Making the Transition from Play Money to Real Money Poker

Making the Transition from Play Money to Real Money Poker

If you’re an online poker player, at some point, you will likely make the transition from playing with play money to playing with real money. If you’re ready to take the plunge, there are some ways to help the transition go as smoothly as possible.

Choose the Right Poker Site

If you’re going to play real money poker, it’s normal to want to continue playing on the same site you’ve been playing on for fun. It’s important to understand before you fund your account that even if the play money games were easy to beat, it doesn’t mean the real money games will be.

Some sites that offer play money and real money gameplay have a huge differentiation in their play and real money games. They’re designed to “suck you in,” to think you can win lots of money. The reality is that they give you easy games for free, then up the ante once you make a deposit.

To avoid falling into this trap, do some research on online poker sites that offer beginner tables and different levels of games. It also helps to start on games that don’t have large betting requirements until you improve your game.

Fund Your Account Carefully

It’s a common novice mistake not to fund your poker account appropriately. Online poker sites will always caution to gamble responsibly and advise only depositing an amount you can afford to lose.

This advice is important, but your poker account also needs balance. If you don’t care about the value of your account, you’ll never experience the thrill of betting on a big jackpot. You can make bad decisions if you deposit too little because your entire bankroll depends on one game.

There are entire courses on how to appropriately calculate your poker bankroll if it’s something that interests you. If you’re just making the switch to real money games, be cautious about how much money you place in your account.


Poker is a game that involves strategy, and it can take a long time to develop a winning one. Take the time to observe the actions of other players in your poker games. If you consistently play on the same site, you will get to know which players consistently bluff, which ones always raise pots, and which ones only place bets when they have a good hand.

Your position behind the dealer matters too. Your position in the betting order should influence your betting decisions. If you know that the player betting behind you has consistently raised bets, you may not want to limp into a pot with a small pair early on.

Keep in mind that other players will be taking notes about your betting patterns, too, so avoid putting yourself at a disadvantage by only focussing on your cards and ignoring the other players.


The tips in this article will help you transition from play money to real money poker. Taking the time to develop a good playing strategy, researching your site of choice, and gambling responsibly will allow you to make the switch and continue enjoying the game you love.


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