Should I Take Advantage of Online Poker Bonuses?

December 15, 2019 Scott Bowen

When you’re looking for a new place to play Online Poker, you’ll notice that a key differentiator between the different options is the Welcome Bonus. Some operators offer bigger bonuses than others, while some don’t have any introductory offers at all.

A Royal Flush in clubs on the blue felt of a poker table with poker chips to represent online poker bonuses.

Online poker bonuses can be lucrative. But they come with some stipulations ©

But, for starters, the bonuses should not be a primary factor in deciding which Online Poker website to join. The total number of players they average on any given day is more important. So is making sure they offer the type of poker you like to play and the tournaments you’re interested in joining. However, when you’re stuck between a few viable options, the Welcome Bonus can separate an online casino website from the pack.

It also might be important to make the distinction between Online Poker and poker available at online casinos (“Casino Poker”). Online Poker involves competing against other players, and the operator receives a percentage of the pot. Casino Poker is a category of games wherein the player competes against the house rather than other people. For example, the betting style of Casino Holdem is more similar to Blackjack than it is to traditional Texas Holdem.

Here’s what to know about the Online Poker bonuses, and whether they’re worth utilizing.

Online Poker Welcome Bonus

An Online Poker welcome offer will most likely be a deposit-matching bonus up to a maximum amount. Let’s say the bonus is 100% up to $1,000. If you chose to opt-in, the poker site would double your first deposit as long as it’s $1,000 or less. If you were to deposit the maximum, you would receive $1,000 in bonus cash.

However, at an online casino, the Welcome Bonus is immediately credited when you make a deposit. Such is not the case at an Online Poker site. Instead, the Online Poker Welcome Bonus will be credited in portions as you score points for placing bets. The player can choose to withdraw the bonus cash or simply use it to play more poker. That is to say, the bonus cash can be treated as real money.

Different Online Poker websites have different bonus credit setups, but that’s a good general overview of what to expect. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions and get a good feel of how the system works before you dive in. Otherwise, you might be caught on a stipulation that keeps you from withdrawing your funds.

Freeroll and Buy-In Online Poker Bonuses

A Freeroll Bonus is a bankroll booster offered to existing members that might be considered even more exciting than the Welcome Bonus. Rather than play to gradually receive your money, you’re offered a deposit bonus you receive on the spot. While it probably won’t be “up to $1,000,” it might be as much as $100 or more in free, playable cash.

You will, however, have to bet at the table before you can withdraw the Freeroll money. In that sense, it’s bonus money you can use to win real money.

A Buy-In Bonus is a tournament structure that invites players to buy in at a low amount but receive a high amount at the table, greatly increasing the total pot offered to the winner(s). These can occur daily, weekly, or whenever the operator uses it as a promotional strategy. If it is offered regularly, the poker site will surely advertise that fact on their homepage.

Are Online Poker Bonuses Worth It?

The Welcome Bonuses at Online Poker sites are worth it if you’re expecting to play on an ongoing basis. If you’re joining just for one tournament and then you’re never going to play at the website again, don’t do the Welcome Bonus. It really is as simple as that. Since it doesn’t have a rollover requirement, just a points system payout setup, it’s a no-brainer if you’re playing regularly.

For the Freeroll bonuses, it’s going to depend on the terms and conditions of the specific Online Poker site. The stipulations may take fifteen minutes to read, but it’s worth it. The Buy-In promotions are always fun if you’re a tournament player (rather than a sit-and-go player). Highly recommended.

All in all—and especially in comparison to the often steep rollover requirements at Online Casinos—bonuses at Online Poker websites are largely worth it.

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