The Guide to Poker Freerolls
Welcome to the wonderful world of poker freerolls! If you’re a newb to online poker, you’re probably scratching your head at the term. A poker freeroll is a free-to-play game where players can win prizes without risking their own real money. Sounds brilliant, right? Free money? Where can I sign up?
Freerolls are an excellent way for newcomers to become acquainted with the poker world and hone their skills while playing for real stakes. And for the degens out there with no chips and only the faintest of dreams, well, rebuilding the bankroll via freeroll is always an appetizing thought.
In this guide, we break it down like a fraction and offer up everything you need to know about poker freerolls, including where to find them, what you can win, and more.
What is a Poker Freeroll?
Like we said at the top, a freeroll is a poker tournament that requires no cash to enter. Yep, it’s free. What’s better, if you are skilled enough to win, some prize will be waiting for you, often in the form of cash.
Freeroll poker plays in precisely the same way as real money poker. The rules are the same, all gameplay features are present and correct, and you play against real opponents. As you might expect, freerolls are a great starting point for beginners. While the money on offer in freerolls is nothing like what you would find in real money games, some of the alternative prizes on offer can be very attractive.
Are Poker Freerolls Really Free?
We know what you’re thinking; some fine print must be attached to these freeroll tournaments and games. Nothing in life is free. While that is usually true, in this case, it isn’t. Poker freerolls are always 100% free.
How do I get started playing Poker Freerolls?
Taking part in an online poker freeroll is, for the most part, the same as playing real-money poker. Players just need to find a poker site that suits them, open their accounts, and get playing. There is no need to open separate accounts for freerolls and real money.
What Can I Win Playing Poker Freerolls?
As we’ve mentioned, a poker freeroll always comes with prizes. In 99% of cases, the prize money on offer is small and isn’t going to change your life. Typically, you can expect to find cash prizes between $20 and $100. Some freerolls DO offer huge prizes, but these are often special, exclusive tournaments with massive player pools.
Other than cash, some freerolls offer prizes such as event tickets, poker merchandise, or entry into real-money tournaments. Many experienced poker players cut their teeth in freerolls and used their winnings to fund their real-money poker careers.
Types of Freeroll Poker
Generally, when things are free, you tend to get a smaller version of the full product. However, this is not the case with freeroll poker. Poker rooms and casinos don’t tend to cut corners with the range of games they offer for freerolls. In fact, many operators will offer freeroll versions of many of their popular events as a way to give players a taste of what is on offer. As well, many operators will keep freeroll leaderboards and offer additional prizes. Newer players can also use their progress up these boards to indicate that it is time to start playing with real money.
New Players Freerolls
This is one of the most popular types of freerolls around. These are available to new players who have just signed up on a website. Chances are, you will run into some fairly inexperienced and green players in these games.
These freeroll tournaments are only available for players who meet specific requirements, and the prizes are usually bigger. As a result, you are much more likely to encounter experienced players in these games. Needless to say, they will also be a lot harder to win.
The most popular type of freerolls. Weekly Freerolls are usually open to all players and are scheduled to take place at the same time weekly (get it?). You will get a mix of experience in these. Nevertheless, most people playing weekly freerolls are likely to be beginners.
How to Find and Gain Access to Poker Freerolls
One thing that you shouldn’t have any problems with is finding freeroll poker games to play. Head to your favorite online poker site, click on the tournaments tab, and then pick “freeroll.” That’s it! You will then find any upcoming freeroll tournaments or games the operator offers.
In terms of entering the tournaments, you will first need to ensure you are eligible to enter. As we mentioned, some poker freerolls only allow new customers; other tournaments may be exclusive and require a password to register. These are typically e-mailed out to players if they are eligible.
Pros & Cons of Freeroll Poker
Free to play – The biggest selling point of Freeroll Poker tournaments is that they cost nothing to enter and that you have a chance to win.
Excellent for beginners – If you are new to poker, freeroll poker is a great place to learn. You can learn the rules and strategies of the game without incurring any sort of financial loss.
No stress or pressure – the lack of financial investment in the game means that players can just sit back and enjoy the game for what it is. This is not the case when you are playing poker for real money.
Small prizes – If you’re playing poker to win big, then freerolls will not be for you. The game’s prizes are usually relatively small, so players don’t have the opportunity to score big wins. There are games with big winnings, but these are typically exclusive events for experienced players.
Standards can vary – Many freeroll poker tournaments are open to beginners. As such, you never know what you’re getting yourself into–you may get the odd experienced player masquerading as a beginner to get their hands on a prize.
- Free to Play
- Excellent for Beginners
- No Stress or Pressure
- Small Prizes
- Standards Can Vary
Poker Freeroll Strategy
While it may not seem immediately obvious, players will probably need to adopt a slightly different approach to their gameplay while playing a freeroll. Players will play far more recklessly and loose since their own money is not at stake. Here are a few helpful tips when playing a freeroll:
Unlike in real money poker, limping preflop is actively encouraged in freeroll poker. If you decide to shove all in preflop, chances are high that someone will snap you off. The nature of freeroll poker means that people are much more willing to take risks, especially in the earlier stages.
Players are either learning the ropes or playing for fun and aren’t really concerned with winning or losing, so the quality of play is significantly reduced.
Don’t Worry about Bluffing
Here’s an easy rule to follow: Don’t try to get clever and bluff in a freeroll; players won’t lose sleep or, more importantly, their money if they call you and are wrong.
While aggressive poker will always have its place in real money games, we suggest you ramp up the aggro factor even higher when playing freerolls. The lack of financial investment in the game means you should play with no fear; expect the same from your opponent. There is no point in messing around. If you have a monster hand, back it to the max and get your chips in the middle. You will, no doubt, occasionally get caught out in the game, but it’s not like it’s going to cost you anything!