Poker Bonuses - The Definitive Guide


Well, this is awkward. We don’t know how to break this to you gently but, erm, bonuses aren’t always as wholesome and appealing as they might first seem.

Used the right way online poker bonuses can boost your bankroll and you lead you to a wealth of profitable hands you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get in on. However, if bonuses are used the wrong way and the player doesn’t understand them properly, you can wave goodbye to your winnings for a while.

Read on to find out what different types of bonuses you can expect to see and discover how to avoid getting stuck in a bonus trap.

Different Bonuses

Let’s have a look at the most popular bonus offers you’re likely to see on poker websites:

Slowly Does It

Bite-sized bits of an entire bonus amount will be released to you when you hit playing targets. For example, the offer might be to deposit $20 and get $5 free when you play through 25 hands and then get another $10 free when you deposit a further $50 and play through 40 more hands.

Restricted Access

This kind of online poker bonus is still the most widely available. It’s easy to see why; the poker companies get a much better deal out of it than the players do.

Here’s how a wagering restriction based bonus works: You deposit x amount and the poker site gives you y% extra in free bonus cash. E.g. You deposit $200 and get 100% extra, so you have $400 to play with. To withdraw any money from your account you’ll have to bet the entire amount of the bonus, so $200 if we use the example above, or the full amount which would be $400 but wait, there’s an even tougher restriction too.

Most poker sites state that you must play through a multiple of the entire amount, e.g. 100x $400. That’s $40,000 of real money gambling you’d be required to do before you could get any of your cash out of your poker account and into your bank account.

No Deposit Required Bonus

For the players, this is definitely the best kind of poker bonus you can get. They’re simple and easy to use, plus they usually come with lower wagering restrictions.

Online poker sites will give away special cash bonuses to loyal customers or newbies. To get the bonus cash all you have to do is enter a valid bonus code when you deposit and the money is yours!

Bonus Buddies

Almost every single poker website offers players incentives to bring their friends along to the online poker tables. They do this by rewarding you with bonus cash every time one of your friends signs up.

Some friend bonuses only reward you but the best one’s give free cash to you and whoever you’ve brought along to join the site.