dependent on luck. On hindsight, I think I just never got a grasp on the mathematics of these variants.

Today, it's all I can play. I do think the site is moving in the wrong direction with the play money side.
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 11:45 AM
JWK24's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 24,819
It's great to get used to everything an comparing them to a freeroll, you get the same maniacs in there.

When comparing them to cash games, they are softer, sometimes much softer, as you have players that don't care about their play at all.. since it's play money. Due to this, strategies that work in cash games won't necessarily work in PM games... and visa versa.

John (JWK24)


6 Time Bracelet Winner

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 01:26 PM
Sandtrap777's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 3,310
Personally, I think it's good, that's how I got started.

Most know my story.
Started playing at Zinga, played there for about a year. Bought a book, practice what was written (mainly patience), accumulated 100's of million chips and thought I was good. Then came here and watched videos and participated to trainings and here I am doing pretty good.

Play money is good if you practice and play the ABC poker, but if you play like you don't care, then it's just going to make your game worst. Play money and freerolls should be used as your practice classes.

Just look at the PM PSO series, they're tough, then look at the Open League and what a JOKE....lol

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 03:03 PM
iggyo's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 171
I also started with play money, graduated to freerolls and got my roll started. I agree that it is a good place to learn the rules and get used to the interface. As people have indicated above, there is a very wide spectrum of people there, from the "I really don't care because it's not real money" to the more serious American player who is limited to play money tables only. I found it was a great test of patience because most players don't have a clue (like playing poker on fb). However, to actually improve your game at an appreciable rate, you'd probably have to join a Home Game club that offers play money tables (such as the PSO Home Game club).


Follow me on Twitter
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 06:27 PM
Moxie Pip's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,853
If one is just starting out and planning to try and freeroll their way up or make a small deposit and play the lowest level micro stakes to start then the play money tables can prepare them quite well in some specific cases.

The play money 45 man SNG,for example,have a similar playability as the .25 real money ones. I would say about 85% of the competency level,having played hundreds of both. Crazier early and harder to steal at the bubble in the play money games are the two main differences that I see.

By contrast,trying to take anything that you'll experience on play money ring tables to even the 2NL real money tables is pretty much and exercise in futility. Would be comparable to winning a game of "Battleship" against a particularly dim-witted chimp and thinking that you're now ready to command the fleet in the Battle of the Jutland.

And would recommend that if one wants to just learn the basics in how to play poker variants that they are unfamiliar with that they would be better served to do so in the Astronomer free rolls,since you can actually obtain something of value (a Weekly Round 2 ticket) while risking nothing.

So my take would be that there are obvious boons for getting a feel for the software and it's usability and for getting a feel for some specific game types,so for players starting out a period at the play money tables can be beneficial.
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 08:25 PM
AJ2007's Avatar
Since: Jul 2013
Posts: 27
For very first timers yes

I was already playing live games for awhile and knew the game so i went str8 for the real money
have busted my bank and played some play money games and thought this makes no sense ppl just shoving chips with rags... but guess what they also do this on the real money tables so yea probably a good place to see the rubbish that goes on!
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 08:36 PM
Affluenza's Avatar
Since: Apr 2013
Posts: 139
I voted yeah play money games are a great way to start playing at pokerstars.

Firstly, it gives newbies a chance to see how the client and tables work.
I started playing with play money before real money tables for poker varients I was unfamiliar with (Omaha hi-lo etc.)

I don't think play money is good however for players who think if they can beat the play money tables they can surely beat cash tables. I have found that on most play money tables people are willing to play any two cards.

All in all, play money is a great feature for all pokerstars newbies and should be given a go if you want to learn how to play other types of poker other than NLH
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 09:37 PM
mytton's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 181
Yes I found play money tables useful when I first started. I came to Pokerstars as a complete poker novice. I would recommend them for getting to know the software, table layout and options etc. Also for learning the basics of the game. When I first played I used a starting hand chart and play money was useful for getting to grips with that without putting myself under undue pressure. And the confidence that came from consistently beating the games didn't hurt either.
play money tables - Mon Jul 15, 2013, 10:08 PM
nvpostman's Avatar
Since: Dec 2010
Posts: 7
Play money tables are a waste of time. It is just a shove fest. I use to play the PSO freerolls, but Black Friday ended that. I learned alot
playing the freerolls. Now I play the Sunday Power Play.
Mon Jul 15, 2013, 11:22 PM
PinoyWonder's Avatar
Since: May 2013
Posts: 141
i'd say to go right to the build a bankroll thread in this forum and skip the majority of play money shovefests (except for the build bankroll required hands) and start cash game learning without having to risk your own money
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:42 AM
bhoylegend's Avatar
Since: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,261
I voted that they are pretty much useless.

I know that US players aren't allowed to play for real money and that play money, for the minute, is the only way to get to play on Stars but apart from that I see little need for it. Using software can be explored in the freerolls and the upside is you don't even need to be good to stumble in to the money.
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:57 PM
Saturnation's Avatar
Since: Aug 2011
Posts: 159
Play money games are good for learning the mechanics of the game, but not a good place to learn the strategy of the game. I'll still play play money when trying out a game or when I just feel like goofing off (gambling). Real money account is for serious business...

Bracelet Winner
Wed Jul 17, 2013, 10:31 AM
mr mendes 20's Avatar
Since: Dec 2011
Posts: 364
I voted yes, but it would at the very basic level, where you are still learning that a straight is better than trips, that you should bet good hands and fold bad ones and such. The play money tables at PS are a good way to learn the software such as using buttons and customizing hot-keys, in terms of strategy if you get used to that way of playing you will have a big problem when switching to real money.

Time Vault Champion 2013
hi - Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:59 PM
kazzer200's Avatar
Since: Jul 2012
Posts: 30
how do i get more play money chips plz tyvm
Tue Aug 13, 2013, 01:20 PM
Fadyen's Avatar
Since: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,917
Originally Posted by kazzer200 View Post
how do i get more play money chips plz tyvm
Hi kazzer200,

If you run out of play money chips you can get 1000 more play money chips. You can do this up to 3 times every hour should you keep going bust. Simply sit down at any play money ring game table and click on the image at the top of the table of chips as shown below.

Good luck at the tables


Tournament of Champions Winner 2013

Bracelet Winner


Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) PokerSchoolOnline.com. All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on support@pokerschoolonline.com