Is there really any point to playing poker online with fake money? Most poker sites will have a section that apes the real money section that is completely free, where replenishing your bankroll is as easy as clicking on the cashier and requesting money. Why would any serious poker player utilize this play room when there are money rooms a click away? While many will tell you it is a waste of time, some real money players will tell you there are a few reasons to check out a site's play money section.
Getting used to a new site's format is the best reason to try out the play money rooms for an online player who has been around the virtual block a few times. As the tables, the graphics, the format of play (being able to pre select actions, etc) and the structure of the tournaments and cash tables are likely identical to those in the real money rooms, this offers a player the chance to "break in" the site. If you are playing with your real money you don't want to have to waste time or get distracted figuring out how to use the site. A few games in the play rooms should be enough to get you up to speed, especially if you are an old hand at online poker.
Do you ever want to just play poker? Sometimes the pressure of making a buck can get to your game, and you might want to just goof off; play money sites are perfect for that. The are also perfect for introducing a new player to the game. Building up familiarity for a new player extends to the game itself, as they work to learn when to bet, the hand rankings and the like. Plus getting a bunch of friends together for a "Virtual Homegame" is possible on play sites.
Play sites aren't for everyone all the time, but they still have their uses, even for the veteran player.