Free Online Poker 2023 – Compare The Best Free Poker Sites

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Sports Editor Fact Checked by David Myers

Free online poker continues to prove incredibly popular, offering players the chance to learn and build confidence before playing for real money.

Playing free online poker also offers a number of advantages to playing for real money. You get all the fun, with none of the risk, plus it allows you to learn the game and find your strategy before you wager real funds.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at playing free poker online, why it’s good, how and where to play, what the most popular games are and we’ll also give our top tips to getting the most out of free poker games – each casino listed in our guides are licensed and safe.

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Why Play Free Online Poker?

Playing free poker is a great way to get involved with the current boom of online gambling – you only have to look back a few years to see that global online gambling amounted to $61.5 billion in 2021, with poker maintaining its place as one of the most popular casino games of all time. And whether you’re a total beginner or a regular player it’s easy to see the appeal, as it needs skill, strategy, cunning and luck.

There are also several key elements you need to know such as the various poker hands and the values of each before you even start.

But that’s not all, there is also lots of poker terminology that you need to get familiar with, for example, small blind, big blind, raise, call, fold, all-in, check etc., that can be simply overwhelming and confusing to a novice.

For those who are new to the game, online free poker is ideal as it allows you to get to grips with all the basics in a completely non-risk environment. Playing a free poker game means you can learn the terminology, see each of them in practice, and it won’t cost you a thing to do so.

Meanwhile, for those who already know and love poker, playing poker free online means you can develop your game, try out different strategies, and hone your skills so when you play with real money you are at the top of your game.

Advantages of Playing Free Online Poker

There are a huge number of advantages to playing a free poker game, these are just a few of them below:

No financial risk

Free poker means you have time and space to learn the game without financial pressures. In effect, you can make as many mistakes and bad judgements as you want without any consequences so it offers a pressure-free and risk-free way to play.

Learn the game

Poker comes with specific terminology and set values for different hands of poker, it is essential you get as familiar with these as possible so you can keep up with the game and make good decisions while playing.

Practice strategies

You never know what hand you’re going to be dealt so you need to think ahead and have strategies, no matter how good or bad that first deal is. Free online poker allows you to practice, tweak your poker strategy and try out different approaches.

Build your confidence

Poker is as much about confidence as it is anything else. If you are inexperienced it is easy to get intimidated or overwhelmed when on a table with more regular players. Free poker allows you to build up that confidence so you’re ready for the real thing.

Free Online Poker vs Real Money Variants

You may think that you can learn all you need to know about poker from reading up about it, but this simply isn’t the case.

Sitting around a poker table, even a virtual one, can be intimidating and the game can be played at such a rapid pace that even experienced players can lose their budget in just a few hands if they make poor decisions.

Here we’ll take a look at a few pros and cons of playing poker online free over real money variants.

Playing Free Poker

  • Make mistakes without losing money
  • Load up a new game despite budget
  • Learn the game and develop strategies
  • Less pressured environment
  • Accessible to all
  • Inability to win real money
  • Less competitive
  • Not fully reflective of real money games

Playing Real Money Poker Variants

  • Real money in play, real money winnings
  • All players playing competitively
  • Choose the right table for stake levels
  • Real-life high pressured poker environment
  • Test your skills against real money players
  • Financial risks
  • Can be stressful and intimidating
  • Less game play if budget goes quickly

How to Play Free Poker Online

Playing online poker free is simpler than you think. We’ll take you through the steps to follow to play a free poker game online.

Choose a platform

There are lots of free poker options out there to choose from so it can be a little overwhelming. Most casinos have a poker area but not all offer free poker. Firstly search for a casino, or specific online poker site or app, that offers free poker online so you know they have this as an option.

Free Online Poker [cur_year] – Compare The Best Free Poker Sites


Sign up for the casino or online poker site by registering your details and agreeing to their terms and conditions. It’s a good idea to check out the welcome bonus of the site, as most have them and offer additional value to the customer. However, the welcome offer is usually more geared towards slot play or sports betting rather than poker.

Choose your game

Search for the live casino section, this will show you the range of options and often includes strategy guides and helpful hints for the most popular free poker games.

Load up your chosen game and before you play it is always a good idea to check out the game rules.  This will give you tips on how to play, what to look out for and what you need for a winning hand.

Tips for Playing Free Poker Online

Here are our top tips on playing poker online for free:

Try out different varieties of poker

There is a big difference between playing a free poker game with other players and playing free video poker, so make sure you play both to find out what you prefer. There are also several variations of both so don’t limit yourself – it’s also worth looking through the best online poker sites on Reddit to gain more knowledge.

Be patient

It can be tempting to play every hand or the majority of hands, but poker is as much a game of patience as it is strategy so you have to learn what not to play to avoid losing your poker chips.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Remember online free poker offers you a risk-free playing environment so don’t be afraid to go big by calling or going all-in when you have the confidence to do so.

Take your time

You may think you understand the game after a few hands, but don’t be tempted to rush into real money games until you feel fully prepared and ready to make strategic decisions in a more pressured setting.

Test out strategies

Use the risk-free opportunity in free poker to experiment and try out different approaches with various hands. You may find you prefer playing conservatively or you may enjoy a more high-risk aggressive strategy instead.

Study opponents behavior

Although the need for a poker face is eliminated in free poker online as you can’t literally see your opponent’s face, and vice versa, you can still study their playing style. This is great practice for when you play real money poker. Do they fold easily, do they bet aggressively when they have a poor hand, do they try to push opponents out of the game by betting big etc?

The Most Popular Free Poker Games Online

There is no doubt that the most popular poker game in the world is Texas Hold’em. We’ll take a brief look at this in more detail below alongside a couple of other popular variations.

Free Texas Hold’em Game

All players begin by receiving two hole cards face down and over the course of three rounds, five additional community cards are placed face up on the table. The aim is to try to put together the highest value poker hand of five cards.

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Free Omaha Game

With this variation you’re dealt four hole cards and you need to make the best poker hand you can from using exactly two hole cards and three of the five community cards.

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Free Seven-Card Stud Game

In this poker game you’ll be dealt three cards – two face down and one face up. Over four rounds, you’ll receive an extra three face up cards and one more face down. At the end of the game, you’ll turn over all of the face down cards and make the best hand you can using five of the cards available.


Here is a quick summary of all three popular poker games and some of their main features:

Game Description Key Features
Texas Hold’em The most popular poker game in the world Players are dealt two hole cards and five community cards are revealed in stages. The aim is to make the best five card poker hand from the seven available.
Omaha Second most popular poker variation with a much wider range of hands available Players are dealt four hole cards and five community cards are dealt over several rounds. Players must make their best poker hand using exactly two of the hole cards and three community cards.
Seven-Card Stud Was previously the widest played poker variant across the US before Texas Hold’em took its place Players will be dealt three cards but only one is visible. Over a series of betting rounds you’ll receive an additional four cards, three of which are visible and the other face down. At the showdown all cards are revealed and the player must make the best five card poker hand possible.

Playing Free Poker on Mobile

With recent statistics showing that an estimated 60 million people play poker in the United States, players have had to keep up with the rapid growth of digitalization and smartphone technology as the demand for mobile gaming has also risen exponentially.

Players now demand mobile optimization from their chosen casinos so that they can access their favorite games on the go, whenever and wherever they are.

Free Online Poker [cur_year] – Compare The Best Free Poker Sites

Playing free poker on mobile is not only possible, but should also come with exactly the same quality and experience that you’d get from playing on desktop.

Whether you have an iOS or Android device, playing poker online free on mobile is easily downloadable. Some sites have mobile-optimized websites that you can access from a web browser, while some have specific online poker apps that you download to your device.

The benefits of playing free poker games on a mobile app include:

  • Dedicated app interface meaner quicker loading times
  • Cleaner and easier to navigate
  • Can game on the go whenever you choose

How to Start Playing Free Poker for Real Money

If and when you decide it’s time to progress from playing poker free online, to playing for real money and real poker chips, then here are our top tips:

Choose a platform

You want an offshore poker site that offers lots of game variety and different tables for different stake levels. The casino or poker site you sign up to should have busy tables and a strong poker network so you never have to wait to play.

Select your banking options

If you’re looking for some online crypto poker, then many casinos and poker sites now allow you to play with cryptocurrency so you may decide to play poker with crypto or use traditional banking methods instead. If crypto is your preference, you may want to check out the best Bitcoin poker casinos list.

Set your budget

Make sure you have this set before you start playing so you know your limits and won’t be tempted to go over. Poker is thrilling and it can be immersive so its best to have this set before you get too involved – remember to gamble responsibly when playing poker

Pick your game

Choose the poker variation you understand the most from all your free poker practicing. You’ll want as much experience and confidence hitting the tables for real so stick to what you know best.

Use your free poker skills

Remember all the skills you have picked up by playing free poker online? You can now put those strategies into action when trying a free Texas Hold’em game. Remain patient, use your experience and judgement to make calls and study your opponents to give you an edge in taking their poker chips.

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Cameron has written on sports and poker for 11 years in both a newspaper and online capacity, including with PokerStars and PokerListings. As a proud winning poker player at 50NL on PokerStars who achieved his poker dream by playing finishing 420th in the in the 2023 World Series of Poker's Millionaire Maker, Cameron shares his expert knowledge when writing articles for Basketball Insiders.