word type: noun
- Hands played above and beyond the playthrough requirements for an online poker bonus to make it look like a deposit was not made just to get the bonus.
Reasons for Cover Play
While online poker rooms readily hand out bonuses, they do it to encourage people to play on their sites, not hit and run for the free money. It is not common, but poker rooms have been known to sometimes prohibit players from earning further bonuses, or even ban them completely, for continually hitting and running. They call this "bonus abuse." By having some cover play, a player can make it look like they weren't there just for the bonus.
There is really no good answer for this. Cover play is an inexact science. Playing a few extra hands won't fool anybody, but there is probably no need to play for several months after finishing a bonus.
Here is the language from UltimateBet.com regarding bonus abuse. You definitely need some cover play there:
Players that deposit and withdraw bonus dollars without significant amount of play will be required to forfeit their bonus dollars.