The internet has provided a popular venue for “play money” games. In these games, no real money is played for but only fake and virtual chips. More play-money players are on the internet than real-money players because it offers free entertainment. These games are played in order to kill time or learn poker basics.
Play-money games do not help in the improvement of player skills. They are only meant to help a player grasp game rules as well as get familiar with the software for online poker. Refinement of poker skills is not developed by play-money games. Excelling at play-money games will only enhance one’s ability to win in these games but there is a risk that you will develop bad habits which may cause a decline in your real-money poker skills.
There is a tendency for play-money players to play any hand given to them. A fold will not be called because there is no effect if a lot of “play money” is lost. Winning is very easy and a player can play loose. Players of play-money games tend to develop false confidence. Triumph at play-money games is not a guarantee of winning in real-money games. Realizing the mistakes they made at real-money games is impossible because of the habits they have successfully learned in play-money games.
While play-money ring games have little similarities with real-money ring games, there are certain types of play-money games that are somewhat common to their real-money counterparts. A concrete example is the large play-money multi-table tournaments and large freerolls. Although a freeroll is basically a play-money tournament, a cash prize is awarded to the top winners. In general, the smaller prize makes a freeroll tournament more similar to a play-money tournament.
After all, if $50 is awarded to the winner of a freeroll tournament, there is no concentration as compared to a tournament that awards a ticket to the Poker World Series. There are also similarities between single-table play money with single-table tournaments offering very low-buy-in. The similarity lies in the basic strategy of these two types of tournaments. In both tournaments, being careful pays off at the beginning of the match, and aggressiveness during the end of the tournament. Still, more effort will be exerted at low buy-in tournaments than in play-money tournaments. pride is the clearest prize at stake in a play-money tournament and it does not have the same importance as $10.