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5 Ways to Play Poker Without Using Money

David enjoys gambling when going to Las Vegas or Laughlin. So much so, he enjoys writing about it!

5 Ways on How to Play Poker Without Using Money

5 Ways on How to Play Poker Without Using Money

Gambling Without Using Real Money

Poker is a card game that has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades, especially with the advent of the internet. Friends, family, and neighbors have gotten together to have a friendly game of poker while eating, talking, and just having a good time.

The problem is that not everyone will want to play with money or can afford to play money. There is also a chance of hurt feelings if you happen to take money from a family or friend in what is supposed to be just a friendly game of poker. Or perhaps you just want to learn how to play the many different kinds of poker games there are out there.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways that you can play poker without using money, but still have a good time when playing the game. This article covers a variety of ways to play poker without the use of money.

Money vs. No Money in Poker

There are different advantages to playing poker with and without money.

Playing Poker With Using MoneyPlaying Poker Without Using Money

More of a challenge.

No risk of losing money.

Skills becomes sharper.

Avoiding potential hurt feelings if you take someone's money.

Can earn a lot of money if you are good.

Can work on your poker playing skills.

The game feels more serious.

Games can be a lot more casual.

The game is a lot more thrilling.

Won't be upset if you lose.

How to Play Poker Without Using Money

How to Play Poker Without Using Money

If you are just a casual player or just want to get into the game without investing too much in time and materials, then you can use most household items instead of actual money. Some common items you can use are:

  1. Poker chips: This is the closest you can come to feeling like you are playing with real money. This is my preferred method to play poker whether or not I am using money. More information about the types of poker chips can be found in the section below.
  2. Money from a board game: Monopoly, Payday, and other games that use currency can be used instead of money. Most times they are different colors and have the amount printed on them, so they are easy to use. Problem is that they are made of paper, and can easily be blown away, torn, or ruined.
  3. Beads, crystals, and other similar items: If you have a lot of beads or other items, you can use those to play poker with as well. These items don't stack easily, and it can be hard to remember the denominations of each one unless they are distinctly different. So try to remember what each one stands for, and if necessary, make a chart.
  4. Food and candy: This can be a fun way to play poker. If you bet using small pieces of candy, you can end up with a delicious treat at the end. Though I wouldn't take the game too seriously, as people may use whatever food they have lying around. Just don't eat your winnings until the game is over!
  5. Clothing: Well . . . I won't get into this one too much, but you should get the idea. This can be great for a marriage though!
A royal flush, the best hand in poker.

A royal flush, the best hand in poker.

The Best Types of Poker Chips

If you plan to have a serious game of poker, then poker chips are the way to go. However, if you plan to invest in getting some poker chips, you might as well figure out what kind you want. Typically, there are four kinds of chips you can find on the market, with some variations:

  • Plastic poker chips. You can find these in a lot of stores now a days. They are not considered very high quality. They will get the job done, but they don't have the feel that most people like in their poker chips.
  • Composite poker chips. There chips are of better quality than the plastic chips, and are considered to be a mid-range set of chips. They can be found in stores, but looking online can net you a nice set.
  • Ceramic poker chips. These kind of chips are designed to have anything you want printed on them. They have a nice, smooth feeling when touched. If you want a step up from the composite chips, these are the way to go.
  • Clay poker chips. Used mostly in casinos, these are considered to be the king of poker chips. They feel good, sound great, and are the easiest to handle. If you want the very best, you will go with these.

For a four player game you will need about 200 chips. For every two players after that you will want to buy an additional 200 chips.

Playing poker online can be fun, as long as you don't gamble away your own money.

Playing poker online can be fun, as long as you don't gamble away your own money.

Online Poker

Another way to play poker without using money is by playing poker online. Many websites and phone applications allow for playing poker online without using real money. You can play with others, talk online, and improve your poker game.

There are even ways to play poker online with using real money as well. Just be careful, as it's easy to gamble away your entire life savings with just a click of a button.

You also need to ensure it's a legitimate site and it's legal to gamble in your country. At one point the United States banned many real money gambling websites and prevented thousands of poker players from playing online. However, states are slowly legalizing and regulating online gambling.

Monopoly (board game) money that can be used in poker games.

Monopoly (board game) money that can be used in poker games.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is it considered gambling when you play poker with chips?

Answer: Yes, if the chips can be exchanged for something, like money. But if you play using chips without them having any monetary value, I don't think it's gambling.

Question: What websites allow playing without using real money?

Answer: I really don't know, but you could Google it to find out I'm sure. It depends on what you want though - some are games against AI players, while others could be online against other players. Though those sites might eventually try to get you to spend real money.

© 2013 David Livermore


David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on January 04, 2013:

It's usually fine in most casinos, but I have been some bad reactions in private games. Thanks for the comment!

Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on January 04, 2013:

I do fairly well playing, right up until I feel sorry for someone that is losing too badly - that's when all my money goes back out... lol. Nicely done david, voted you up/useful. Peace. Kawi.