The biggest thrill in poker is when the stakes are at their highest and tension is at its maximum and a player rakes in a huge pot. With so much money on the line, the anticipation is palpable. At land casinos or online, players will empty out their wallets in hopes of winning big. But sometimes novice players just want to test the waters out and have the same bang for less buck. Play money has always been the best method to experience some of the thrills that poker offers without risking finances. Now the popular site PokerStars will allow players to further their play money experience by allowing them to purchase play money (that is completely worthless) with cold, hard cash.
Getting Around Restrictions
Play money is most often used by players who live in areas where real money online poker is not actually available. PokerStars’ announcement will likely bring a great deal of joy to players in the United States and other locations who often come across the inconvenience of not being able to participate in real money games. As mentioned, play money is also a smart way for players not wanting to invest large stacks of money into the game. Using play money is helpful for any player to hone their skills at poker whether it be learning completely new tricks or diving further into how intricate the game can be.
Play Money for Keeps
While the concept of not using real money when playing poker might feel silly to some, but play money players tend to take their games very seriously. While real money players might scoff, the truth is there is a dedicated fan base will compete quite fiercely with each other for play money chips. While some real money players might dream of winning millions at the World Series of Poker, there are apparently those out there with much humbler dreams who hope to horde in hundreds of millions in play money chips. Again, play money is worthless, for the record. Though no actual cash is being risked, play money players enjoy life thinking that they are at real high-stakes tournaments. Play money tables at PokerStars can start as low as 1/2 and often increase up to 5/10 million. In all fairness to play money players, you don’t see anyone telling Hasbro that collecting paper money in Monopoly isn’t fun right?
Pay… to Play Pretend Poker
As novel as the idea of betting millions of “fake” dollars is, there is still a little bit of an entry fee to rack up some play “dough”. Starting at a couple actual dollars to a few hundred, PokerStars will allow players to purchase different tiers of play money. $1.99 is the cheapest package and will buy 350,000 play money chips. $9.99 nets players 2 million, $99.99 gets 75 million chips while the most expensive package sitting at $199.99 pays for a whopping 165 million. According to PokerStars, their most popular deal will get players 7.5 million chips for only $24.99.
Quick Way to the Top
Interestingly enough, since PokerStars launched its Facebook app earlier in 2013, the site has always had the option to purchase play money. Normally a player on PokerStars will begin with 1,000 play money chips. If lost during cash games or tournaments, players have the option of reloading those chips up to three times per hour. Racking up enough play money chips to compete in high-stakes games can be a long process for some. By giving players the option to purchase chips, PokerStars can ensure that those who think they have enough skill can jump right in to the fun.