So you've been playing Facebook Texas Holdem poker for a while now and you've managed to rack up millions or even billions of Facebook poker chips. You do not use cheats or hacks for Facebook poker, you never downloaded any bots that play the game for you, you never bummed Facebook chips from friends, and you've never stolen any poker chips from family members. If poker skill was measured in Facebook poker chips, by all measures you'd be the top of the game, but does this need translate into real world success in poker? Would you have the success in, for example, a real money game at your house, a live tournament game in Las Vegas, or another online game that uses real money instead of Facebook chips?
There are some marked differences between real money and play money games that range from the obvious to the more minority. It's obvious that the biggest difference is the currency used in the games. One uses Facebook poker chips and the other is real world currency with real world value. But is this enough to alter how people play in the corresponding Texas Holdem games? Do players who bet with Facebook chips bet more carelessly or more often than they would with real money?
It's fair to say that players would play more freely, less carefully, and be willing to lose play poker chips than they would real money. Facebook poker chips have no real world value - they can not pay the rent or buy food, you can not deposit them in a bank, and they will not send your kid to college, but they do have another kind of value - social value. Players who frequent social networks and the games they host value the prestige and recognition that they get from their friends when they win a lot of chips in Facebook poker. And so maybe this prestige gives these chips enough value to force the player into assigning a perceived value to them, whether real or not. They want to win more poker chips so that their Facebook friends will see them climb the ranks of Texas Holdem and earn a spot on the top players list. They will never be able to cash out these chips, but they'll have the honor of being among the best players in the world.
To most players this is quite a valuable thing, and so this may be enough to make them play more carefully with their Facebook poker chips. So much so that their playing style may be reflective of someone who is playing with real money. This probably is not the case in some of the beginner tables where new players start out. Only having a few thousand Facebook pokerchips is not much motivation to play seriously, as reaching the top players list is such a far possible, but players with billions of chips who frequent the highroller tables in Facebook poker seem to play much more disciplined as they gain more and more chips and rank. They treat their virtual chips as though they were real money, because the prestige of reaching the top players list is as much of a motivator as making real money. So it would seem that while beginners with a few chips may treat Facebook pokerchips as just another virtual play currency, the top players in the highest rooms value these chips quite highly and play accordingly.