9 Best Reasons Gamblers Need to Play Poker for Free

Poker Free Card Background

I enjoy playing free poker games in a variety of different formats. One of my favorites is playing free games on my mobile device.

The objective of poker is to make money.

Many of the mobile apps are one-hundred void of any cash prizes. Yet, getting practice on the go yields results in the casino.

Before we widely used smartphones, free poker sites were the go-to for poker fiends. These games remain popular with poker aficionados. You can benefit from leaving your bankroll out of poker sessions.

Here are 9 reasons gamblers need to play poker for free.

1. Playing Cash Games Online Is Illegal in Many Areas

Depending on where you live, playing real money online poker games may not be feasible. While sports betting is enjoying widespread legalization, traditional casino gambling lags behind.

That is especially true for online gambling.
States are reluctant to make the dive into regulated poker for several reasons. Finding a site can be impossible for poker players in areas where online poker is off the table. Online poker is a huge business, and top brands don’t want to risk losing their license.

These companies will block users in restricted areas to maintain their position. If a site allows anyone to join and play, it may not be where you should be putting your money.

You can enjoy competitive poker and protect your bankroll by playing the free sites. Most of these poker sites offer a wide range of games with an excellent user interface.

The only difference you may notice is that your cash reserves aren’t diminishing. Sadly, playing for free won’t typically be adding cash to your pocket.

2. You Can Try a New Approach without Any Risk

There are dozens of poker strategies that need you to leverage your bankroll. When players execute these tactics, the rewards are immense.

However, the learning curve is harsh. Novice players are often punished at the tables when they work on new poker theories.

Free poker games give players a setting to try a new strategy without risking their bankroll. That benefits players of all skill levels.

Please Note:
Advanced poker players complain that the action is too loose in free games. That’s sometimes true, but it’s also valid for cash games. Wherever you play poker, you’re going to run into players making wild decisions. That’s the nature of poker in its modern state.

You will get a solid baseline for the effectiveness of techniques playing free games. The money you save will be valuable in the future.

3. Beginners Can Learn to Play

One of the significant obstacles facing beginners is the learning curve. Many players pick the game up in cash games.

That costs players unnecessary losing sessions. The experience gained as a beginner playing cash games is valuable. Yet, you can gain similar experience playing free games.

I won’t dispute that there’s a time where playing cash games is the most logical and vital step. Learning the fundamentals does not require you to expose your hard-earned money.

Please Note:
When money comes into the mix, it increases the stress on players. Stress can be a tremendous distraction in the poker room. If you’re too distracted, you won’t retain many of the learning experiences. Playing free games is much less terrifying. You should be able to find any poker variant you prefer on a mobile poker site.

Having the option to practice anywhere gives you plenty of opportunities to learn. Even when you’ve only got 10-15 minutes to spare, you’ll be able to sneak in a few hands. That’s excellent for beginners that want to improve fast.

4. Become Accustomed to Competition

There are a few advantages to playing free online poker tournaments or freerolls. First, you must understand the difference.

Free poker tournaments are just that.
You use the play money in your online bank to pay an entry fee and participate for game credits.

Freerolls are events that offer cash or entries into cash tournaments as a prize but are free to enter. These events were once plentiful, but the online poker sites provide fewer by the year. Either type of event has benefits for poker players.

The biggest reward for most players is the experience.

Poker players operate differently than cash games. Players tend to be tighter, and the flow is much more controlled.

Becoming accustomed to competition is a vital area of a well-rounded skillset. I don’t have to tell you that poker tournaments offer lucrative prizes and modest buy-ins.

Being comfortable could be the difference between an early exit and making money.

5. Bad Poker Players Lose a Ton at the Tables

Good poker players exist because bad poker players abound. If there weren’t fish at the tables, there’d be no point in playing.

The good players would pass money around night after night, and everyone would go hungry. The food chain is a necessary part of poker.

I see lousy poker players lose a ton of money every time I’m in the poker rooms. Every once in a while, I leave with some of that cash.

Pro Tip:
Stop allowing the sharks to devour you and swim away with your bankroll. You can learn to play poker better by playing for free. Players can’t help but be distracted as their chip stacks dwindle to nothing. Playing poker for free will allow you more time at the tables.

In a game that requires patience to be successful, you should crawl before you run.

6. For the Love of Poker

If you love poker, you can’t get enough of the game. When I fell in love with pokers, I was a single twenty-something.

I had a ton of downtime and was far from home.
That gave me hours each day to retreat to online poker rooms and unwind. My initial foray into poker was a result of boredom, but I fell in love. I played all I could for as long as I could for years.

Eventually, life caught up, and I slowed down. But those early years were full of cash games when I had money and free games when I couldn’t otherwise afford poker.

When money is tight, playing for free will let you enjoy your favorite game.

It would be best if you didn’t use that as a crutch to avoid cash games. Still, playing poker for free will get you by when it’s the only viable option.

7. Enjoy Poker in a Social Atmosphere

Casino poker rooms tend to be a bit stuffy.

You are surrounded by recreational players, not exactly sure how to behave. Many of them lean towards the extreme of being stoic and standoffish.

These players believe intimidation will give them an edge.

In reality, they come across as jerks.

If you want to enjoy poker in a fun and friendly environment, try playing free games. The absence of real money makes the mood lighter.

Please Note:
Playing poker for free is the perfect match whenever you’re in the mood to keep things friendly. Even when players are losing, they’ll be more inclined to chat with you.

When you’re playing against better competition, your fellow players may teach you a thing or two.

8. You’ll Face Weaker Opponents

There are two primary types of poker players in free games. One group of players genuinely want to do their best and improve.

The other set of players couldn’t care less.

They’ll make ridiculous plays time after time and drive you to the brink of insanity. However, both sections of players can provide you with tremendous opportunities.

The serious players will push you to become a better poker player. Having others challenge you is essential to your development. Iron sharpens iron, and these players are allies for your growth. The weak players are also making you better, but you may not recognize their benefit.

Playing poker is primarily a money-making proposition. You make money in poker by playing softer opponents.

It would help if you learned to beat weaker players before you exploit them at the tables. You can accomplish this by playing them in free games.

A lot of people complain about how free games are nothing but weak players. These players obviously haven’t spent much time in real money games.

9. You’ll Level the Playing Field

In free games, you eliminate the cheats and unhealthy advantages. Online poker rooms are full of players that have extensive hand history on players.

Please Note:
You won’t be fighting that battle in free games. Every player will be assessing the competition through their work.

That may seem like a small thing to you. But the advantages some players pay for could impact your bankroll and your ego.

Poker is played between the ears.

Having the utmost confidence in your abilities will serve you well when there’s money on the line.


Unfortunately, free poker games won’t ever replace the real thing.

There are a lot of advantages to playing for free. The 9 best reasons gamblers need to play poker for free will cover the full spectrum of players.

Stop leveraging your bankroll unnecessarily, and you’ll start having better results.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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