word type: noun
- Additional bonus money given by a poker room to a player in exchange for signing up and/or making a new deposit.
Poker Bonus Guides
There are many sites on the internet that offer poker bonuses. Here's the caveat: 99% of them are offering "default" bonuses that you could get directly from the poker room itself. Most "poker bonus" sites are profit schemes for the operator of the bonus site. Get someone to click through their affiliate link, have that person sign up for a poker site using a bonus code and then collect the sign up fee from the poker room after the player puts in a certain number of hands. Note that we here at Poker Terms don't find anything wrong with poker bonus sites: we are just putting all of the info out there on the table.
So then where are the best bonuses available? The general consensus is that the best online poker bonus guide is BonusWhores. Established in 2003, BonusWhores is EXTREMELY in-depth with regards to online poker bonuses. Granted -- many of the bonuses on BonusWhores are the "standard" bonus that you get from any other bonus site. However, BW also regularly lists special exclusive bonuses that truly cannot be found anywhere else. Very very few sites have truly exclusive poker bonuses, so that is a rare find.
Another good poker bonus directory can be found at Poker Bonuses located somewhat appropriately at pokerbonuses.com. While Poker Bonuses is not as comprehensive or as exclusive as Bonus Whores, it offers a good selection of online bonuses along with an impressive (and growing) poker strategy article section.
One of the major types of poker bonuses is what's known as a "reload bonus." Reload poker bonuses are not given for signing up for a poker room. Rather, they are given when you "reload" your account with a deposit. A typical reload bonus might be something like a 100% up to $100 bonus. That means that if you deposit $100 more dollars into your account, the site will match your deposit and give you ANOTHER $100, thus increasing your site balance by a total of $200 (ie, 100% match). The "catch" so to speak is that you typically need to "play through" in order to release the bonus money into your account and make the funds available for play and/or withdrawal. Play through requirements generally mean that you need to play a certain number of raked hands or generate a certain amount in rake.
At a number of poker sites, if you calculate how they give out reload bonuses, you'll find that the bonus is nearly equivalent to playing rake-free poker for the period while you're clearing the bonus. This means that, after you making the $100 deposit, you will receive the entire $100 bonus money after having paid about $100 in rake. So, basically, the site is giving you 100% of your rake back as an incentive for playing. This benefits the site because overall liquidity is increased and it benefits the player because it lowers the cost of playing poker online.