Deposit bonuses, also known as “welcome bonuses”, are in the most basic sense free money—a contribution that the poker site makes when you deposit into your account, sometimes up to and over 100% of the amount you deposit. But it’s not just as simple as taking your free cash and walking.
How can I get a deposit bonus?
Deposit bonuses are typically only available when you first sign up for a site and are given out to encourage new customers to join the site. Sometimes only your very first deposit will be matched with a bonus, but often you’ll have a certain period of time (up to 60 days, for instance) and up to a certain number of deposits to make, in which you’re eligible for a bonus. You’ll need to enter a code in order to receive these bonuses. These are usually easily available on the site, so don’t forget to look at your site’s bonus or rewards page to make sure.
How much do I get for a deposit bonus?
Initial deposit bonuses tend to match your initial deposit “dollar-for-dollar,” of what you add to your account. However, they are usually capped to a maximum amount, This amount varies from site to site, so be sure to check your site’s rules so you’ll know exactly what to expect. Most common is a 100% match bonus. For example, if sign up for a poker room offering a 100% sign-up bonus and you deposited $50 into your poker account with a deposit code, the poker room would throw in $50. Some sites offer even higher bonuses, but they’re not as common.
Can I just withdraw the bonus money right away?
No such luck. The catch with deposit bonuses is that you’re required to “clear” them by playing a certain amount of real money poker. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but you need to contribute a scaled amount of money in order to free your bonus money in your account. The systems for determining how much you need to play vary from site to site. They are generally released in increments after you accumulate a certain amount of points, which are earned when you contribute to raked pots or tournament fees.
For example, at Winner Poker, bonuses are released in increments of $5, each requiring 300 points to clear. Points are calculated based on rake and tournament fees—$1 in rake equals 15 points, and $1 in tournament fees equals 17 points. Therefore, you’d need to pay $20 in rake, playing cash games, to get $5 of your bonus released.
How do you get your bonus?
Enter the bonus code when you make a deposit—there’s usually a field for it in the cashier section of the poker application. Once the code is entered, the poker room will track your play and release your bonus in increments as you hit certain levels, in order to entice you to play more.
Where can you find bonus codes?
Poker rooms advertise current codes directly on their sites—check the promotions page or tab. Other sites give the codes out to affiliates, and you can usually find these by googling your favourite site and the words “promotion” or “bonus code.”
Can you use the bonus code more than once?
Generally, no, because this bonus is offered just for the first deposit. Some sites, however, will apply the bonus to all deposits made during the day (or sometimes week or month) you make that first deposit.