Something that most free online poker and small stakes poker players don’t know is that the two types of game require different poker strategies. In this free poker article a successful free poker player who started as a beginner, reveals how he figured how to win both small stakes and free poker games consistently by recognizing and taking advantage of these factors.
To begin then. When playing on free poker games sites or sites that have freerolls, you’ll notice many more aggressive players. Plus at the start of free poker games you’ll see many more all ins pre flop and outrageous bluffs.
The reason is simple. At the beginning of these free poker tournaments, the player has neither money or time invested into play. The thinking is simple. If you can hit a big pot early, it gives you leverage later on as your chip stack gets larger.
If you lose, so what. There’s another free game around the corner. At this point the player has little time and no money invested.
The key to winning in this type of free poker game is to survive the feeding frenzy at the beginning and get to the middle and latter parts of the game where your skill and strategy (even basic solid skill) makes a massive difference.
Quite simply aim to preserve your stack and fold unless you have a very (very) good hand.
When everyone left has time invested in the tournament most settle into a more sane approach. Things like position at the table, reading the players, and exploiting hand strength become easier to manage. It’s also a great time for beginners to learn how to play poker better and start to really learn the nuances of the game.
Once you’ve learned a little bit about poker in free poker games and you are consistent but frustrated at having to wade through the craziness in the beginning of free online poker games and freerolls then its time to take the plunge into cash tournaments.
When you make the choice to go to cash tournaments, start small. Never go into a cash tournament that you can’t afford to lose. If you start small in cash tournaments you’ll find a lot more players closer to your level of play. You will also find players with more advanced skills than you currently have.
This is good because playing against them, if you approach it the right way, helps you learn things to improve your play that books and articles don’t or can’t always teach you.
But here’s the biggie.
You’ll learn a lot more about how to play the beginning of a tournament in cash tournaments.
You learn how to build your chip stack through methods that you learn and start to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t get me wrong, there are always players, even in cash games, that do those crazy things at the start of the tournament like all in before the flop and so on. But, in my opinion, they are fewer and farther between. The good thing is you can usually isolate them and let them burn themselves out.
Finally, I will always play free poker games. It’s fun and a little more laid back. But I also like playing cash tournaments because it presents a different challenge. As long as people play within themselves, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy both.
For a detailed run down on ways to survive the lunacy of early stages free poker games see the article series from D M Vadnais, the Building a bankroll series in particular discusses in great detail how to kick ass on free poker tables and dominate the snow shoving maniacs!
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