When to Play Real Money Poker

So, you think you are ready to play poker for real money? No doubt you are chomping at the bit, deciding which online poker room is going to be most lucrative for you and where to find the best online poker bonuses.

Maybe you have been playing poker for play chips and feel you are ready to invest some cash in your skills? Or possibly you have been introduced to online real money poker by a friend, and are eager to share in the success that he or she has enjoyed?

Well, here are some things you should know when you feel you are ready to play real money poker:-

  • Check out the loyalty programs which are offered by each web site – some of them can be far more valuable than the new player poker bonuses!
  • Read a few poker forums on which players have described their playing experience to help you decide whether a particular site is right for you.
  • If you have already been playing poker for play chips, read our “Making the Transition from Play Money to Real Money Poker” page, so you know what mistakes to avoid.
  • Make sure you understand the difference between “Contributed Rake and Dealt Rake” – this can affect how long it takes to clear your new player poker bonus.
  • Games of real money poker are much slower than play money games so allow more time to play a Sit n Go or a multi table tournament.

How Much Money to Put Into a Real Money Poker Account

We´re not going to start lecturing you about depositing more than you can afford to lose, but you should be aware that very few people got rich quick by playing online poker for real money. For most players, online poker is a form of entertainment, and – as a recreational player – you can put in as much or as little money as you want.

For what we call “median players” – those who want to make a small income from their poker experience – you should be looking at depositing $3,000 to $4,000 into your account, provided you have something left behind for emergencies, because it is not always possible to get immediate access to your funds.

Players who want to play poker for real money professionally should be considering deposits of $30,000 and upwards, and you should have six months money behind you at least. It would also be a good idea to have a passport, because some of the real big pay-days will be when you qualify online for valuable live poker tournaments overseas.

What Time to Play Real Money Poker

The best times to play real money poker are when it is convenient to you (see our page about “When NOT to Play Real Money Poker”). This might influence your choice of online web sites if the traffic at one particular is very quiet when you want to play poker for real money and it is difficult for you to get a seat at a table, find enough players to start a Sit n Go game or get excited about a graveyard tournament schedule.

Most sites have peaks and troughs in how many players they have active on the site at any one time and, if you are based in Europe, the best times to play are between 6.00pm and midnight (GMT). If you want to play on poker sites that accept players from the US, you need to add on five hours to the above times or, if you play at an online poker site with worldwide appeal, you should be able to get a game at any time – although these sites rarely offer any value in under-subscribed tournaments.

European Poker Sites US Poker Sites Worldwide
PokerStars Americas Cardroom BetOnline Poker
Party Poker Ignition Poker
 888 Poker Intertops

Take Your Time before Playing Poker for Real Money

If you take some time to sort out where, when and with how much money you will be playing real money poker, you poker experience should be that much better. Win or lose, the most important thing is that you enjoy playing poker for real money (it is unlikely that you will win every time) and that you can come away from a session at the tables congratulating yourself on a game well played.