Play money is a term used to refer poker chips without any sort of cash value. No money is paid for play money chips. Most online poker sites offer both play money and real money games. The play money site usually carries a .net suffix while the associated real money site carries a .com suffix.
Online play money sites usually limit the number of play money chips a user can take in any given period of time.
Reasons play money play is [almost] worthless Edit
- There is no disincentive to prevent sloppy play. A novice wanting to learn the complex strategies of poker will not get very far if he is playing against reckless opponents. A sounder alternative for the beginner is to play inexpensive micro-limit games, as players will at least generally try to win when playing for real money no matter how small the stakes.
Reasons play money play is not [quite] worthless Edit
- Learning to beat loose games where people play all kinds of silly hands for multiple bets is a useful skill for real money games. In fact, judging by the Netcasts from the Bicycle, some games as high as $30/60 limit hold 'em play very loose. Loose (and particularly loose-aggressive) games are beaten through the discipline not to play any two as your opponents are doing, despite the bad beats; play money games take these factors to the extreme, and thus have some value in training one to be disciplined.
- Play money can be a good way to learn the rules of a new poker variant without risk.
- Play money can introduce you to a new site's software without risk.
- Using play money you can while away your time and be certain you won't whittle away your bankroll - alternatively sign up to a freeroll tournament and get the chance to win cash with no risk to yourself - an even better option.
- Developers of poker software can use play money games to gather data without risk; for example, an author of a hand converter might use play money games to collect hand histories.