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Strategy for playing Facebook games

More people now play gambling games on Facebook than anywhere else.  7M people play Zynga poker every day!  Their daily user numbers dwarf anyone elses.  There are other facebook poker sites out there – probably my favourite at the moment is Ultimate Poker Pro.

So why do people play?  You cant win any money which is surely the reason one normally plays poker.  Its a good question!  Conventional wisdom would say it wouldnt work but it clearly does.  And Zynga make a tidy profit selling these chips which have no redeemable value.

So, what is the strategy?  The first thing to recognise is that most players didnt pay for their chips.  As a result they dont care that much if they lose them.  So at the lower levels the game is incredibly loose – people get excited by non-suited low connectors.  There are a number of pitfalls that this playing behaviour introduce:

  • Players will often play to the river with next to nothing in their hands.  The side effect of this is an unusual number of hands “making it” on the last card which often leads players to thinking that the game is rigged (why on earth would anyone bother to rig a free game?).
  • At the lower levels of the game you can virtually give up on any bluffing.  There is no way to scare someone out of a pot when they dont place a value on their chips.
  • Players are usually (at least in the lower levels) not very advanced, so expect them not to notice some of the more subtle hands.

My strategy is as follows:

  • If you can then play when the biggest audience (America) is tired and drunk
  • Play very tight – dont get sucked in with hands like A6
  • Be prepared to go all in on any hand you get into
  • Dont pay too much attention to player’s behaviour after the flop – they are not always rational!
  • Try and sit with less than 25% of your stack on the table since you will have many coinflip all in hands and cant win them all
  • Look for full 9 seat tables – not much point wasting the time on half empty tables
  • Never bluff (at least until you get to higher levels)

I hope you all have fun with these games – they are really just entertainment and perhaps to some degee a learning tool.  I will be bringing you more information shortly on some exciting new gambling games on Facebook that are not poker – stay tuned!