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The Pros and Cons of Poker Bonuses

Online poker bonuses are an integral part of Internet poker. There is not a successful site that does not offer some kind of bonus program. The most common and popular type of bonus is the sign-up match bonus, where a site offers you money for signing up with their site equal to a percentage of the initial deposit. This percentage can be 100 percent or even more with some site promotions. What are the pros and cons of taking advantage of online texas holdem poker?


1. Financial Benefit

The most obvious upside to an online poker bonus is that it is free money. All you have to do to get it is sign up for the site with the proper code and play on the site, which you would do anyway. If you’re a winning player, this increases your expected value. If you are a losing player, it can stop the bleeding and if you’re somewhere in between, it can put you over the top.

2. Shopping Around

An online sign-up bonus allows you to test out a new site without investing too much of your own capital. You can play as long as it takes to release the bonus, and if you decide you enjoy playing on that particular site, keep going. If you don’t care for it, you can take your bonus money and head elsewhere.

3. No Obligation

Collecting a sign-up bonus from one online poker site does not preclude you from collecting another one on a different site. All that is required is that you play the requisite number of hands to clear the bonus into your account. Beyond that, what you do with your online poker time is up to you.


1. Clearing Requirements

You will not be able to collect your bonus until you play a certain number of raked hands, usually determined by the size of your bonus. This is a reasonable requirement on the part of the site, however, if you decide you do not like the site right away, you will still be stuck playing on it for awhile in order to clear your bonus. Fortunately, most sites have non-sticky bonuses, which mean that once you meet the requirements you can withdraw all of your bonus money without penalty.

2. Time Requirements

Most sites require you clear your bonus within a given amount of time. If you deplete your bankroll and cannot reload your account in time to play the given number of raked hands, you may lose your bonus. If you play a super tight no limit texas holdem game, clearing a bonus might take some time.

3. Overconfidence

Resist the temptation to see the bonus chips as house money. That bonus money is real money that belongs to you, and you should treat it with just as much respect as money you earned from your job. Playing recklessly with bonus money because it was so easy to get is just a waste.