Online Poker Bonuses

When you sign up at a poker website, you’ll see that you are offered an online poker sign up bonus. Pretty much any poker room online has one. They all seem to offer something great. Be careful; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. The poker rooms are not out there to give you money. They’re out there to make money themselves. The bonuses are there for two reasons. One reason is to convince you that you are about to win a fortune. The other reason is to convince you that they have more to offer than other online poker sites. The first is, plain and simple, not true unless you are a great poker player. The second may be true if you know how to find the right bonus for your needs.

Why Poker Rooms Offer Bonuses

To understand how bonuses work, you need to understand how poker websites make money. They make their money on rakes and tournament fees only. When you play, you play against other players, and the poker room takes a certain amount from the pot no matter who wins. As a result, when you make a deposit, the poker room has a goal for you to play as many hands or tournaments as possible before you cash out. Why? Because they get money for each hand you play and for each tournament you play. When they offer you a bonus, the terms will state that you have to play a certain multiple of the dollar amount in raked hands or tournament fees. Realize that the site has done the math, and they are not giving you money to play.

For the Novice Player

On the other hand, the bonus money isn’t something to be taken lightly. If you’re a novice player, then the opportunity to play more hands may be the difference between walking away broke and walking away with some of your money in hand. Since your skill is likely to improve with practice, the chance to play more is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you first start playing online poker.

For the Experienced Player

If you’re a more experienced poker player, the best online poker bonuses for you might be those that offer freeroll entries. Sometimes, you can get an entry into a high-value freeroll with a relatively modest initial deposit. If you’re pretty good at poker, then a shot at a few hundred dollars is probably worth more than a sure thing that requires hundreds of raked hands.When players jump from poker sites to poker site looking for bonuses, it is known as bonus hunting or bonus whoring.

No Deposit Poker Bonuses

Some online poker web sites offer no-deposit freerolls with real prizes. Be warned, though. These can be somewhat of a scam. Sometimes you can win only a few cents, and sometimes, if you do win, the money you win can only be redeemed by making a deposit and playing dozens of raked hands. It’s crucial to read the fine print and not just assume that this is just bonus poker online. One site, for example, offers freerolls that seem to be qualifiers for their television game show. However, if you are a winner, you still need to make a video, convince the producers that you’re ‘interesting enough’ for their show, and then you’ll still need to win the show before you ever see a dime. On the other hand, it’s completely free to play, so you can’t complain too much.

The most important thing to remember about poker bonuses is that the fine print can make a bonus that initially seems fantastic a little less than fantastic, so be sure to read all of the fine print before you accept a bonus. Sometimes, you may even be better off playing without the bonus!