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Find the Best Poker Bonus: How to Determine Bonus Value

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When you are just about to get started with online poker, it's perfectly natural to look for a poker room that offers the highest possible sign-up bonus with the best deposit match percentage. Unfortunately, these figures can be a bit misguiding. There are several other factors that define a poker bonus and could affect your choice of poker room.

Wagering requirements

Particularly for a beginner, one of the most important details is the wagering requirement. All poker rooms require that you play a certain amount of hands before the bonus is released to your real-money account. If the maximum bonus and/or deposit match percentage is particularly high, it's very likely that you are required to play for a relatively long time at the poker room before you get the bonus. If you play mostly at low stakes, which is usually the case with beginners, it will take even longer before the wagering requirements are fulfilled.

Raked hands

A seemingly small poker bonus with a lower match percentage can be much more lucrative than it appears. Take Party Poker , for instance; this poker room offer a sign-up bonus of $150 at 30% match via PokerRoomsOnline. When you browse other bonus offers, this one seems quite low by comparison, but actually it's a very profitable bonus.

You only need to play five raked hands per bonus dollar before your bonus is credited to your account. A "raked hand" is defined as a hand with a pot from which a fee of at least $0.25 is taken by the poker room - it doesn't matter if you participate in the hand yourself, as long as you have been dealt cards.

Money Wagered

The most basic form of wagering requirement is used at Pacific Poker . Just like most internet casinos, this poker room uses actual money wagered to determine when your bonus is paid out. When you sign up via Poker Rooms Online, you are eligible for a 100% bonus up to $650, and you must wager 20 times the bonus amount before you get the bonus. Naturally, a bonus with this requirement is cleared very quickly when you play medium or high-stakes poker, but much slower if you play at micro stakes.

It's still a very simple and in most cases very profitable bonus scheme, but if you mostly play at the low or micro stakes tables, you probably need to consider how much time you will need to clear the bonus and size up your first deposit accordingly. The bonus is paid out as a lump sum when the requirements are met, and thankfully there is no time limit on the bonus.

Player Point Variations

Another very common method used for clearing bonuses is various forms of player point systems to determine how much you have played. This is probably the most widespread method among the poker rooms today, and tends to be more complicated to figure out, as all poker rooms assign different values to their player points.

One example is Titan Poker, a poker room which offers a sign-up bonus of 150% up to $600 when you register via Poker Rooms Online. You need 600 player points for every $5 of the bonus, and the amount of points you get depends on how much rake is taken from the pot in each hand. Just like at Party Poker, it doesn't matter if you participate in the hand as long as you have been dealt cards. You can get between 1 and 18 points per hand.

This bonus does have a time limit of 90 days, but you don't have to worry about it, because the poker room will pay out your bonus in increments of $10 on a daily basis as you play and earn player points - a very generous method that you wish all poker rooms would implement. In all, it's a great bonus.