Poker Bonuses 101 – All You Need to Know About Them

Poker BonusesPoker is an unique form of gambling, unlike casino games, online poker is not played against the house, but instead between real human players. This completely changes the whole aspect and makes poker one of the most exciting games to play and learn. We already made a Casino Bonuses 101 article, which includes everything one needs to know about them so if you’re a fan of online casino games, be sure to check it out. Now what makes poker so special is that it’s possible to make money longterm by playing it.

That’s right, there are many players who consider it being their job and main source of income. Those who make it to medium or high stakes are earning well over what is considered as a normal wage in just about any job. This article won’t be about any kind of poker strategy, instead we’ll concentrate on maximising your profits by choosing the best poker bonuses. When I say the best ones, I don’t mean the largest as there’s way more to these than just the size. You are about to learn about all the aspects in a couple of minutes so lets get the ball rolling and check out various terms that are worth taking into account before you decide to claim a particular poker bonus.

  • Poker Site – similarly as with casino bonuses, the most important factor to look at when choosing a poker one is the poker room that offers it. Always go for the big brands, those that are very well known and feature some sort of history. You can’t go wrong by joining any of the big UK bookmakers such as Paddy Power or William Hill. They’ve been around for years and have satisfied millions of customers.
  • Value – poker bonuses are all about value and how much money you get back for your play. Unlike casino bonuses that are released by wagering a specific amount of money on the tables, in poker you are paying rake by playing hands. This is how poker rooms make a profit. Now to determine the value of a particular poker bonus, you have to figure out how much of those bonus funds are released for $1 paid in rake. Industry standards are somewhere between 20 and 30%, meaning 30 cents of bonus funds are released for $1 paid in rake.
  • Size – not really THAT important of an aspect, but the size can be of significant value, when it comes to poker bonuses. You see, the largest your poker bonus is, the more money you can expect to make of it. While there are other important aspects that work hand in hand with the size, this is one certainly worth considering. Even if a large bonus provides significantly less value, it’s sometimes worth taking it, as you will end up raking way more than is needed for the small bonus and that extra rake is likely to be made without getting any value back at all.
  • Increments of Release – there are two kinds of poker bonuses. Ones are the so called lump sup, released in one single chunk once you the rake requirements have been met. Second ones are releases in increments, usually relatively small ones, but it pretty much depends. Some will be released in $1 increments while others will award $100 ones. How is this important? Well, if you have a tiny bankroll these small chunks that are constantly added might help you to get started and beat variance.
  • Time for Clearance – most poker sites will also add time as one of their requirements for bonuses. You’ll usually have between a month and two to clear bonuses, but some rooms will add way more or way less. It’s always worth to make sure that the bonus you are about to claim can be realistically cleared in the timeframe given.

Types of Poker Bonuses

There are three general types of poker bonuses out in the market. All the aspects we listed above were targeted towards deposit bonuses. Lets take a look at various types and how each of them works.

  • Deposit Bonuses – the most popular type and one that is offered by pretty much any online poker room. Requires a player to make a real money deposit and once done, a bonus is added to the pending balance. You’ll clear it as you play for real money and pay rake, depending on the requirement set by the poker site.
  • No Deposit Bonuses – these are a great way to get started in online poker without ever depositing your own money. There are probably hundreds of players who’ve taken advantage of these offers and are now making thousands of dollars on a monthly basis. There is not catch at all and it’s possible to claim between $5 and $50 in free bankroll. In order to withdraw it you’ll have to play poker and earn a specific amount of points that are awarded for paying rake. After requirements are fulfilled, it’s your cash and you are free to do whatever you like.
  • Instant Deposit Bonuses – a somewhat less known type of bonuses, usually awarded instantly after a deposit is made. Some poker rooms will offer both, a deposit bonus and an instant deposit bonus on top while others will offer you to choose whichever is more suitable for you. The great thing about these is that you get a nice bankroll boost instantly, which might be quite important if you’re just starting out.

Top 3 Poker Bonuses for 2015

As you likely are on a hunt for great value poker bonuses, we’ve managed to put up a list of the top ones for this year. These are fulfilling all the requirements we wrote down above, including the main factor that is a great reputation of the particular poker site.

1. 888 Poker – 888 has gotten our first spot as the best poker bonus for this year. The brand is one of the most known in the industry, not only for being around for ages, but for their innovative approach and high standards when it comes to serving customers. You’ll be able to claim a $400 welcome bonus as well as get up to $50 credited to your account instantly. Small note – to get the best deal, have a friendly chat with customer service representative who will approach you. He’ll award you with a generous instant bonus, if you’ll make a deposit. Join 888 Poker Now and claim £12 FREE on top of welcome bonus!

T&C apply – 18+ Only –

2. William Hill Poker – the leading bookmaker in the UK also offers a great poker platform that is powered by PlayTech and a part of the worlds largest poker network – iPoker. New players can claim a generous 200% bonus of up to £1,200 as well as a shot at $16,000 in new player tournaments. This bonus might not be available tomorrow, so lock it in by joining WH Poker Now!

T&C apply – 18+ Only –

3. Paddy Power Poker – one of the largest bookmakers in Europe also has a poker platform. Similarly as WH, Paddy Power offers online poker games that are powered by PlayTech and are a part of the iPoker Network. New players who make their first deposit can claim up to £1,400 in free cash along with daily, weekly and monthly promotion awarding extra value for every hand that you play! Join Paddy Power NOW and claim a £1,400 Deposit Bonus!

T&C apply – 18+ Only –