Poker Bonuses FAQ

Q. Why should I play online poker?
A. Online poker is a great way to play and learn the game you love without the hassles of a live casino.

Here are some of the advantages:

You do not have to deal with annoying people sitting next to you, if you don’t like someone at a online table, you can just mute them.

The cost of playing is lower. The house charge (or rake) can be up to 10% per pot in a live poker room. Across the net 5% per pot is the maximum rake. Also, there is no tipping required (or allowed).

If you are just learning to play poker, the smallest limit in a live casino may be $3/$6. This can make for an expensive education. Most online poker rooms have games as small as $.01/$.02.

Even the biggest card rooms in the biggest cities can’t match the awesome selection of games, limits, and tournaments at your fingertips across the internet.

And last, but certainly not least, online poker means Poker Bonuses! Online card rooms will actually pay you to play at their card rooms while you try their games.

Q. Ok, online poker certainly seems like something I’d like to try. How do I get started?
A. To fund your account, it is recommended for non-Americans that you use a 3rd party company, known as an e-wallet. Note: American players can no longer use many traditional e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill (formerly MoneyBookers) and PayPal. The best way for Americans to deposit and withdraw depends on the specific poker room but the best options are: e-checks, credit cards, money transfers and paper checks.

In order to check out the specific options for a particular poker room, the simplest way is to follow our links to the site, and use the Live Chat feature which most online rooms have available. The ‘operators’ will be only too happy to provide you with the options you have available for depositing, regardless of where you are located. Otherwise, just go to the Cashier (there will be a large Cashier button in the main poker lobby for every online poker room), click on Deposit and all the options available from your country will be listed.

Q. How do third party payment processors (e-wallets) work?
A. Go to the website of the e-wallet where you want to get an account. Most e-wallets operate in a similar way to Paypal. It is a service (certain fees may apply) that allows you to take funds from your bank account (and sometimes credit card), and store them online in your e-wallet account. For Canadians, the best options are InstaDebit and Click2pay. For most of the rest of the world, Neteller, Ukash, Click2pay and Moneybookers are good choices (assuming they are compatible in your country). These e-wallets make playing poker at multiple sites much more convenient than using credit cards or checks.

For most of the e-wallets, you can instantly transfer funds to the online card room of your choice from your account. Then, whenever you wish, you may transfer funds from the card room back to the e-wallet (this usually takes 24-48hrs, but depends on the e-wallet being used) and then from the e-wallet you can go to a different card room, or back to your bank account. These transfers are almost always free. After signing up with the e-wallet, you will need to verify your bank account or credit card that you will use to deposit. Once this has been done, you are usually ready to fund your e-wallet account; however, depending on the method and e-wallet used, the time needed to fund your account can be instant or take up a week or more to show up.

Q. Explain this bonus business and how it is that I can “get paid to play poker”.
A. With most online poker sites, and of course all the ones that offers, when you come to play in their room for the first time, they will offer you a bonus to be released to your account after you have fulfilled their requirements. For example, Party Poker requires a $500 deposit for a $500 bonus. This bonus is released to your account after earning a fixed number of Party Points – points are earned as you play at the tables and generate rake, as described above. For every increment of Party Points you earn at the tables, a portion of your bonus will be paid out directly to your account. This is cash which, once released, is available to you immediately to do with as you please, whether you want to cash out or use it to continue playing poker.

For existing players – meaning players who have already made a deposit to a particular site – many rooms offers reload bonuses and VIP programs which award continued frequent play.

Q. What are bonus terms and can you describe them in more detail?
A. At, players will see a series of “terms” that describe the attributes of each bonus. Usually there are five basic terms: percentage match/ size, bonus code (if applicable), clearance requirements, lump sum/increment information and expiration details. In the case of reloads, an expiration date is also usually included. Additional terms may be listed at the discretion of the poker rooms.

Here is an example of the terms of a bonus players may see at PokerBonuses:

Percentage Match and Size–100% up to $500.
Bonus Code–Use bonus code PB500.
Clearance rate–Must earn 10 Player Points for each $1 in bonus money.
Expiration Date–Valid until December 8th 2008.
Lump sum/increment information–Bonus releases in $10 increments.
Expiration Time–Bonus expires after 90 days.

Here are the terms explained:

1) Percentage Match and Size– The most common bonus term you will see is “100% up to $500” or “200% up to $500“. This refers to the amount of your deposit that will be matched by the poker room with a corresponding pending bonus.

In the case of a 100% up to $500 bonus, a deposit of $500 will yield a $500 pending bonus. In the “200% up to $500” example, a $250 deposit will earn the maximum $500 bonus, since the bonus amount is 200% (or two times the size) of the deposit amount.

2) Bonus Code– Most bonuses come with a code that you must enter at the time of deposit in order to have the bonus properly applied. It is usually entered when you are in the poker room’s virtual cashier, but sometimes it is required upon sign-up or registration prior to making a deposit.

3) Clearance rate– For many bonus seeking players, this is the most important part of the bonus. It is the rate of how fast the bonus will “clear” or be redeemed before a withdrawal of the bonus can be made. Using the example above, players must earn 10 Player Points for each $1 of bonus that you receive. That does NOT mean you get $1 each time you earn 10 points, it means you have earned $1 of bonus. See incremental payouts below for more details.

4) Lump sum/increment information– This piece details how often the bonus is released. For a $10 bonus increment that requires 10 Player Points per $1, you would have to earn 100 Player Points ($10 multiplied by 10) to receive a $10 increment. Each increment is paid immediately to your account in cash. Once an increment has been paid, the money is yours to keep. It can be withdrawn immediately, and even if you do no complete 100% of your bonus it will still remain in your account until you withdraw it.

Conversely, some poker rooms will only pay out the bonus in one Lump Sum. This means you have to earn the full bonus amount (or a 100% increment) before the bonus is paid to your account.

5) Expiration Time– The amount of time that players have before the bonus expires. This is usually from the time of deposit or the time the code was entered. Standard expiry terms are 60 days or 90 days though some room offer bonuses which never expire. Regardless of the expiry terms, it is important to note that any withdrawal you make before the end of your bonus expiry terms usually cancels any remaining bonus (so you should never make a withdrawal until you have completed 100% of the bonus, or the expiry period has passed).

6) Expiration Date– Usually applicable to reload bonuses, it is the date that players must start to participate in the bonus to be eligible, which is usually initiated by making a deposit or entering in a bonus code. Just think of these as time-limited offers. If you don’t participate before the expiration date, you lose out on the opportunity to claim the bonus.

Q. What is a raked hand?
A. A raked hand is a cash game poker hand where you have been dealt cards (i.e., you are dealt into the hand and not sitting out), and a rake is taken out of the pot, regardless of whether you did any betting in the hand or not.

Some sites require raked hands to clear a bonus, however the vast majority of the time raked hands are not the clearance method of the bonus you will be earning. Sites will often have their own point system or require players generate a certain amount of rake to earn the bonus. It helps players to get an idea of the clearance method before taking advantage of a bonus. The clearance methods are explained in detail on each site’s room page.

Q. So, all I have to do is deposit, play the required amount, and collect my bonus? Something I would have done anyways?
A. Yes, it really is free money for playing just like you would normally.

Q. What is a “network” and what is a “skin”?
A. A network is an online community of poker rooms, which have joined together to create a greater pool of players to play against each other. A skin is simply another name for a poker room on a given network.

For example, the iPoker Network is a network which consists of many poker sites or skins, including Titan Poker, BetFair Poker and many more. Each of these poker rooms is a ‘skin’ on the iPoker ‘network’. In most cases, you can have accounts, and therefore collect bonuses, on each site within a network. In order to see if the specific network allows you to have accounts on multiple sites, refer to the area below the summary at the top of the site’s room page.

Q. After I clear my bonus at my 1st online card room, can I do it again at another card room?
A. Yes. It is possible for you to earn the sign up bonus on every single room that we list.

Q. What is rakeback? Does offer rakeback?
A. All poker sites take rake from each pot that sees a flop (see above for information on ‘raked hands’). This is usually around 5% of the total pot amount, up to $3, with the max being dependent upon the stakes and game being played.

On sites which offer rakeback, players are returned a portion of the rake that is attributed to them. For more information on the rakeback that offers to our players, check out our rakeback page.

Q. Are bonuses better than rakeback?
A. In general, most bonuses are better than rakeback. However, players can often get both a bonus and rakeback together. However, sometimes bonuses (or a portion of the bonuses) are deducted from rakeback since this is essentially double-dipping – great for players but not so great for the poker room who is trying to make money.

Most poker rooms these days do not allow rakeback, however these same sites frequently offer VIP Bonuses or reload bonuses to frequent players which effectively amount to a different kind of rakeback by requiring you to meet certain playing requirement in order to be eligible for special VIP perk (such as cashing in your points for cash, which is similar to awarding rakeback).

Q. What does 10x mean?
A. Say you see something along the lines of ‘Party Poker offers a 10x Points bonus.’ What this means is that you must play 10 Points for each $1 in bonus money. Say they offer a $200 bonus. This means that you have to earn 2,000 Points (10*200) to clear the entire bonus. Make sure to check the definition of the raked hand or points on the site’s room page. A “10x bonus” can mean something very different from site to another.

Q. What’s is multi-tabling?
A. In order to make really good money at bonus offers, you must eventually be proficient in the art of multi-tabling. A screen that is capable of 1600×1200+ resolution is recommended as it will be able to display 4 tables without any overlap of windows on most sites. However, this is becoming less important than it used to be because most sites offer players the ability to re-size tables to a customized size negating the need for 1600×1200 resolution. The bottom line though, is the higher resolution your monitor supports, the greater flexibility you will have.

Some players prefer “cascading” tables. When cascading, all the tables will essentially overlap in a cascading pattern and the appropriate table will pop up when the action is to you. There is no right or wrong way to play multiple tables; you will simply have to experiment to help decide which option is right for you.

Q. So how should I determine where I should play?
A. There is not always a simple answer for this question but at we try to make it easier for you to make the decision. Some players like to play where the most “action” is, meaning sites where the most players are. Some prefer to go with the best value bonuses, which often means playing at smaller sites – think about it, do you think PokerStars (the world’s largest online poker site by far) needs to offer huge, easy to clear bonuses to attract new players? Not really (and they don’t!). The smaller sites are much more competitive, and want to ensure they keep their share of the market, and so they tend to offer much better bonus options.

Obviously, game conditions (looseness, aggression, and game speed) will be different from site to site, and this is another key factor that savvy players look to exploit.

PokerBonuses mostly caters towards cash game and sit-and-go players, but we also have useful tools for tournament players as well.

Q. What else does offer me?
A. At, we strive to provide you with the most up to date bonus and online poker information available. The site is constantly being updated by our dedicated staff who have an extensive knowledge about the industry and poker bonuses. Each site covered by PB has a review page with all the information you need before you sign-up. On the main page, users can view the top exclusive sign-up offers, our social media page links, the latest bonus and poker news, strategy tips and sign-up access to our monthly newsletter. Poker News archives are available here as well.

Q. Where can I find more information regarding specific card rooms and answers other questions not listed here?
A. The reviews listed on this site should give you an excellent start to finding out site specific information. If you still have questions, feel free to email us at We’re here to help!


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