At some point, most players make the transition from play money to real money poker. To help the transition go as smoothly as possible, there are a few things you can do. If you’re ready to take the leap, read on for some friendly advice before you make your first deposit.
Choose the Right Site
While most are naturally inclined to play real money poker on the same site they’ve been practicing on, this isn’t always the best practice. Even if the play money games were easy to beat, real money games are often a different beast.
Some gambling sites are notoriously difficult for new players, so browsing through several different poker sites is beneficial before making the switch. There are a ton of site reviews available online. Perusing these reviews will help you find online poker sites with beginner tables, thus limiting your exposure to experienced players and allowing you to play with lower sums of money.
Real Money Poker is More Aggressive
The number of players and the level of gameplay is likely to be different in a real money game vs. a play money game. Real money casino games require players to have “skin in the game.” Unlike play money games, where a loss is no big deal, losing your hard-earned cash hurts. Players often play more aggressively with cash on the line.
The most common beginner mistake in real money poker is playing in too many pots, failing to make a good hand, then folding under pressure. The term for this is “leaking chips,” and it takes a huge chunk out of your bankroll if you make this mistake. To reduce the chances of this happening, only get involved in pots you have a reasonable chance at winning.
Fund Your Account Responsibly
The second most common beginner mistake in poker is failing to be responsible when funding your account. While all poker sites will advise players to gamble responsibly, it doesn’t mean everyone follows that advice.
Don’t fund your account with an amount you aren’t willing to lose, but fund it with enough money that your games have meaning. This creates the perfect balance to find thrill in playing your games, experience the joy of winning, and ensure that you don’t lose so much money that it places you in a financial crisis. When it comes to poker, there is no reward without risk; it’s just better when risk is calculated carefully.
Player Position Matters
When playing real money poker, your position at the table matters. Your position, and that of other players, will influence the attitudes regarding your gameplay. Learn to read other players at the table and use this knowledge to perfect your bluffs and steal blinds. Your position can also dictate whether it’s worth playing a weak hand or folding early.
Making the transition from play money to real money poker means placing your hard-earned money at risk. Beginners can get overzealous in an effort to win as much as possible but end up losing everything. Get a good handle on your game strategy, choose the right website for your skill level, and fund your account responsibly. These strategies will help ensure you continue to find thrill in playing poker and avoid losing more than you can handle.