One of the fastest-growing internet gambling activities, poker can also be a fast way to lose money. Before you plunge into the cash games with the high-rollers, it makes sense to hone your gameplay and play some free poker, where all that is at stake is your pride.
The Bwin poker site (bwin.com) offers players the chance to take part in freeroll games and tournaments without putting any real cash down. Just register at the number one site for online gaming, and you can start playing within minutes.
Freerolls are free poker tournaments that offer cash prizes without players having to risk any of their own money. These tournaments are the perfect place for newcomers to online poker, because they have the competitive edge of real poker, without the anxiety of losing your money.
Bwin also offers free lessons at the Poker School. This takes you through the basics of the rules, betting and gameplay, before throwing in some hints on strategy and learning the variations of the game. You should also check out the Bwin UK poker room while you're there.
You can also play play free poker at freepoker.com, a site devoted to free Texas holdem games. Register with the site (no downloads are required) and join a table straight away. You can chat with other players, pick up tips and learn some of the strategies to win hands.
For instant poker practice head for thepokerpractice.com. Key in a name, and in seconds you can play free poker against easy or hard opponents. Get used to the speed of the game, and work out your own strategies. It is satisfying to watch the chip stack pile up even when it's not real money.