Competition between online poker sites is fierce and they will pull out all of the stops as they attempt to secure you as a customer. One of the most popular methods online poker sites use to attract customers is to offer them sign up bonuses.
No Deposit Bonus
A No deposit bonus, as the term implies, is a type of promotion where you do not need to make a cash deposit in order to qualify.
Some sites will offer you a small amount, usually in the region of $5 to $25, either in the form of free poker money or as tickets that can be used to enter tournaments on the site.
The majority of online poker sites offering no deposit bonuses have restrictions in place before you can withdraw the free funds. These vary site by site so it is worth reading the small print in the terms & conditions.
Although no deposit bonuses help give users a realistic idea of how the site works under real conditions, they are generally smaller than other bonuses so if you want a larger bonus you need to look at other options.
Matched First Deposit Bonus
Matched first deposit bonuses give you the chance to boost your poker bankroll, sometimes in excess of $1,000.
The “matched” term in “matched first deposit bonus” refers to the site matching your initial deposit in the form of a bonus. For example, a 100% match up to $500 means if you deposit $100, the poker site will match that amount and reward you with an additional $100. Likewise, if you deposit $500 then you will be rewarded with $500 which is the maximum that will be granted.
When taking advantage of a matched first deposit bonus – sometimes called a sign-up bonus or a welcome bonus – try to deposit as much as you can afford in order to extract maximum value from the promotion.
In most instances you can only be awarded one bonus. However, there are some exceptions. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker allow new customers to make three deposits that will be matched by 100% up to a combined total of $600- as long as all three deposits are made within 90-days of placing the initial wager.
Like no deposit bonuses, poker sites set different terms and conditions regarding how your bonuses are released into your account. Most providers require a certain number of hands to be played or loyalty points earned within a set time so once again be sure to check the T&C’s.
Reload bonuses are offered periodically to customers who have already taken advantage of the initial welcome bonus. The poker provider will normally inform you when a reload bonus is available via email or the promotion will be advertised on the site. To trigger a reload bonus, you need to deposit more funds into your account during the specified time period.
Tip: Always ensure you don't have all of your bankroll on one specific site so you can take advantage of reload bonuses. Using an e-wallet to keep part of your bankroll separate is a common and popular practice among online poker players.
Refer-A-Friend bonuses act as an incentive for players to encourage their friends to sign up to a poker site. This type of offer dictates that your friend must make a new account, wager a minimum deposit and then generate a minimum amount of rake; basically meaning they must clear their bonus.
Once your friend has completed all of these tasks, you will usually receive a bonus in the form of free poker cash or tournament entry tickets.
PokerNews Readers Enjoy Huge Bonuses
PokerNews readers regularly receive the biggest online poker bonuses when they sign up to a site via our links or by using our bonus codes.
We can offer a 100% match up to $600 welcome bonus at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, a 100% match up to $888 at 888poker, a 200% match up to $2,000 bonus at William Hill and a special bonus of up to €500 at Unibet.
This is just a small sample of the bonuses and promotions we advertise so be sure to check out our review pages for a full breakdown of all the latest offers.
PokerNews Exclusive Promotions
PokerNews has established great relationships with a number of major online poker sites and that means we are able to bring you exclusive promotions that you will not find anywhere else.
Past promotions include monthly $20,000 freerolls, exclusive rake-races, free satellite tickets and even World Series of Poker packages! Just be sure to sign up via PokerNews to take advantage of these fantastic offers.
There really is no better place to claim a massive poker bonus than at PokerNews.