Best Poker Bonuses
Types of Poker Bonuses
It’s no secret that poker sites offer bonuses to entice you to gamble online. Every poker site offers attractive bonuses and, of course, a list of specific terms and conditions for making use of them. Understanding these conditions is the difference between finding a usable bonus and one that’s too good to be true.
For starters, even the best poker bonuses come with a “playthrough” requirement. This means the casino will make you wager the bonus amount a certain number of times before you can withdraw it as real money.
So if, for example, you’re promised a £100 bonus that comes with a 5x playthrough requirement, that means you’ll have to wager £500 before you can actually withdraw your free poker money. Thankfully, that doesn’t mean you need to lose the money you’ve wagered. All it means is that the casino is asking you to invest five times the poker welcome bonus money so that it doesn’t potentially suffer huge losses.
Poker Welcome Bonus
A welcome bonus, also known as a signup bonus, is a benefit offered to new players who have just created an account on a gambling site. As the name suggests, you need to be registering with the site for the first time in order to receive the bonus. These offers range from modest promotions that can sweeten your online poker experience to frankly ludicrous bonuses worth thousands of pounds.
A poker signup bonus can come in many forms. Sometimes you’ll get your first deposit matched 100% or more, while on other sites you may be awarded extra spins or similar benefits. It all depends on the gambling site and its particular offer. Nevertheless, every newly registered player will be granted some type of welcome bonus.
This offer is often referred to as a first-deposit bonus because players usually need to deposit a minimum amount – typically £10 or £20 – to qualify for the bonus. After you make your deposit, the poker room will match that deposit – or at least a certain percentage of it – with the best online poker bonus. For every pound you deposit, you get extra money added to your account as a bonus. For example, if it’s a 100% matched bonus, when you make a deposit of £50, another £50 is credited to your account. In that case, you’ll have a total of £100 to play through on selected games. If it’s a 50% match, you’ll get a £25 bonus and end up with £75 in total.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that most welcome bonuses can’t be withdrawn from your account immediately. Depending on the poker room, you’ll typically have to play through your best poker sign-up bonuses on poker games and/or other offered games a certain number of times.
Poker sites benefit from these wagering requirements, as they make sure users start spending their own money. This is why sites offer such substantial bonuses. Only after you’ve fulfilled the terms and conditions of the welcome bonus will you actually be able to withdraw the money like real cash. It’s also quite common for these welcome bonuses to be awarded in increments of £5 or £10 based on how much you gamble at the site.
Free-Play Poker Bonus
Free-play bonuses are often considered the best poker bonuses online by many casino players. Why? Because they give you the thrill of playing poker without having to spend your own money.
Some poker rooms award free-play vouchers to new and existing players under certain terms and conditions. These vouchers have a specific value and are often restricted to use on certain games. You can get free-play tickets to participate in certain tournaments at casinos like PokerStars. At PokerStars, you get 10 free tickets to play special edition spin & go games, which can potentially net you up to £10,000. That’s just one of the reasons PokerStars is one of the best freeroll poker sites.
The vouchers casinos offer can also include participating in slots, classic card games, and table games. You can even win a jackpot whilst using your free-play voucher. Most casinos offer free-play promotions from time to time, and some even keep it going year-round. It’s one of the best ways to entice players to spend their cash precisely at that casino. Remember that while your free-play bonus will only be valid for you to play on selected games, you’re free to spend the best poker rewards that you win from your free-play games in any way you wish!
If you’re wondering how you can get a free-play bonus, you can look up the promotion on your favourite casino’s website. Once you find it, you’ll see whether you’re eligible for the promotion or not. Some casinos will offer free-play only to new customers, while others will reward existing players as well.
On the site’s promotions page, you’ll find all the details that specify what you need to do to claim the best poker deposit bonuses. A free-play offer may require players to make a deposit to instantly receive their voucher, or the condition may be to deposit and wager the amount several times before being able to use the free-play voucher. To make gambling more interesting, many casinos offer you the chance to win a grand prize with their free-play vouchers.
Poker VIP Bonus
Aside from poker bonuses, players can also reap numerous benefits from becoming VIP poker members. A VIP bonus is among the best poker bonuses in the UK, and it’s designed to reward loyal players who play for real money.
VIP rewards programs typically go above and beyond free bonus offers. Some of the most tempting VIP rewards consist of free live and online tournaments, as well as invaluable cashback offers you can claim after redeeming points.
Finally, many casinos offer exclusive merchandise to VIPs on top of everything else. By playing poker for real money and participating in various cash games and tournaments that all require buy-in fees, punters can accumulate site-specific currency. If they’re a member of the site’s VIP program, they can spend that currency on rewards like cash, merchandise, or tournament buy-ins.
Upon signing up to a casino, every player is offered a welcome bonus. While most best poker sign-up bonuses in the UK require players to deposit a certain amount of money, others offer rewards without requiring any money from the players first. These are called no-deposit bonuses and they’re a great way for newbies to try their luck at a casino without having to spend a dime. The poker room will place non-withdrawable funds directly into your account and allow you to gamble with those funds.
Usually, punters will need to enter a specified poker bonus code into a designated box as they create their account so that their online poker no-deposit bonus will be credited to them immediately after they sign up. Once the registration goes through, the player will get access to their money or voucher, although of course they won’t be able to withdraw that money straight away.
As with a welcome bonus that requires a deposit, a no-deposit bonus will usually have to be played through many times. You can only withdraw the funds after the terms and conditions have been met.
Another way for poker sites to bring new customers to their casinos and encourage old ones to stay, aside from offering no-deposit poker bonus codes, is offering a referral bonus. A refer-a-friend poker promotion is an offer whereby some casinos grant a bonus to every player who brings a new player into the casino, and in some cases also reward the new player.
Players are usually given a promo code that they can use in order to claim the bonus. The person who is about to join the casino enters that same code when they’re signing up. Once the registration has been processed, the referring player receives their bonus and the new player usually also gets a reward. Another way to get the best online poker bonuses is to simply send your friend a link, through which they’ll sign up to the casino you recommend.
An ongoing refer-a-friend promotion at 888poker gets you a $15 bonus. All you need to do is share a special link with your friends, who will use the link to sign up to 888Poker and will then be offered an even better welcome bonus. Aside from being awarded one of the best no-deposit poker bonuses – $88 without having to deposit any cash – they’ll get a 100% matched bonus up to $400 on their first deposit and a ticket to the site’s Kickoff Tournament, which is worth $1,200.
Referral bonuses usually come with additional terms and conditions, such as those you’ll find at 888Poker. Namely, these conditions specify that you may invite only one friend per household and that you aren’t allowed to send the invitation to members of your own household. Multiple accounts registered to and/or accessed from a single computer (or IP address) will not qualify for the best poker no-deposit bonuses. In addition, for your friend to qualify for this offer, they must open a new 888poker account, make a deposit, and accumulate five bonus points within 14 days of registration. They’ll get their bonus 72 hours after doing so.
Another one of the most popular types of poker bonus is the cashback bonus. The idea behind this sort of bonus is that casinos give punters back a certain percentage of the fees that they take from cash game pots and tournament entries. Many poker rooms dangle cashback bonuses as a carrot to encourage players to gamble more. The more poker they play, the more they’ll progress through the best online poker rewards program and the higher their cashback percentage will be.
Cashback bonuses are there to repay those loyal players who spend hours upon hours gambling and playing multiple tables at once. This style of play is known as ‘grinding.’ You grind out a small profit at many tables, which combined turns out to be more than a decent hourly rate. In the past, PokerStars rewarded these loyal players with a special ‘SuperNova Elite’ level. Those who reached this level were always granted very high cashback bonuses.
That’s why you should always look for the best poker promotions at the poker room you decide to sign up to. To earn cashback deals, you need to collect points while participating in real money cash games and tournaments. All the points punters collect can be redeemed for tournament entries, goods from the site’s web store, or cash bonuses.
At PokerStars specifically, punters at the lower levels are rewarded with 10% to 15% cashback, which goes up to 25% once you reach the ‘Gold’ and ‘Platinum’ levels. In addition to the deposit poker bonus and cash bonuses, players at each level can access weekly and monthly free tournaments with large prize pools.
Back in the day, you had to go to a land-based casino to participate in a poker tournament. Nowadays, the biggest poker tournaments take place online.
Unlike a cash game, which can run indefinitely, a poker tournament has a specified start and endpoint. Each player buys a ticket to the event at a set price and stars at the same time with the same number of poker chips. When players decide to play for real money instead of playing the best free poker online, they can participate in a tournament until they are eliminated by losing all of their chips. A certain number of players get prize money, starting from the winner and descending to the last paid finishing spot. All players who finish below the lowest-paid spot leave the tournament and do not get paid.
Buy-ins for poker tournaments can vary, ranging from pennies up to $1 million. Top online poker rooms provide their players with a wide range of multi-table and sit-and-go tournaments and best poker sign-up bonuses, as well as freeroll and satellite tournaments, all of which combine to make the poker room as tempting as possible.
Types of poker tournaments include:
- Multi-table tournaments – the standard in online poker. Once you run out of the chips you bought for the tournament, you’re out. MTTs take place over multiple tables with a specified number of players per table and have a designated starting time.
- Sit-and-go tournaments – only one or two tables available, and begins as soon as every seat is filled. If you’ve claimed some of the best poker bonuses, you may not need to invest as much money as you initially thought. At the majority of poker sites, sit-and-go tournaments start every couple of minutes. Payouts are usually awarded to the top three players, depending on the number of tables. If you’re a newbie, a sit-and-go will be perfect for you. Experiencing tournament poker while competing with only a few players rather than hundreds is always better for novices.
- Shootout tournaments – a combination of MTT tournaments and sit-and-go tournaments. Look for poker sites with a no-deposit bonus to potentially get free tournament tickets and participate without investing your own money. The overall tournament will have a huge field, but you will only play at one table at a time until there is just one person left at each table. The winner of each table will move on to the next round and the action will repeat until there is a winner.
- Turbo tournaments – standard MTT or sit-and-go tournaments where the blind levels increase quickly, making fast play and quick decisions a necessity. Perfect for using some of the best poker bonuses your poker room awards you.
- Bounty tournaments – MTTs with a prize for knocking out a player.
- Satellite tournaments – the prize is the buy-in to another poker tournament with a bigger prize pool.
?Why do online poker sites offer bonuses?
Why does any business do anything? The answer is simple: money. The managers of every poker site know that the industry is oversaturated with competition, so for their site to attract new players, they need to offer online poker bonuses and promotions that stand out from the crowd.
The cleverest poker site managers know that the larger the bonus amount they offer, the more money they’ll make in the long run. That’s because most of these high-value bonuses are devilishly difficult to claim. For example, to get maximum value out of a 100% matched deposit bonus up to £1,000 pounds, you’d have to initially deposit £1,000, which is a lot for most players. If the site has an industry-standard 40x wagering requirement, you’d need to wager £40,000 simply to withdraw your bonus. With numbers like that, you can see why offering bonuses makes sense for poker sites.
?How do I get access to my poker bonus?
Poker bonus wagering requirements are more important than the size of the bonus itself. After all, there’s no point in getting free money if you can’t use it. If you’re trying to claim a poker bonus but you haven’t been able to withdraw the funds from your account, check the terms and conditions on the site you’re using to see what you need to do.
?What's a good poker bonus?
Poker bonuses come in many shapes and sizes. As you will have discovered from reading our article, you can find welcome bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, free-play vouchers, cashback offers, referral rewards, and VIP programs. All of them can be useful, but the best poker bonuses are ones you can claim without breaking the bank. Remember that a small bonus with low and easily achievable wagering requirements is better than an impressively large bonus that requires you to gamble thousands of pounds on the site.