Free Online Sites – There are a large number of sites online where you can play for free. The largest of these is Zynga Poker where you can sign up and enjoy a range of different poker games, the site has a real social element to it. Instead of playing for real money at the tables, you’ll instead be aiming to complete different challenges, earn different achievement awards, head to the top of the rankings and perform better than your ‘friends’. Zynga Poker does have a financial element however, as you can top up your number of chips for entries into bigger and better games.
Play Money – You can also enjoy play money poker at a number of the leading sites. PokerStars, the world’s busiest pay money site has a full range of games available in their ‘play money’ section, where players can enjoy cash games, tournaments, sit and goes and even popular new games such as their Jackpot ‘Spin and Go’ events.
No Deposit Bonuses – A selection of poker sites offer no deposit bonuses as a way to play for free. These bonuses offer players a cash incentive to sign up to a poker site – these bonuses usually come in the form of tournament entries or cash game vouchers. These no deposit bonuses aren’t as large as bonuses offered alongside your first deposit, though they can give players a nice initial boost with no risk attached.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Poker
Playing free poker has a number of advantages. Many people simply want to play for fun and free poker offers the opportunity of enjoying a game where there is no money on the line. Free poker has more of a social element too, especially if playing on a site like Zynga. Players at these games are more likely to enjoy a chat and you can build up some friendly rivalries too. Playing for free at a real money site can be a great way to get used to online poker too. You can gain a feel for the pace of the game and get an idea of exactly how the software works, this especially useful if you’re new to the online game.
There are some potential downsides to playing free poker. First, if you see free money poker as a way to prepare yourself and begin to learn real money poker, you’ll be in for a shock. Free money games play completely differently, as the majority of players are in it for a thrill and will be calling with any types of hands – if they lose, it doesn’t matter, so you might find a number of players all-in every hand.
This can lead to a situation where a very successful player at play money poker might develop a strategy that is completely unsuccessful in real money poker, where the games are much tighter. A very good poker player who spends many hours a week playing play money poker might also be missing an opportunity to make some extra cash, as well as missing out on vital experience that real money poker can bring you.
Recommended No Deposit Bonus
A no deposit bonus brings you the best of both worlds. Yes, you are playing for free, but the rest of the table isn’t, so you’ll be playing real poker, for real money. A recommended site for a no deposit bonus is 888 Poker where you’ll be offered a no deposit bonus of $88. You’ll start with $8 of free cash - $1 in cash and $7 worth of tournament tickets. Two 50c tournament tickets will hit your account every day for the first week and every time you earn 250 comp points another $8 award will come your way. To take advantage of this generous offer, simply register at 888 Poker and then verify your e-mail address by clicking on a link in the verification e-mail. Your no deposit bonus will then be activated immediately. Note that 888 are not available to US players – and that this bonus does vary for some countries.