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Online Poker Bonuses
Everyone loves a good bonus. Especially when that bonus comes in the form of free money. Who doesn’t want free money? The coolest part about playing poker online is you can actually play with more money than you deposit. How awesome is that? That’s right, no matter how much you deposit, with a bonus, you will get to play with more money.
For example, let’s say you make an initial £100 deposit (pretty standard). That doesn’t mean you will only have £100 to play poker with. You could have up to £200 based on the bonus program your online poker site offers (learn more below). Sometimes even more. Confused? You won’t be after reading this guide.
Online poker sites like to reward new and loyal customers. They put together some intriguing promotions to get players to sign up and keep them around. It’s sort of like when you join a Frequent Flyer program, racking up points for free flights when you are a loyal customer. There are so many poker sites out there; the top sites have to work hard to get you in the door and keep you around.
Beyond just putting together a great poker playing platform, these poker sites know that one of the best ways to gain new customers is by putting together attractive promotions. We are going to show you the different types of poker bonuses offered, our favourite bonuses, how to get a bonus, and why you should only play on poker sites that offer bonuses. Let’s get started!
Why Use an Online Poker Bonus?
We promise you there is a purpose to getting a poker bonus! These are ways to attract customers to the site, and they are appealing because they really are helpful. Poker is a game in which you need a decent bankroll to have a chance to make good money. Therefore, the bigger your bankroll, the better your chance of winning.
By finding the best poker bonus, you will have some help building your bankroll. We realise it can be difficult to put together a large bankroll, but you don’t need to with these bonuses. They are, in essence, free money. There are no strings attached either. You make a deposit and get free money once you’ve earned it (more on this later).
The money becomes yours once earned. You can even just cash it out if you prefer, although you will probably want to keep it in your account so you can continue building your bankroll. This free money can be highly beneficial. Instead of only using your own hard earned money, you can use a bonus. Let’s say you play through all your starting money, with no significant wins (you're only starting out after all). Sure, that’s no fun. But wouldn’t it be nice to have some backup money just in case?
These bonuses are highly valuable. Every poker player, even the high rollers, should take advantage of the free money bonuses offered. It’s one of the biggest factors to take into consideration when choosing online poker sites. We know how valuable they are and how important they are to players.
Types of Bonuses
There are a few different types of bonuses you can get. It all depends on the site you join. They all try to sort of out think the competitors by offering as creative a bonus package as possible. But, for the most part, the bonuses are similar. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types.
Initial deposit match bonus
The most common is an initial deposit match bonus, or as some might call it a double bonus poker promotion. With a bonus poker promotion, you get a 2-for-1. If you deposit £100, you get £100 of free money to play with on top of your initial deposit once you’ve earned your rollover requirements (see below).
Some deposit bonuses are matched at 50%. These are solid as well, but you can’t beat a 100% match bonus. If your site offers a 50% match bonus, you will receive £50 in free money on a £100 deposit or £100 on a £200 deposit. That’s still quite a bit of money so you shouldn’t be too upset if a 50% bonus is offered.
The first deposit you make may not be the only bonus you receive. Many poker sites will continue giving out free money on additional deposits. These are called reload bonuses. After your initial deposit on the poker site, you may want to add another sum of money after playing through what you have in your account. When you deposit another amount, if offered on the site, you could be given a percentage of your reload for free! Reload bonuses are awarded just like first deposit bonuses. The poker site will match your deposit up to a certain percentage.
Other bonuses you may receive include a Texas hold 'em bonus poker promotion, which is a free entry into a poker tournament. Sometimes you will receive free buy-ins to real money poker tournaments after you earn enough points. You earn points each time you play poker. Take advantage of every promotion offered. Before signing up, check to see the different types of promotions offered so that you don’t miss out.
How to Get a Bonus
The first step towards getting a bonus is to make a deposit and then enter the poker bonus codes. You can find the bonus codes right here to any of the sites we recommend. When you select your deposit method (i.e. credit card, bank transfer), you will be asked to enter a poker bonus code. The process is just like when you’re asked to enter a discount code when purchasing something online. You enter it at checkout or, in this case when depositing.
Unfortunately, the money isn’t yours right away, but it’s not hard to get. You have to earn it. You do this by doing exactly what you signed up to the poker site for – playing poker. Each poker site requires players to meet rollover requirements before releasing the bonus money. For every pound you bet or buy in, you earn a rollover point.
Typically, you’ll need to wager at least ten times the amount of your buy-in before receiving the full amount of your bonus. For example, if you deposit £500, you will need to wager at least £5,000 (sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the poker site), before getting the full amount of the bonus money. Fortunately, you don't have to wait for all of the money to be released at once.
Most sites release bonus money in increments of £10 or £50 until the full amount has been released. It usually doesn’t take very long to get the first £10. Really, it usually goes by quickly. You’ll have all your bonus money in no time if you play frequently.
Who is Eligible?
The answer to this question is everyone that makes a deposit. The online poker bonuses were put in place so that all online poker players can get help building up their bankroll. These are valuable bonuses that anyone signing up for a poker site can take advantage of. If you are eligible to join the poker site, and they have bonuses available, you will be eligible to receive those bonuses.
Why Online Poker Sites Offer Bonuses
The online poker industry is highly competitive. There are hundreds of places to play poker online. In any industry where competition is high, the savvy business people think of creative ways to dominate the competition. In the poker world, there are a few ways to accomplish this task. The first way is to create poker software that is easy on the eye.
However, that alone won’t get enough people to sign up. The next way is to offer great tournaments, especially tournaments that guarantee a large prize pool. Again, that isn’t enough to attract legions of players to the site. That’s why online poker companies offer bonuses and promotions. These are often the deciding factor when poker players look for a place to play online.
In fact, poker bonuses are arguably the number one feature poker players look for in a poker site. Many surveys have indicated bonuses are an important feature, but not the only factor. For example, a poker site may offer great promotions but lack in other areas. That type of site won’t succeed. Conversely, a poker site that is lacking in the bonuses area but great in all other facets will probably struggle as well.
Bonus programs were put in place for more than just to attract new customers. They were also built to help players increase their bankroll for free. You get all sorts of free money simply by making a deposit and playing poker.
How to Clear a Bonus Quickly
Many of you are probably wondering how to get your bonus money the fastest way. We totally understand that and would like to help. First of all, make sure you read the rules of the site before chasing your bonus. That way you’ll know exactly how much play you need to have before getting your reward. You can find this information in the FAQ section of the poker site or by contacting them directly to provide you with a clear explanation.
Each poker site is slightly different in this area. But all of them are going to release money the more you play. If you play at the micro stakes level, you won’t see the money as quickly. But, in time, you will get it. If you play at higher levels, you’ll earn the free money much faster.
With that said, you shouldn’t be playing just to chase a bonus. What we mean by that is don’t play above your head so that you can earn your bonus faster. You probably won't be successful that way. Instead, play the games you’re comfortable playing and don’t worry about how long it’s going to take to get your bonus money. Just keep playing and you’ll have the free money before you know it.
Do I Have to Wager My Bonus Money?
No! And that’s the best part about it. Once you’ve earned the money, it’s yours. You can use it to buy into poker games, or you can just cash it out. Do as you please with it. However, we do suggest you don’t spend the money. Keep it in your poker bankroll. The main benefit of online poker bonuses is so that you get some help building your bankroll. If you spend it right away, you won’t have as much money with which to play poker.
How Online Poker Bonuses Compare to Live Casinos
When you play in a live casino, say, in Las Vegas, you earn comps for every hour you play. In the United States, for example, the standard rate is about $1 per hour. Some casinos pay out more while others are cheaper. These comps are earned differently than online poker sites. When you play online, you receive comps in the form of actual money.
When you play in a live casino, the comps you earn can only be used for food, drinks, hotel rooms, etc. If the live casino you’re playing in pays $1 per hour in comps, after 40 hours, you will have $40 that can be used for restaurants or other on-site amenities. It is very rare for a live casino to pay back money bonuses. That’s why online poker sites offer better bonuses.
Sure, a free meal is nice, but nothing beats free money. Plus, live casinos typically only give out bonuses for cash game players. Most tournament players in live casinos receive nothing in the way of bonuses. Online, that’s not the case. Bonuses online are earned when playing cash games and tournaments.
There are some great online poker bonuses out there. Don’t forget to find out the promotions offered at the poker sites you choose. Make sure you enter the bonus code when making a deposit so that you aren’t left in the dust.