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How Do You Play for Free on PokerStars?

Want to play poker online for fun, without risking your cash? PokerStars lets you enjoy Texas Hold‘em, Omaha and more completely free with its unmatched play money options. Read on as I explain everything you need to know about getting started playing poker on PokerStars without spending a cent.

As an avid low stakes player myself, I‘ve spent hundreds of hours playing free poker games on PokerStars. In this detailed guide, I‘ll share how to:

  • Create an account and claim your starting play money chips
  • Pick from the huge variety of cash games, tournaments and Sit & Gos
  • Make the most of free spin bonuses and promotions
  • Earn $30 extra when you make a real money deposit
  • Use the top rated mobile apps for playing poker on-the-go

I‘ll also include pro tips to help you build skills through free play, before transitioning smoothly to real money action. So read on to become a PokerStars play money poker expert!

Getting Started with Free Play on PokerStars

Signing up for free play on PokerStars takes just a couple of minutes. Simply:

  1. Visit and click "Get Started"
  2. Enter some basic personal details and verify your email
  3. Accept the terms and conditions agreement

Once registered, you‘ll receive 35,000 in free play money chips to enjoy poker action right away. And you can claim another 15,000 chips for free every 4 hours – no deposit needed!

With millions of players active daily, you‘ll never be short of free poker tables and tournaments to join 24/7. Now let‘s explore exactly what you can play for free on PokerStars.

Huge Selection of Play Money Cash Games

PokerStars offers the widest choice of play money cash game formats, with blinds ranging from just 2c/4c up to $100/$200. Some of the most popular free tables include:

  • No Limit Texas Hold‘em – 6 max and full ring, all stake levels
  • Pot Limit Omaha – The second most played game online, after No Limit Hold‘em
  • Fixed Limit Hold‘em – Classic structured betting for beginners
  • Stud, Razz and mixed game formats – Practice rarely played poker variants
  • Fast Fold Poker – Quick Zoom tables and Blaze poker options

Cash games run around the clock with a huge player pool. You can join action within seconds at low stakes like 5c/10c up to high roller $25/$50 tables. Mastering cash games is crucial before playing for real money.

Big Guarantees in Free Tournaments

Daily tournaments give you a chance to win big from a free play money buy-in. PokerStars runs the biggest guarantees online, often over $1 million for free players!

Some popular scheduled tournaments include:

  • $215 buy-in with $1 million guarantee – The world‘s biggest online poker tournament
  • $11 buy-in with $150K guarantee – Medium priced daily event
  • $2.20 buy-in with $15K guarantee – Cheap tournaments running around the clock

You can also play smaller Sit & Go tournaments on demand, from heads-up hyper-turbos to full ring events with over 1,000 entrants. Satellites award seats to bigger tournaments for free.

Three-handed Sit & Gos

Sit & Gos let you jump into fast paced poker tournaments within seconds. PokerStars offers 2-player, 6-max and full ring Sit & Gos, but the most popular format is 3-handed Hyper Turbo.

These three-handed games have just 9 or 18 players, with blinds doubling every 3-5 minutes. Playing tight and having a solid preflop shoving range is crucial.

Sit & Go‘s provide great free practice for high variance poker. Try formats like Winner Takes All where only 1st place pays, to prepare for real money bubble play.

Spin & Gos – Jackpot Prizes from Tiny Buy-ins

Spin & Gos are PokerStars‘ unique hyperfast format awarding jackpot prizes. You and two others players put up a small buy-in, then a spin randomly assigns you a prize pool up to 1,000x your buy-in!

With free play chips, Spin & Go‘s add a fun gambling element. The prize pool spin introduces variance you won‘t find in regular tournaments. You might turn your $1 buy-in into $1,000 or more if luck hits.

Spin & Go‘s force you to play an optimal short stack strategy. And you‘ll often deal with an overly loose or aggressive opponent chasing the jackpot – great practice for real money poker.

Opting in for Free Spins Promotions

As well as poker play money options, PokerStars runs free spin promotions in its online casino. You can opt in for:

  • Daily free spins – Get 10-20 free spins on selected slots like Starburst or Gonzo‘s Quest
  • First deposit free spins – 100 Free Spins offered on a $10 deposit for example
  • Weekly challenges – Earn more free spins for completing bingo and casino tasks

Winnings from free spins are converted to withdrawable cash. Check the Challenges and Rewards sections to opt into new free spin bonuses.

$30 Free Bonus for First Real Money Deposit

When you‘re ready to play real money poker, PokerStars helps new players with a $30 free play bonus.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make a first deposit of $20+ using the ‘FREE30‘ bonus code
  2. You‘ll receive $30 in real cash credited to your account within 48 hours
  3. A ticket to a special Depositors Freeroll tournament will also be given

You can use the $30 free cash to play real money games or enter tournaments. Any winnings over $30 can be withdrawn or played with.

This gives your bankroll an extra boost as you transition to playing poker for real money. But first, let‘s look at some pro tips…

Maximizing Your Learning with Play Money Games

Before diving into real stakes, get the most out of play money games with advice from top players:

  • Treat it seriously – Make sound decisions like real money was on the line
  • Review your hands – Analyze mistakes using hand history tools
  • Study optimal strategies – Learn GTO poker fundamentals from training sites
  • Stick to lower stakes – Play 2c/5c or 5c/10c to practice patience
  • Manage your bankroll – Don‘t overplay your stack based on unlimited free chips
  • Use HUDs sparingly – Avoid bad habits of over-relying on stats/trackers

Pros like Daniel Negreanu and Lex Veldhuis developed their skills early by mastering play money games. Follow their lead to excel when you make the switch to real money.

Transitioning to Real Money with the Right Mindset

Jumping into real money poker brings greater pressure and unpredictability. Adopting a professional mindset is key according to leading players like Fedor Holz:

  • Start small – Minimum stakes let you acclimate without big swings
  • Follow strict BR rules – Only risk 1-2% of your bankroll per session
  • Review objectively – Analyze session videos to identify and fix leaks
  • Tilt resistance – Learn to shrug off bad beats and variance
  • Focus on EV – Make +EV plays, don‘t chase short term results
  • Drill fundamentals – Practice superior technical skills between sessions

With the right dedicated improvement mindset, the transition to real money poker on PokerStars will be smooth and profitable.

Recommended Study Resources for Real Money

To stay sharp, poker pros invest heavily in continual study away from the tables:

  • Training sites like – Interactive lessons from elite players
  • Solvers like PioSolver or SimplePostflop – Practice optimal play
  • Books like The Grinder‘s Manual by Peter Clarke – In-depth strategy overviews
  • Video blogs – Stay updated on current meta trends and tips
  • PokerStats database – Review millions of anonymized real money hands

With the right mix of theory and practice, you can avoid falling into common new player leaks when you make the play money to real money transition.

Top Free Poker Apps to Play On Mobile

One great perk of play money poker – you can play on your phone or tablet anytime, anywhere! PokerStars Mobile is the top real money app, but here are some other great free options:

PokerStars Mobile App

  • Sync your play money account from desktop
  • Clean design optimized for mobile
  • Practice real money features before depositing
  • Easy deposits and withdrawals while on the go

Appeak Poker

  • Gorgeous design perfect for smartphones
  • Quick head-to-head Blaze tables
  • Missions, achievements and leaderboards
  • 8+ million downloads on Android store

Zynga Poker

  • Connect and play with Facebook friends
  • Player chat, emojis and gift exchange
  • Established social community since 2007
  • Regular free chip giveaways and promotions


  • Official World Series of Poker app
  • Integrated with live WSOP events
  • Daily free tournaments with leaderboards
  • More casual player pool than PokerStars

Governor of Poker 3

  • Fun Wild West theme and challenges
  • Play poker offline – no wifi needed
  • Stake cities across Texas by winning poker hands
  • Multiplayer coming soon for free poker with friends

The top real money poker apps all offer play money versions. Take your pick according to your preferences for design, social features and poker formats.

Conclusion – Playing Free Poker on PokerStars

I hope this detailed guide gave you all the key information needed to start playing free poker on PokerStars. To recap:

  • Sign up in minutes to receive your starting 35,000 play money chips
  • Enjoy the largest selection of cash games, tournaments and Sit & Gos for free
  • Enter free spin promotions in the PokerStars casino for extra winnings
  • Maximize your learning with expert tips before transitioning to real money
  • Use top mobile apps to hone your skills playing poker on the go

So don‘t wait – create your account and see why PokerStars is the #1 destination for playing free online poker. I‘ll see you at the tables – just look for "sharky" as my player name when you join your first game!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.