The majority of online poker sites offer a variety of bonuses that players can convert into cold, hard cash. These bonuses are made available to new players, returning players, or for referring other people. The benefits of these bonuses are numerous.
Best Online Poker Bonuses in the US
The biggest is the most obvious: it’s more fun to gamble with house money. However, these bonuses are also great for players who want to try their hand at games they may not ordinarily play for fear of losing their own money.
In addition, your bankroll can also be nicely supplemented by taking advantage of these specials. Some of the most common bonuses promoted by online poker sites include:
Poker Sign-Up and Deposit Match Bonus
This is the most common type of bonus. When you make an opening deposit on a participating poker site, they will match a percentage of your initial amount. Often, this percentage can be as high as 100%, effectively doubling the amount of money you have at your disposal.
Think of it as a “thanks for signing up” bonus. But this is much more generous than the “free spin & buffet” offered by many brick and mortar casinos when you register for a player’s card. Who needs a free buffet when you can double your bankroll before you even sit down!
Online poker rooms utilize a playthrough requirement to access these massive deposit bonuses: The total of this bonus is slowly, steadily unlocked as you continue to place bets and/or deposit additional funds. While this may seem disappointing at first, it is for everyone’s benefit, especially for the players.
We don’t want the fish fleeing the pond with their bonus before they can dump it on your all-in shoves!
Keep in mind that different sites may have different requirements to unlock your deposit bonus. Be sure to familiarize yourself with their requirements and bonus cashout policies before you make your initial deposit.
PartyPoker’s deposit bonus is a good example to follow. Their deposit bonus is released in 10 payments, and you have 60 days to earn the entire bonus. You must earn points by playing real money poker to unlock each payment. Every dollar you contribute to the cash game rake or tournament fees earns two points.
The rake is the small fee a poker room takes from each pot where a flop occurs. Because poker players play against each other instead of the house, the poker room depends upon the rake to earn its revenue.
Each bonus dollar requires four points. So, if you deposit $600, you will be eligible for a bonus of $600, paid as 10 installments of $60. At four points per dollar, you have to earn 240 points to release each $60 payment. That means you have to pay $120 in fees or rake to earn each payment.
This may initially sound like a lot, but the average player can expect to accrue the necessary points rather steadily with consistent playing. As they become available, each of these payments will provide a nice complement to your winnings or a buffer for your losses.
Online Poker No Deposit Bonus 2024
No deposit online poker bonuses are fantastic for the recreational poker player looking to get better at a particular game or have fun with the house’s money. Commonly referred to as a Free Play bonus, many poker sites do not even require you to submit any credit card or banking information to claim it.
However, while easier to acquire, this bonus comes with less flexibility than a standard Deposit Bonus.
Free Play bonuses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are issued with the restriction of being used solely as a tournament ticket or cash game. So, for example, the poker site might give you $100 of free play, and then you have 30 minutes to see what you can do with the play money; players finishing with the most play money earn the Free Play bonus to be redeemed as actual cash or to be put towards other methods of play.
Other types of Free Play bonuses have far fewer restrictions. For example, PokerStars (Pennsylvania and Michigan) has a Free Play bonus where playing just one hand at a cash game table will earn you $50! Once your Free Play has been credited, it will be rewarded to you over five days.
Players must then log in daily to claim a piece of their bonus.
This type of bonus gives players the potential to substantially increase not just their bankroll but also their profit margin. As aforementioned, because poker is played against other players instead of the house, poker rooms must make their money by charging a small fee to each hand that gets played.
This small fee, called the rake, is based upon the size of the pot.
The larger the pot, the higher the rake (it gets capped at a certain percentage).
When looking at an individual hand, this amount seems negligible. Stretched across a number of hours, however, the amount of rake any player pays increases dramatically. A rakeback bonus, usually dispensed weekly or monthly, helps remedy this by returning a set percentage of the fee to the player.
Generally, when a Rakeback Bonus is offered, no other offer can be accepted on the poker site.
Even at the micro-stakes level (blinds between $0.01 and $0.50), the weekly rake can easily accumulate to hundreds of dollars when multi-tabling. As a result, small, budding poker rooms may offer considerably larger bonuses to make up for their limited table selection and player pool.
Conversely, larger rooms will have a smaller rakeback percentage but a much larger opportunity for multi-tabling and a wider variety of stakes.
This bonus can be immeasurably beneficial to amateur poker players or players who have trouble consistently breaking even. For example, if a player plays multiple tables of $1-$2 no-limit hold ‘em poker, while neither winning nor losing, the player could look forward to receiving a bonus of potentially hundreds of dollars deposited directly into their online poker account regularly.
This type of bonus is much more common on international poker sites than US card rooms. But as more and more online poker sites appear across the states, this type of bonus will likely also be used more and more by card rooms to stand apart from each other.
Thus, it is a good idea to become familiar with this type of bonus and keep your eyes open as they become available.
Online poker reload bonus
Many poker sites may allow for a Reload Bonus periodically for returning players. These are similar to the sign-up bonuses offered to new players, based on the amount deposited. Some card rooms will issue these to players on a monthly recurring basis, coinciding with your deposit.
Additionally, if you have been inactive for some time, the poker room may reach out to you with a reload bonus to encourage you to get back into the game.
Online poker reward programs
Reward programs, like reload bonuses, benefit regulars, and returning players. In addition, each online poker room has its own specific set of reward offerings to allow the player to earn additional money.
BetMGM, for example, has a Regular Rewards program. For every dollar contributed toward a cash game rake or a tournament fee, the player earns 5 reward points. For every 100 reward points, the player receives $1.
From there, rewards increase at a faster rate. At 5,000 reward points, the player gets back $75. Reward points totaling 20,000 would net the player $400.
Reward programs such as this essentially function as a built-in rakeback bonus, with the added benefit that a player doesn’t have to forgo their deposit or free play bonuses.
This is the most straightforward bonus. Simply refer a friend, family member, co-worker, or acquaintance via a website-provided invitation, and the website will provide you with a modest referral bonus. The amount will vary from site to site.
This type of bonus is the least reliable. In addition, due to regulated, real-money online poker sites becoming increasingly common in legal states, it is rapidly becoming more mainstream for the average person to already be a part of an online poker site.
Thus, player referral is less necessary and less rewarded now.
My Online Poker Bonus Tips For You
- Conduct research to see which sites give you the most value for your money.
- Consider depositing with cryptocurrency instead of your bank account or credit card, as many sites give even larger bonuses for it.
- If you prefer having little to no issues with cashing out your earnings, make sure taking the bonus does not affect that preference.
- Understand games are intended to be for fun and entertainment.
- The experience gained from playing for free is a great way to hone your skills with minimal risk.
- Don’t base your Poker Room choice strictly on the Deposit Bonus. Many rooms have loyalty reward programs that can be very valuable.
- Take a look at our online poker page and find out what the best US poker sites of 2024 are.
- Network with other players and have fun.