One of the biggest mistakes players make when signing up for a new poker site is failing to take advantage of bonus offers. Every site offers some sort of initial deposit bonus to new clientèle, and for those new to the game it can make the difference in having to deposit a second time.
What is a Deposit Bonus?
In its simplest form a deposit bonus is an additional amount of money a poker site awards to a player for putting money on their site. The amount a player receives depends on a few factors, namely the amount they deposit and the % the site awards a player. Deposit bonuses can be anywhere from 10% to over 100% of the initial deposit amount.
For example, PokerStars offers a 100% bonus up to $600. This means a player can receive $600 in bonus money as long as he or she deposits at least $600. All a player must do when signing up is use the Bonus Code STARS600 and the marketing code FlopTurnRiver and he/she will be credited with $600 in bonus money.
Other sites offer a bigger deposit bonus, like Full Tilt Poker’s 100% up to $600 initial deposit bonus. As long as a player deposits at least $600 he/she will receive that amount in bonus dollars.
If you are unable to deposit the full amount (say the $600 at FullTilt) your best bet would be to start at a site with a smaller deposit bonus (like PokerStars) to build your bankroll to the point where you are able to take full advantage of bigger bonuses.
The Importance of Deposit Bonuses
Deposit bonuses, just like signing up for forums or training sites, greatly reduce the risk of a player going broke on their first deposit. The added cushion of the bonus dollars can help new players survive some rough times early on in their career. Deposit bonuses also help players to move up in levels at a much faster rate. It can take a long time to move up from micro/small stakes. This is where bonuses are a big help. Instead of being stuck at micro-stakes poker for months upon months deposit bonuses can be a big help in building a bankroll.
How to Clear Deposit Bonuses
Many sites have different methods for clearing their initial deposit bonus. Most bonuses are cleared based off of player points. It takes a certain amount of points to clear each bonus dollar. Not only does the points/dollar differ on all sites but how the bonus is released into your account does as well. On PokerStars players must clear the entire $50 bonus amount before their account is awarded while on FullTilt the bonus is released in $20 increments OR 10% of the amount of your bonus, whichever comes first. Finding a bonus that clears in the smallest increments can help those playing low levels as it represents quite a large percentage of a buy-in.
Overall poker bonuses are a must for players of all levels. While they tend to help beginner’s the most, bonuses can also help those who have been stuck at a certain level for a long time. Poker bonuses are free money and there is no reason to not take full advantage of them.