Poker Bonus Clearing Guide
If you’re an online poker player, times have never been flusher. Every online poker site out there is running seemingly identical “bonus” incentives, designed to lure new players fresh off the nets and away from other sites. Offers of $600 free bonus! and “100% payback!” flood the Internet from multiple sources, and it can be hard to determine which site gives you the best opportunities and which just rips you off. There are four elements, which I’ve ranked in order of importance, that you should consider before falling for any online poker advertisement. This isn’t meant to frighten you away from participating in online poker. However, like any pro who knows his or her game, you need to know the details of earning that bonus before you put your money on the table.
0. Before I get to the list, I want to mention that most of the poker sites require you to make a first-time real-money deposit before you have the chance to win big, most often making a deposit in the same amount as the bonus being offered. This means that when they say, “You could win $600 free!” you have to deposit $600 as a new user before the poker site matches that amount with their bonus. That’s what “100% payback” or “100% initial deposit bonus” means. This should be obvious, but it’s worth noting. The poker sites aren’t going to give you something for nothing. (There is one exception – the elusive no deposit bonus!)
1. How many hands do you have to play before you get the bonus money?
This is the most important element of poker bonus clearing. Some sites will say, “You could win $1000!” without the caveat of, “*if you play online poker for 16 hours a day for the next three months.”
Most poker bonus clearing requirements are based on a point system offered by the online poker site. These points are awarded for each hand of poker you play.
Oftentimes, you have to do the math yourself to determine how many hands you need to play. Perhaps all the site’s FAQ says is, you get 1 point per hand and you unlock $1 of your bonus money per twenty points you gain. Then do the math and determine that you need 1000 * 20 = 20,000 points, therefore you need 20,000 poker hands before you get the $1000. Depending on the following element, this could be a great deal or a rip off.
2. How long do you have before the bonus offer expires?
Typically, online poker bonuses are only given for points acquired within 30, 60, 90, 120, etc. days of your initial deposit. If it takes 20,000 hands of poker, and you’re only able to play for three hours a day at most, you need to determine how many poker hands you can play in that time. At about a minute per hand, this is 180 hands per day, meaning that you’d need (20,000 / 180 = 111.11) approximately 120 days to obtain that full bonus. Again, you have to do this calculation yourself, based on how much time you can devote to poker each day and how many points you have to win to clear the bonus.
You have to remember: your time is money. The poker site that requires the least time investment for the most money is the site you want to sign up with.
3. In what increments do you get your money?
Some sites release your bonus money in small increments (for instance, every $20 of bonus money you win gets deposited into your account) while others don’t offer increments at all. Generally, the smaller the increments, the less money you stand to lose. If a site doesn’t offer increments, be very wary, as they are counting on the fact that you think you can win more than you can actually win, and then when you fall short of your goals they don’t have to pay you anything. If you’re still interested in a non-increment site, you have to be extremely conservative with the amount of poker you think you can play, and make your initial deposit accordingly.
4. How much money do you stand to gain?
This is the least important element, and it’s the one the poker sites tout the most. Making the maximum dollar value almost always requires at least a six-hour-a-day commitment, but if two sites seem to ask the same time commitment, it goes without saying that you choose the one that offers more money.
Finally, to put it bluntly, how good are you? Do you tend to win as much as you lose? Online poker with real money is only a smart idea if you are, or are looking to win at least as much you lose. Ideally you want to win more than you lose, because if you’re putting in six hours a day it’s starting to look like a full-time job. If you make an initial deposit of $600, ideally you don’t want to make another deposit in the bonus clearing time period. If you lose all that money in the bonus clearing period, then get the full $600 bonus back, you haven’t made anything. Unless you really love the game, you’ve just wasted your time.
Make sure you’re taking advantage of the best bonuses today. Every guide you see on this site will only be for top poker sites, such as PokerStars. The PokerStars Bonus Code STARS600 will give all new players a 100% up to $600 bonus on their first deposit.
Here are our recommendations for best places to play online poker and go after the lucrative poker bonus:
|DOWNLOAD NOW!||Poker Room||Bonus Code||Bonus Description|
|PokerStars||STARS600||100% initial deposit up to $600, plus $1,000 exclusive monthly tournament prize money!|
|Bet365||Automatic||200% initial deposit up to $1000, plus $500 exclusive monthly tournament prize money!|
|Ladbrokes||FTRBONUS||Flat Bonus up to £675, €735, $1000|
|PartyPoker||FTR500||100% initial deposit up to $500|
|Titanpoker||FTRIVER||200% initial deposit up to $2000, plus $400 exclusive monthly tournament prize money!|
|William Hill||FTRVIP||200% first deposit bonus of up to $2000|
So poker bonuses are overall, a very awesome promotion and definitely worthwhile. However, it is important to understand what it takes to actually cash in. And of course, the most important aspect is becoming a winning poker player, so practice and learn! Check out this poker strategy forum and start analyzing and discussing your poker play with others! If you really don’t know where to play, then rest assured that our list of the online poker downloads is comprehensive and contains information on bonuses, software and much more!
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Below you can find the latest poker bonuses and promotions offered by the top online poker sites!
- Titan Poker offers $130,000 in “Grand Battle” PromotionTitan poker, on the iPoker Network, is mid way through a leader board promotion called “The Grand Battle.” The promotion started on the 1st of January and is planned to run for 13 weeks an …
- Americas Cardroom: Upcoming December PromotionsDecember is set to be a big month for Americas Cardroom, here are the monthly promos you will find: 1. Christmas cash – Players can purchase up to $600 in cash bonuses in the store using their C …
- PokerStars’ MicroMillions III to Start on November 15thPoker tournament series are usually targeted towards high stakes players willing to shell out hundreds to thousands of dollars for tournament entry. Luckily, PokerStars looks to change all that with t …
- PokerStars Announces Schedule for WCOOP 2012Just days ago, PokerStars released this year’s schedule for what it describes as “the biggest and most prestigious annual tournament series anywhere online,” the World Championship o …
- The Beast, Introduced by America’s Cardroom, Set to Shatter Rake Race RecordsThe Beast is set to become the largest rake race online poker has ever seen. Released this month by America’s Cardroom, it has already surpassed a major milestone last week on Wednesday. For those who …
- America’s Cardroom Introduces The Beast, a New Kind of Rake RaceInnovative promotions have been missing from poker for quite a while now but America’s Cardroom just changed all that. They’ve created a fun new promotion that puts cash in their customers’ pockets. T …
- William Hill Poker PromotionsWilliam Hill Poker (WHP) has made it an exciting time to be an online poker fan. A favorite among players in Europe and the United Kingdom, WHP is running a number of promotions for the remainder of t …
- Bovada Plans $7,500 Freeroll for SaturdayBovada is gearing up for their second $7,500 PTS freeroll of the month.
- Bovada Giving Free Shots at the WSOP-Main EventPlayers signing up for a new account on Bovada Poker already get a 100% up to $1,000 bonus. Now, players signing up through an affiliate link also get a ticket to any of the $1,000 Freeroll satellites …
- bet365 Revamps VIP Programbet365 recently rolled out, similar to Ludacris, a new, better reward system for its players. For some players, the changes mean 25% more cash. Also, even casual players can earn hundreds of dollars t …