What is a Poker Bonus?
If you’ve never dealt with poker sites before, you may be unfamiliar with online poker bonuses. Essentially, a poker bonus is some sort of perk, benefit, or discount that an online poker site may offer you. Obviously, the site’s goal with a poker bonus is to entice you to play on their site.
How do you collect a Poker Bonus?
The instructions for collecting a poker bonus vary from bonus to bonus and site to site. What constitutes the best online poker bonus will be a matter of personal preference.
Some will be rather self-explanatory to redeem. However, others may have several hurdles to navigate.
By and large, they will conform to similar steps, though. Collecting a poker bonus typically involves the following:
- Logging into the site
- Proceeding either to the bonus section of the site or the player’s unique account section
- Opting into the desired bonus, and ensuring that it becomes active
- Fulfilling the requirements to release the bonus
Most bonuses have a requirement known as “playthrough.” Essentially, the site requires the player to wager some multiple of the bonus amount in order to release the funds from a sort of limbo.
So, for instance, let’s say that a $100 bonus comes with a 5x playthrough requirement. The player would have to wager $500 in total before they could collect the bonus money.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the player must lose the money they wagered. In a manner of speaking, it simply means that the player gave the site the opportunity to recoup the bonus money.
However, the requirements for bonuses are as varied as the offers. An instant bonus may have no playthrough, and the funds will hit the player’s account immediately.
On the other hand, a large playthrough requirement may mean that the bonus takes months to clear. In those situations, the site will typically release portions of the bonus at established milestones. So, the bonus will drip to the player gradually, rather than coming in a huge payout.
Be careful, though. Most bonuses come with a time limit, and expire afterward.
So, before you redeem a bonus, consider its playthrough requirement versus its timeframe. If you’re required to play thousands of hands in a couple of days, you may want to reconsider how realistic the bonus offer truly is.
Types of Poker Bonus
Needless to say, there are several different types of bonuses available. The more common types of poker bonuses include:
1. Sign-up Bonus
Sign-up bonuses are, as their name implies, bonuses given to players as a reward for signing up on the site. Often, a site will use a sign-up bonus as its hook to get the player to sign up in the first place.
2. No Deposit Bonus
Bonuses that do not require any kind of deposit from the player are appropriately called no deposit bonuses. Many of the sign-up bonuses as described above would fall into this category of bonus.
3. First Deposit Bonus
A site may offer a first deposit bonus concurrently with their sign-up bonus. This type of online poker bonus, as its name implies, augments a new player’s first deposit into their poker room account. These tend to be match bonuses.
4. Match Bonus
A match bonus is the broader class of bonuses that first deposit bonuses occupy. These bonuses involve the site matching all or a portion of the player’s deposit.
The exact percentage matched varies from bonus to bonus. It can be as high as 100%.
However, there will always be a maximum amount of online poker bonus one can acquire. The site will always specify the limit explicitly.
5. Reload Bonus
A reload bonus is simply a match bonus given to existing players. Existing players have the option to deposit more money (reload) and receive a match bonus, similar to the first deposit bonus.
Best Online Poker Bonuses
When it comes to sign-up and first-deposit bonuses, the key is to bargain hunt. There are several offers out there for each poker site, so take the time to get the best return on these one-time opportunities. Keep in mind too, that what may be good for the pro may not be as advantageous for the recreational player.
Below are some of the best online poker bonus offers we could find. Sign up using the matching bonus code to ensure you get a great deal every time you give a new site a shot.
What is a No Deposit Poker Bonus?
A no deposit poker bonus is a class of online poker bonuses that requires no investment from the player. The site volunteers to place funds directly into a player’s account.
No deposit poker bonuses are usually sign-up bonuses. That is, the player who redeems the bonus is likely doing so concurrently with their registration on the site.
In order to redeem, the player will enter a specified code into a designated box during sign up. Once the registration goes through, the player will find the funds waiting for them, ready to play.
The only tricky part is that it is quite rare for this free money to be immediately available for withdrawal. The player must usually wager through a multiple of the amount, meaning that they must place bets on the site equivalent to that amount.
Only after satisfying the playthrough requirement may a player withdraw their free cash. As is often the case, many players can’t make their free money last that long.
How do No Deposit Poker Bonuses work?
Nevertheless, one should never turn a blind eye to the offer of free money. Even if it is tied up in playthrough, it is still valid to use on the site.
Here’s what to do if you see a no deposit bonus available to you:
- If it’s a sign-up bonus, make sure that you haven’t signed up for the site in the past. It can be challenging to remember this detail.
- Register for the site or otherwise identify yourself. Remember to provide accurate information and confirm or verify the account.
- Make sure to enter the code, if any, into the appropriate box. Not every code will be case-sensitive, but it’s best to treat them as if they are.
- Once you’re registered and active on the site, proceed to the cashier to confirm that the no deposit bonus is there.
- If it is, then take note of the playthrough requirement, but go and have fun.
- If not, email or call the website’s support. Some sites can take time to issue one of these bonuses, but you always to want to confirm that everything is processing correctly.
How to determine which poker bonus is best for you?
In terms of what sort of bonus is best for you, there are a few considerations to take into account. The best bonus for you will be different than someone else’s best bonus. Consider:
- Do you have to put any money up to redeem the bonus?
- What percentage of your deposit is the site matching?
- What is the maximum amount of deposit or bonus that you can receive?
- How many times must you play through the bonus amount to release it?
- When does the bonus expire?
Obviously, no deposit bonuses are an easier decision, because you don’t have to come out of pocket to redeem them. However, finding the bonus with the highest maximum is not necessarily the best choice.
If your bankroll cannot handle the maximum amount, then you may be better suited finding a different bonus. Sites are more likely to match a greater percentage of a deposit if the maximum is smaller.
Also, have some understanding of how many hands you play in a given time period. Be honest with yourself about the likelihood of you satisfying the playthrough requirement before the bonus expires.
For instance, if you typically play 5000 hands per day and wager $1 per hand, then a $25,000 playthrough requirement would take five days, usually. Maybe you can stretch a bit, but you’re not going to be able to play through 25,000 hands in two days.
That’s an extreme example, but you get the idea. Make sure the bonus is feasible with your time constraints.
Also, be honest about your skill level. A $15 bonus will ring pretty hollow if you have to spend $150 to get it.