Making the Transition from Play Money to Real Money Poker

Most of us at some time have made the transition from play money online poker to playing poker for real money, and benefited from some friendly advice along the way. So here is our contribution to help the transition go as smoothly as possible if you are just about to start playing online poker for real money.

Make Sure you Play on the Right Site

When you are considering playing real money poker, your natural inclination is to remain with the site on which you have been playing for fun and simply fund your real money account. That is not always the best option for playing poker for real money, for although the play money poker games you were playing may have been easy to beat, it is usually a much different story when hard-earned cash is on the table.

Some sites are notoriously difficult for new players, and it might be of benefit to you to have a browse through our poker site reviews to see which online poker sites offer beginner tables which limit your exposure to more experienced players and how much you can bring to a table (although it should be noted that playing on beginner tables can also handicap your opportunity to clear a new player poker bonus).

Real Money Poker is Much Tighter than Play Chips

It is always a good idea to take a look at the real money tables before you commit money to the site, and see the difference between the number of players getting involved in a real money poker hand and what you have experienced before. There is no “pain of loss” with play money chips, so players tend to be more cautious before getting involved in a poker hand being played for real money.

The most common “novice” mistake is getting involved in too many pots, then failing to make a good hand on the flop and folding under pressure during the post-flop action. This is known as “leaking chips” and it can make a big hole in your bankroll if you continue to do it. Take a cue from the other players around the table, and only get involved in pots you have a good chance of winning.

Fund Your Account Appropriately

The second most common “novice” mistake is failing to fund your real money poker account appropriately. All online poker sites promote responsible gambling and all will advise you that how much money you should place in your poker account should be governed by what you can comfortably afford to lose rather than how much bonus the online poker site is offering.

However, when you play poker for real money, you have to have a sense of balance. If how much you deposit in your online poker account has no value to you, you will not experience the thrill of capturing a big pot, any losses you experience will mean nothing to you and you will not learn your victories and defeats. Alternatively, take too little to the tables and you will be wary of making the correct decisions because, if you lose a hand, you could wipe out your entire bankroll.

For sensible advice about funding your account appropriately, read our poker bankroll guide.

Player – Position – Cards

We touched on this subject on the Home Page, but it is so important for new players to know it is worth repeating here. The cards you are dealt take third in precedence behind the nature of the players you are seated with at the table and your position in the betting order.

For example, if you have identified that the player to act after you in the betting has been raising everybody else´s bets with his or her mammoth stack, you should know to avoid limping into a pot from early position with a small pair that is going to be raised and save your chips for another hand.

You can also use the knowledge you have gained about your opponents to steal blinds, pull off bluffs and get value from your best cards when the opportunity arises. Please remember that other players will be making notes about your betting tendencies, so try not to put yourself at a disadvantage by ignoring the players around your table and just focusing on your cards.

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