Bonuses in Online Poker
Online poker is directly associated with bonuses. It has now become a regular practice in online poker to issue players with big bonuses. Every online poker player is interested in receiving a bonus as it means free money for playing poker at a particular online poker room. Online poker rooms compete among themselves in issuing their players with the biggest or the easiest-to-clear bonuses. Some of the online poker rooms might even offer up to several bonuses to choose from.
Poker bonuses are usually represented in the form of a percentage from a particular amount of money. The percentage in this case shows the size of the bonus in relation to the deposit made at the online poker room, whereas the dollar amount represents the maximum amount of bonus you will receive. For example, if the bonus is 50% up to $100, it means that the player receives 50% of their deposit, up to $100 only. So if the first deposit of $10 has been made at an online poker room offering a 50% up to $100 first deposit bonus, then $5 will be issued into the player's real money account. However, if the first deposit of $300 has been made, only $100 and not $150 will be given as the maximum bonus amount is only up to $100.
There are several types of bonuses in online poker. The following section will introduce you to all of them so that you know which ones to choose from before you sign up to a particular online poker room.
Deposit BonusesFirst deposit bonus – one of the most popular bonuses in the online poker market. In order to receive the first deposit bonus, the player needs to download the poker room, register a new account and make a deposit (transfer money into their real money account). Online poker rooms have different minimum deposit requirements, but usually they range from $10 to $50. Generally, first deposit bonuses can be divided into different categories:
- Instant deposit bonus – this bonus is issued just for signing up to a particular online poker room and making the first deposit (sometimes given along with the deposit bonus. For example 888 Poker issues a 100% up to $400 deposit bonus + 25% up to $100 instant bonus).
- Deposit bonus for player points – this is the kind of bonus that requires players to collect a certain amount of player points within a predetermined period of time, after making a deposit. The points are usually collected while playing in tournaments and ring games. Points earned can always easily be viewed under the “bonus” tab whenever a player logs in to his account. Online poker rooms usually give 30 to 90 days to collect the necessary amount of points. As soon as the points are collected, the bonus is immediately transferred into the player's account.
- Deposit bonus for rake – this bonus also needs to be collected after making a deposit at the online poker room. In order to receive it, a player needs to generate a certain amount of rake within the predetermined period of time. Rake is the commission paid to the online poker room for every real money hand. This means that the player's rake constantly increases as they play in tournaments and at the real money tables. As the required amount of rake is collected, the bonus is immediately issued into the player's account.
No Deposit BonusesAnother poker bonus type is the no deposit bonus, also called the free poker bonus. This kind of bonus is not that common and is given just for downloading an online poker room and signing up for a new account (no need to make a deposit). The no deposit bonus is usually transferred in its full amount within a short period of time. It may also be divided into two parts: one is issued immediately and the other has to be earned, either in player points or in rake. However, unlike the deposit bonus, players do not play with their own money, but with the bonus that has been transferred by the poker room or an affiliate. For example, the PartyPoker Free $50 promotion issues an instant $25 bonus whereas the rest of the bonus is earned (by collecting 200 player points) while playing poker with the $25 that has already been transferred into the player's account. The main advantage of such a bonus is that the players do not risk their own money. The real money games can be practiced without the fear of losing personal funds along with an opportunity of earning even more money. The actual value of no deposit bonus is not the amount of money earned, but the experience gained, the improvement of skill, getting real money play practice and putting the knowledge of poker theory to the test. Therefore, this kind of bonus is very popular among beginner poker players.
However, although it might seem a bit strange for online poker rooms to give away free money, they actually also benefit from the deal. The players who receive no deposit poker bonuses bring profit to the poker rooms. One of the examples might be the refer a friend bonus, which is highly beneficial for RedKings Poker, Titan Poker, 888 Poker etc. In order to receive this bonus the players need to introduce friends, colleagues or any new player to the online poker room. The refer a friend bonus may be received more than once, and is awarded every time a new player has been introduced to the poker room.
Bonuses for Playing PokerSome bonuses may be received just for being an active poker player at a specific online poker room. Bonuses for playing poker include:
- Bad Beat Bonus – a bonus issued for losing while having a good hand. Successfully adopted at RedKings Poker, PartyPoker etc.
- Best Hand Bonus – issued for the best hand of the day/week/month. This bonus is given to players for collecting a very strong hand. For example Royal Flush. It may be found at SunPoker, Ladbrokes Poker, Titan Poker and a lot of other online poker rooms.
- Royal Flush Bonus – received upon collecting a Royal Flush card combination.
Additionally, some of the online poker rooms offer something called a reload bonus. This bonus is issued to players who have already claimed their first deposit bonus and although they usually do not offer huge amounts, they are much easier to receive. For example, at SunPoker in addition to the 100% up to $500 first deposit bonus the players may also receive a $200 reload bonus.
Player PointsFPP – Frequent Player Points may also be perceived as bonuses. As it has been mentioned in the previous sections, players collect bonuses by earning player points at the real money tables and tournaments. However, the points themselves are also a bonus. Most online poker rooms have their own online stores where player points can be turned into T-shirts, poker sets, poker tables, laptops, phones and even first-class vacations. The players may also use their FPP's to buy-in to freerolls, satellites and tournaments, as well as to purchase a seat at the world's major online and live poker events. Such offers can be found at Poker770, Everest Poker, PokerStars, etc.
The FPP's can also be received as a bonus. There are usually two ways of getting player point bonuses: for finishing in a top position of some freeroll or tournament and for playing poker during the “Happy Hours” which may double or triple the amount of points earned within that hour! Happy Hours are just one of the numerous poker promotions which help the players increase their points or even the amount of cash in their real money accounts.