Poker Bonus

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The text below tells you about all the best online poker bonuses with a focus on new poker players. We'll teach you about how all the different poker bonuses work, and how you can make the most out of them. 

How does a poker bonus work?

At first glance a poker bonus can seem extremely generous, but to really get the best out of your poker bonus you have to put in time over a longer period. Poker sites tend to require that you play a certain number of hands between you take out any winnings connected to your poker bonus. The requirements can vary widely between poker sites.

Let’s say you get offered a poker bonus worth £300 when you make a deposit of £150. This bonus then asks that you play a certain number of hands before you can convert you poker bonus into cash.

This kind of poker bonus is a called a matched bonus. A matched bonus means a certain amount of your deposit is met in bonus sums. In this case it is at 200%. £150 x 2 = £300.

Even with the best poker bonus, you still need to read through the fine print before you decide to take up an offer, so you know exactly what requirements there are to fulfil before you can take out your winnings.

The majority of poker sites will pay out a poker bonus in installments, or even in a single lump sum. Often before your bonus is paid out, you need to meet certain requirements, for example you may need to pay a certain sum in rake.

Your poker bonus can often be affected by how much rake you pay, either in cash games or tournaments.  You can read more about rake down below.

There are a couple of factors to take into consideration when choosing a poker bonus online. Down below we’ve listed what we think are most important.

  • Bonus sums
  • At what rate your bonus will be paid out to you
  • Validity period - how long you have to take out your bonus
  • Bonus extras e.g. freeroll entries, cash games or tokens to take part in tournaments


Poker rooms often charge players a fee on each pot they play which is also known as a ‘rake’. How much poker sites will charge varies, but it’s often around 2.5-5% of the pot you’re playing and limited to a predetermined maximum sum.

The structure of a rake depends on what the stakes you are playing for, and how many players are in the game. For example, poker sites can take up to 5% on every £3 pot.

When you take a poker bonus the potential payout is often rated on how much you contribute in rake. Down below you can read about the most common types of rake.

Contributed rake method

The method only takes into account players who have actually contributed to the pot. So if you’ve been dealt cards but choose to fold without having put in a blind, called or raised you will not be included in the rake count. Then the rake is calculated equally amongst the contributing players regardless of how much they each put into the pot.

Weighted contributed method

This method of counting the rake is usually considered to be the most correct and fairest. This form of taking the rake is based on how much each player contributes to the pot. For example, say a player contributes a third of the total pot, that player will then receive credit to a third of the resulting rake.

Dealt rake method

The dealt rake method means that the total rake of a pot is given out to players sitting at the table when the cards are issued (preflop), regardless of whether they contribute money to the pot or not.

Different Types of Poker Bonus

If you want to play poker on the net you can choose between a whole host of different poker sites. The level of competition between poker sites is without a doubt to your advantage, and poker sites work hard in order to maximise the poker experience for their customers. Poker sites are quick to offer poker bonuses to their existing customers, but also to encourage new customers to play on their site. The latter is called a poker sign-up bonus, and finding the best poker sign-up bonus is really down to what each individual wants. In order for you to understand what different types of poker bonus you might be offered we’ve listed them below.

Poker deposit bonus

A poker deposit bonus or poker sign-up bonus offer that comes as a deposit bonus often means that your first deposit as a new customers will be matched by a certain percentage in bonuses. Normally the percentage for a poker deposit bonus is between 50-200%. Let’s say you make a deposit of £20 and the poker site matches your deposit with a poker deposit bonus of 100%. That means that the poker site will credit you with another £20 on top of your original deposit as part of their poker deposit bonus sign-up offer.

Reload bonus

A poker reload bonus is offered to existing customers on poker sites. It can closely resemble and is most similar to a poker welcome bonus that is offered to new customers. However, there are key differences between a poker reload bonus and a sign-up bonus. For example, a poker reload bonus will typically have a lower matching percentage than the first type of welcome bonus, sign-up offer or poker deposit bonus you’ll initially be offered as a new customer. They may even have a maximum deposit limit. Always be on the lookout with a poker reload bonus to find out if you automatically qualify for the bonus as soon as you make a deposit or if you have  play a certain number of games, or use points to take your bonus out in cash.

Refer a friend bonus

Another type of poker bonus that different poker sites offer is the refer a friend bonus. Exactly as it sounds, you qualify for this type of poker bonus when you introduce a friend to a poker site you play on. This type of poker bonus often usually has a fixed amount and typically lies between £50-£100. Always make sure you read the terms and conditions to find out if there are any requirements attached to the bonus itself. For example, a poker site may require the person you have referred to play a certain number of hands or stake a certain amount before you qualify for the poker bonus.  

Poker reward bonus

A poker reward bonus is offered to customers who are active on a poker site. Customers can often be rewarded with freeroll tournaments, VIP-offers or even cash and other types of gifts. Nowadays a lot of poker sites like to offer some sort of reward to their most loyal customers in order to encourage them to play regularly. Poker sites will often evaluate how much you play on a site and give you a level. The higher the level you reach, the better the rewards become.

Freeroll tournaments

Whether you’re a new player or an already active customer, if you play on a poker site and rack up a certain number of points or earn a score, you’ll often be rewarded with an invitation to a freeroll tournament as a form of poker bonus. A freeroll tournament basically means that you can play poker for real money without the need to make a deposit. Freeroll tournaments can often be seen a form of poker no deposit bonus. It also means you have the opportunity to win money without the risk of losing your own, which is always the best type of poker no deposit bonus.

Poker no deposit bonus

A poker no deposit bonus can be offered as a poker sign-up bonus to new customers, or even in some cases to existing customers on a poker site. A poker no deposit bonus basically means a bonus where there are no requirements for you to make a deposit into your account before you may receive the bonus itself.

Online Poker Promotions

Many poker sites offer online poker promotions to encourage new customers to play on their site. Online poker promotions can also be offered to existing customers. Certain online poker promotions may be valid across a variety of games on a site, or specified to a single game, or may offer a one-off poker bonus. An online poker promotion may include any of the above mentioned types of poker bonus.

Wagering Requirement for Online Poker

If you’re going to take advantage of a poker bonus, in the majority of cases you may be required  to fulfil certain conditions before you can take out any winnings connected to your poker bonus as cash. If you’re asked to play a certain number of hands, or stake a certain amount this is often called a wagering requirement.

Poker bonuses are often different to sports betting bonuses and casino bonuses as poker sites will often hold any bonus money in a separate account. In order to be able to have the opportunity to take out your poker bonus in winnings you’ll need to wager your bonus on the poker table.

Poker sites often make it necessary that you fulfil any wagering requirements connected to your poker bonus. This could be by making initial deposits or playing a number of hands for you to unlock any winnings you my accrue with your poker bonus. Take into account that if you’re going to play with smaller amounts it will take longer for you to unlock any bonus winnings connected to your poker bonus. It’s good to read the terms and conditions to be aware of any time limits on how long you have to fulfil a wagering requirement attached to your poker bonus.

Poker Bonus FAQ

What is the minimum amount I can deposit into my poker account?

When you go to make a deposit into your poker account on any one of the many poker sites out there you’ll notice there’s often a specified minimum amount for deposits. This sum is usually quite low, around about £10-£20.

What is a rake?

A rake is a term specific to online poker and simply means a certain amount of the pot that goes to the poker site as a form of commission. This is usually 2.5-5% of every pot.

What is a VIP level on a poker site?

Poker sites often operate a system of different VIP levels that you can reach by playing games or tournaments. As a poker player on a poker site you can take yourself up through the levels by earning points that you can then go on to exchange for cash or for tokens.

How do points work on poker sites?

When you play cash games or tournaments for real money you can often earn points. These points are especially useful if you’re playing with bonus sums as points are often used as a way for you to fulfil any wagering requirements connected to a poker bonus. The majority of poker sites don’t often just give out bonus sums to their customers, but rather require bonus to be wagered for a certain amount of points before they can be unlocked or converted to cash winnings.

Where can I find the best poker sign-up bonus?

Here at we list all a range of poker sign-up bonuses so you can find the best poker sign-up bonus that suits your needs. Simply scroll up to the top of the page or click here to see the range of bonuses for players who are passionate about poker.