How to play online poker for free

Poker is all about the thrill of glancing at your cards then deciding to go all in, figuring that no other sucker at the table is going to beat your two pair, queens and 8s. That adrenalin rush is cranked up a little if it's your own money at stake. If you're not quite ready for that level of thrill-seeking, you might want to try a few free hands at first. We checked on how to play online poker for free.

The quickest route to a seat at an online table is the website at www.freepoker.org. Just register at the site and play Texas Holdem against like-minded beginners. There is a chat function on the site, so you can conduct a friendly post-mortem after each hand and figure out what went wrong.

Poker Practice (thepokerpractice.com) offers free practice sessions of Texas Holdem that move with a real Texas swing. Once you get used to the speed of the action it's a great way to develop your own poker strategies. Note that it can be very addictive, and can eat up your time.

For a little financial incentive without having to risk your own cash, head for the freeroll tournaments at bwin.com. These cost nothing to enter but the cash prizes on offer mean that there is a real edge to the hands, as everyone tries to scoop the cash.

Even if you tell yourself that you are a seasoned poker player, there may be variations on the game that are unfamiliar. In this situation, it's worth getting a few pointers without having to pay for the chips. If you're still not sure exactly how to play, online poker sites can quickly bring you up to speed

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