Play Money Poker vs. Real Money Poker (Online)

Every online poker room offers both play money poker games and real money poker games. This page is going to compare and contrast the two variations of poker, and will also provide valuable information and tips for both play money and real money players.

Play Money Poker

Play money poker allows you to play Internet poker without risking any real money. When you sign up at a poker site you usually receive 1,000 "play chips", which are poker chips with no cash value. You can take these play chips to the play money ring tables, or buy into play money sit and gos and play money tournaments.

The play money ring games, sit and gos, and tournaments work exactly the same as real money ring games, sit and goes, and tournaments, except the prizes are awarded in play chips instead of real money. Playing poker for play money is a nice way to try out an online poker room and get a feel for the software before depositing.

That being said, there are a few ways that play money players can get real money without depositing: by playing freerolls, by selling play chips, or by player transfer.

Poker Freerolls

The first way a play money player can get real money is by making the money in a poker "freeroll". Freerolls are poker tournaments with real money prizes, but players do not have to spend any money to enter. Most poker sites run one or two freerolls a day with prize pools varying from $100 to $1,000. offers plenty of daily freerolls.

The only knock against freerolls is there are usually thousands of players competing for a small prize pool. If you have the patience to play in freerolls for a week or two, you will probably make the money eventually and can then switch to real money poker.

Selling Play Chips

Another way to get real money without depositing is to build up your play money chips then sell them on eBay for real money. For some reason a real money market has developed for play money chips, and you can usually sell a million or so play money chips for $100. Then, you transfer the play chips to the buyer, and he transfers real money to your account.

The only problem with this method is that it takes weeks if not months to build up to one million or more play money chips, and even with time it's no guarantee. Also, some rooms are thinking of instituting a play money chip "cap" to prevent this sale of chips.

Player Transfer

The final way to get real money in your poker account without depositing is to have one of your friends send a player-to-player transfer. Almost every poker site allows members to transfer money to other members without fees, so if you have a friend on the site, you can hit him up (or beg) for a player-to-player transfer.

Play Money vs. Real Money Poker

The main differences between the play money tables and the real money tables is players actually care at the real money tables. Most play money players push all-in every hand, and are there just to have fun. However, as soon as real money is introduced to the equation, everyone takes the game deathly serious (even if they're at a microstakes table).

Because of this, you need to always be focused and on your toes when you play at the real money tables. You should also know that real money tables "rake" money from each pot, whereas play money tables don't. This rake is how the poker room makes a profit, and is common practice at both live and online poker sites.

If you wish to play poker for real money online (the easy/fast way), read on:

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