Grading Online Poker Bonuses

If you’re a new online poker player you may be befuddled with all of the sign up bonuses offered by online poker sites. Every homepage of a poker room screams out “100% Sign Up Bonus!” like it’s the end of the world. Well, many players have a hard time understanding the actual value these bonuses carry, so this guide will teach you how to properly evaluate a bonus and how to deem if it’s worthwhile or not. Read on to learn all the great tips for finding a solid poker bonus.

Poker BonusesBonus Size:

The first thing I’ll tell you is that size isn’t everything. Bonus sizes vary from $50 up to $1,000’s of dollars, but it would be wrong to say that bigger bonuses are always better. Often times the mega bonuses have extremely hard clearing requirements, and therefore they’re only worthwhile to the players who play the highest of stakes.

Also, the large bonuses require that you deposit at least that amount on your first deposit, and many players can be uncomfortable making a first deposit that is in the four figures range. Many sites that offer enormous bonuses are relatively unknown and trying to capture players through the bonus, so it may be wise to avoid four figure deposits until you have at least proven that the site is trustworthy.

Bonus Percentage:

In this case, bigger is always better. You always want the best percentage match, because the greater percentage, the more you can leverage your initial deposit and boost your bankroll. Most bonuses are 100% matches, but there are a few 50% ones, and a couple 200% ones as well. I’d stick with a bonus that is at least 100% unless the smaller bonus has really easy clearing requirements.

Also, there are a few smaller bonuses in the 10% range that might seem pointless, but are actually instant bonuses. What this means is that as soon as you deposit the bonus money is available to you – you don’t have to clear it like the normal match bonuses.

Clearing Requirements:

These are actually the most important part of any online poker bonus. Regardless of how big a bonus is, it’s worth nothing if you have to play forever at the highest stakes to clear it. If you’re a small stakes player, we recommend selecting a smaller bonus such as PokerStars 100% up to $50 bonus. It’s really easy to clear, and it’s an easy way to get $50 added to your bankroll.

The reason a smaller stakes player wouldn’t want to pursue a bigger bonus is because you usually only have 90 days to clear the bonus, and most small stakes players wouldn’t be able to do it in that time, so they’d have to forfeit part or all of the bonus.

Remember that if you decide to go after one of the mega money, $1,000 bonuses make sure you can handle it. You’ll probably have to play nonstop for three months, and play at least $2/$4 no limit. It’ll be grueling, but if you’re a winning player it will only add more money to your bankroll.

You don’t know, what to do with sticky bonuses? Just read here, how to make them easier.