The online gambling industry has been booming for the last decade. There are all kinds of platforms on the web where you can engage in gambling, including online casinos, sportsbooks, poker sites, and more. However, the industry became overpopulated with these sites, so operators had to figure out how to attract more customers and beat the competition.
The result was relatively simple — give them more money which they can use on the site. Offer a reward for every user who makes a deposit (or even just registers) on your platform.
Naturally, many sites started offering welcome bonuses after that, and this benefited the users who got an opportunity to choose the website and play with additional money.
How Do Online Poker Bonuses Work?
Whenever a user joins a site and makes a deposit, they may receive some amount of bonus money that is often directly related to how much they deposited. For example, if a site offers a 100% deposit welcome bonus, it means that your deposit amount will be matched in a bonus amount. So if you deposit $100, you’ll receive an additional $100 that you can use to play poker on the site. Simple as that!
However, bonuses come with specific rules that you need to take into account if you’re new.
Once you receive your bonus money, you cannot immediately withdraw them. This type of money is “locked” and can only be unlocked if you meet the wagering requirements.
For example, if you open an account in an online casino where the wagering requirements are 20x, you’ll have to wager the amount that’s 20 times higher than your bonus amount if you want to withdraw your bonus. If you received $100 as a bonus, it means you’ll have to wager a total of $2,000.
Things are a bit different when it comes to poker, as you cannot really use your bonus money at all. Instead, it will be unlocked bit by bit and loaded to your real-money balance as you play the games. Many poker sites use points that players need to collect to have the money released to the real-money account.
For example, for every $1 you spend, you’ll receive one point, and if you collect 20 points, you’ll have $1 from your bonus balance released to your real money. This is similar to saying that the wagering requirements are 20x, yet the system is explained differently.
Watch the Expiry Dates!
All bonuses can expire, which is something you need to take into account when collecting them. For example, if the bonus lasts for 30 days, it means you’ll need to try and release all your bonus funds to your real-money balance during that period. If there’s still some money left in your bonus account after that period, it will become void.
Expiry dates are a subtle way that poker rooms and casinos use to make users bet more. You’ll just have to accept that the industry works that way, and play by the rules.
The point is, your 100% bonus on your deposit means that you need to invest more money and time than it’s advertised. However, it’s still a bonus, meaning you will get to receive prizes at the end of the day, although you might not be able to receive the entire amount.
Welcome bonuses are just one type of promotions you can get when playing online poker (or joining any other gambling site). For more information, make sure to check out the promotions section and learn about different varieties of bonuses.