Poker Bonus Basics

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Now, to begin we need to talk about some basic poker bonus terminology you’ll need to become familiar with. It’s really not rocket science.


Poker Bonus Offers

You may have noticed that almost all of our poker bonus offers use the same general shorthand syntax, as follows: Room Name; Deposit Match (%); Maximum Bonus. This is the quick and dirty way to get a lot of information about a given poker bonus at a glance.


Example: Pokerstars – 100% up to $600


Poker Room Names

Pretty self-explanatory. However, depending on where you are located you might not be able to play on some of our poker sites. This has nothing to do with us… due to certain legal regulations, some poker rooms (and/or their networks) have restrictions on their sites as to which countries they accept players from. This mostly affects our USA players, but some sites restrict Canadians, Australians, Russians, etc.

Having said that, we take pride in offering numerous options that cater to all worldwide jurisdictions. No matter where you live, we have many poker rooms (and poker bonuses) for you to choose from!


First Deposit Match

This is sometimes referred to as the bonus percentage.  Most sign up bonuses are listed as a percentage of your deposit (up to a maximum amount), or the deposit match.

For example, XYZPoker might offer a 50% up to $200 deposit match on your initial deposit.  Thus, for every dollar you deposit, the poker room will give you an additional 50 cents.  In order to receive the maximum bonus of $200, you would need to deposit $400 (50% of $400 is $200).

Now, ABCPoker might also offer a $200 sign up bonus, but ABC’s deposit match is 200%.  So, in this case, you would only need to deposit $100 to get the entire $200 bonus.  Obviously, all other things being equal, it would behoove you to deposit at ABCPoker, as that poker room has the better deposit match.  For some people, the percentage won’t matter, but for those with limited bankrolls, the smaller the outlay required, the better.

The other key point is that these bonuses are only valid for your first deposit. There are some rare exceptions, but in general you only get one chance to take advantage of each sign up bonus, and as the saying goes… you need to make it count. This is where some additional analysis of the poker bonus details (courtesy of will come in handy. You’ll find that analysis in each and every one of our poker room bonus pages, all laid out in easy to understand plain language.


Maximum Bonus

The maximum bonus amount is a pretty straight forward concept – it is simply the maximum amount of bonus money you can earn from the poker room, if you make the corresponding matching percentage first deposit. Stated another way, it is the “up to” amount in all our bonus offers.

A quick note about currencies: you will see that some of our bonuses are listed in US dollars ($), while others are in Euros (€) and some in Sterling Pounds (£). Most sites accept multiple currencies and allow you to play in the currency of your choosing. Others require you to use a specific currency, and they will convert your currency at no charge. We tend to list our bonuses in US dollars if there is a bonus option in that currency (and certainly for all our USA Friendly rooms), but the tendency in the past few years has been for poker rooms to focus on more euro-denominated poker games.

A final word on the maximum bonus amount – if you are simply looking for the most poker bonus money possible, it’s easy to just look at our All Rooms Page and pick the amount you want.  But…

All bonuses are not created equal. 

Next, we’ll talk about the key terms and conditions on poker bonuses that you need to be aware of.

→ Poker Bonus Essentials