Finding a reliable, trustworthy free online poker site isn’t easy. After all, we’re all a tad scared of getting scammed.
I was the same but – like you – I was also looking for a place to play poker for free online so that I could test my chops against other players without the risk of losing real money. I wanted a site that was safe and secure, which used all the latest software, and which would allow me to play for real money once I was comfortable enough.
In this article, I’m going to take a look at the best free online poker sites from my own experience to help you make a better choice regarding where to put your (fake) chips. Let’s take a look!
Why Play Poker For Free?
No one likes to lose money while playing poker. But while astute, experienced and pro poker players can deal with a hit, complete beginners often can’t.
Free online poker is a great way to introduce you to the heady world of online poker. It gives you the chance to share a table with other newbies so that you get a feel for what it’s all about. You can get used to the layout, the websites, the games and the losses without taking a loss for real.
Free online poker sites also give you the chance to play poker against other players, improve your skills and track your progress so that you know which areas you need to improve in – ability, strategy or luck – before making the step up to playing for real.
WSOP Social Poker – Best Overall Free Online Poker Site
WSOP Social Poker has been around for a good few years now and is undoubtedly one of the best free poker sites around. You can either play against your friends and family, or you can test your mettle against players from all over the world.
You can even compete for virtual WSOP bracelets and other cool prizes without having to spend a dime.
The likes of pot limit Omaha and no limit hold ’em are available to play, and it’s super easy to link WSOP Social Poker to your Facebook page if you want to give your buddies a game in a major tournament.
And once you’re done with playing for free, there are bonuses and promos on over once you make the step up to the real cash games.
- Smooth gameplay
- Feels authentic
- Excellent and rewarding user experience
- Connection issues
- Texas Hold’Em available
- Mini slot games
- Texas Hold’Em free chips (as many as 26,000!)
PokerStars – Best For Game Choice
PokerStars might be entirely free but its user layout, choice of games and software is all premium stuff. It’s one of the most reputable and established poker websites on the planet, and it’s a genuine Mecca for players who either want to play for free or for high stakes.
There is a wide variety of games on offer and it might take you a bit of time getting used to all the different tournament formats, especially if you’re a total beginner. But getting started is easy, and PokerStars lets you choose between playing for free or playing for money. Once you’ve made your choice, you’re free to take your seat at the table.
It’s also worth mentioning that, once you decide you’re ready to play for real money, you might find yourself up against Barry Greenstein, the PokerStars Team Pro! He plays for money on here often and, yep, he’s a tough one to crack.
- Excellent site security
- Super popular, which means lots of players to compete against
- Solid customer support
- Not the best promos
- Seven Card Stud available
- Casino games galore
- 100% up to $600
Party Poker – Best Bonuses
Party Poker offer a £40 free play bonus upon signup, which is pretty damn nifty. This free poker site has been around since 2001, it offers some seriously fast-paced FastForward poker games, and it’s a name and brand you can trust in the online gambling world.
It’s also super fun and friendly.
You can play for free to get started before moving onto real money games once you’ve improved your skills enough. The free games give you the opportunity to test how good your ability and strategy is, and they’ll also give you an insight into what your luck is like.
To get started with a free game, you just have to hop into the Play Money tab at the bottom left of your screen.
One of the best things about Party Poker is that it offers a free poker school where beginners can learn the in’s and out’s of playing poker online. Free poker missions for rewards are on offer, and you can monitor your progress to see if and when you’re ready to start playing big boys games for big boys money.
And once you are all settled in and fancy your chances of crushing it for real $$$, you can take advantage of that £40 free play bonus.
If, however, you just wanna hang around the free games for a while, there are lots of players just like you who are getting into the swing of things on the free Party Poker games. It’s bags of fun.
- Great mobile client
- Fantastic tournament schedule
- Bog standard VIP program
- Lack of anonymous tournaments
- Anonymous tables means the pros can’t track you
- £40 free play bonus upon signup
- $22 in tournament tickets
Full Tilt Poker – Most Playable Free Online Poker Site
Full Tilt was relaunched in 2012 and is easily one of the best online poker sites around. You can play for free or real money, it’s super duper easy to use and the software is advanced and up-to-date.
In terms of the tournaments you can participate in, there’s a lot to choose from here. High speed fast fold games are available, as is Zoom Poker, but it’s worth nothing that Full Tilt has removed some of the more complicated games from its oeuvre (probably a good thing if you ask me).
Sharing its platform with Poker Stars means you’re getting access to a reputable website that comes with lots of perks. However, what I would say is that – in my experience – some of the other players can be a bit reckless on the free tables. Just bide your time, be patient and do what it takes to level up so that you can eventually start playing for real money.
- Excellent rewards program
- Lots of traffic
- Great bonuses
- Not as many casino games as rivals
- Rewards scheme doesn’t benefit low volume players
- Poker and casino games available
- Zoom Poker
- The Deal gives you the chance to grab a 50% of the progressive jackpot kitty
- Deposit for £20 free play
- Different bonuses offered each day of the week
Free poker is a great way to level up and improve your skills before playing for real money. My personal top pick for the best free online poker site is WSOP Social Poker because it has the games, it has the perks and it has the usability. Whichever poker site you choose, just make sure to keep improving your skills and strategy before taking the plunge at the higher stakes tables. And good luck!