Poker has long been one of the most popular card games, and its growth online has been unrelenting since the early noughties. However, if you’re new to the game, it makes sense to play free online poker risking any money at an online poker table.
In this guide, we explain some of the benefits of playing for free, specifically that it enables you to learn the game’s mechanics before laying any of your cash on the line.
We round things up by introducing you to some of the best free online poker sites to get started with this much-loved card game without spending any money.
The benefits of playing free online poker
Although poker has long been known as a card game for gamblers, there are so many benefits to playing for free. Specifically, free online poker helps you in the following ways:
Perfect for learning
If you’re a beginner player, free online poker games are the perfect way to learn the poker hand rankings, understand the game and develop your skills without spending any money.
Aside from learning the values of each available poker hand, you can also develop your strategy and improve how you read the table, which will serve you well when you sign up for a paid game in the future.
This is an ideal exercise while reading sites like PokerOrg, which introduces you to the news and views that matter, plus the people playing and working within the game.
No gambling involved
While some people thrive on the high stakes involved in gambling, others don’t. Playing poker for free online allows you to enjoy the game for what it is, without any financial risk associated with your decision-making.
Try different games
Most players start by playing Texas Hold’em, but free online poker sites give you a perfect chance to try out different versions of the game, including Omaha and Stud, without risking any money.
You can always transition to real money games once you know how these poker variations work.
Online gambling is not yet permitted in all US states and some countries around the world, meaning that many online gambling sites are only available in designated locales. Playing with play money means you don’t have to worry about geo-restrictions, as there is no money involved, and you can play from wherever you are.
How to find a reputable free online poker site
Even though you’re not planning to gamble any money, many sites offering free online poker also offer paid versions of the game.
As such, you need to make sure that you choose a reputable and trusted online poker site to sign up for to ensure your safety and online security. With so many platforms available, you can follow these tips to find a reputable poker site to try:
Check for a license
All real money gambling sites must be licensed and regulated by a relevant authority to operate. Therefore, before creating an account and playing poker online for free, always check the website’s registration details and determine their licenses and who they’re regulated by.
This applies to sites where online poker is legal (Indiana is the latest to try and pass a bill even though you can already play live poker in Indiana). If you’re in a state where it’s not legal, you must look at a play-money-only site, more of which late on.
Read reviews and testimonials
Reading reviews and testimonials before signing up for a free online poker site is always a good idea. Perform a Google search for independent reviews and use sites like Trust Pilot to verify the site in question.
You can generally get a good feel for a site’s credibility by reading reviews and testimonials, and you can decide whether to sign up after reading them.
Check out poker forums
Poker forums provide a wealth of information to all current and aspiring poker players and are a great place to go for more information about free online poker sites. You can start with Reddit, but Cardschat is also useful, with more than 360,000 members and topics on all aspects of the game. Alternative search for the Two Plus Two forum.
Consider what else the site offers
Although free online poker is at the top of your priority list, you must consider what else the website offers before signing up.
Are there any other free games that you can play, such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat? Can you also play poker and other card games for real money if you want to (and where it’s legal to do so)? Consider what’s important to you and look for a site that fits the bill.
Free online poker sites: our recommendations
As mentioned, there are lots of sites (and poker apps) out there that offer you the chance to play poker for free, so it can be difficult to know where to play. To help you, some of our recommendations include the following:
• Replay Poker: One of the best places for free online poker is Replay Poker, which offers free, no-download Texas Hold’em games for all players over 18. The site is all about playing poker for fun, and no cash prizes are offered.
• Zynga Poker: Another great option is Zynga Poker, which is a social poker site that offers you the chance to play for free while chatting with other members.
• WSOP: Where better to play poker for free online than the official site of the World Series of Poker? You start with 250,000 free chips and can compete against other players as you look to replicate your favourite professional players.
• 24/7 Free Poker: As simple as they come, 24/7 free poker is exactly what you would expect – a free poker site that allows you to play poker without spending any money. You can also play other games like sudoku, minesweeper, and checkers on the site.
Conclusion: Why play free online poker?
Playing for free is the perfect way to practice, as you can learn about the game without risking any of your own money.
You can also try different versions of poker, including Omaha and Stud, as well as the ever-popular Texas Hold’em. After playing poker online for free and developing your skills, you can then transition to a paid game at an established online poker site to try and win some money when you take a seat at the table.