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How Long Does it Take to Clear a Poker Bonus?

New players at a poker site are often chomping at the bit to get their new depositor bonus credit to their accounts. It is understandable, as many of the top online poker rooms offer bonuses of $600 or more. Typically, however, a poker bonus is earned over an extended period of time. Although it will vary from site to site, it can often take a month or more to get your bonus fully cleared and available to use.

What Do I Have To Do To Clear My Bonus?

The most common system used to earn a deposit bonus at an online poker room is to earn a set number of points by placing bets with the system. This is typically determined by the amount of rake taken out of a pot by the house. The average rake is five cents per dollar. It is usually capped at two or three dollars, although only high stakes players will see rakes hit the maximum.

As points are earned, your bonus is slowly cleared. It usually takes 20 points to unlock one dollar of bonus money. Some websites like PokerStars offer a lower rate of 17 points per dollars, while Full Tilt Poker has their rake to points ratio run slightly higher than the average. These are small differences but can make a big dent in how long it takes to earn your bonus.

What Determines How Long My Bonus Takes To Clear?

There are a number of different variables that determine how long a bonus takes to clear. Here are a few of them.

  • The Amount Of Money Deposited - If you initially deposit $100, it will take less work to clear than it would $200.
  • The Poker Site - As mentioned before, different poker rooms accrue the points needed to earn bonus points in different ways.
  • The Games You Play - Some poker games are better point earners by design. Tthe most popular, Texas Hold'em, tends to accrue less rake per 100 hands due to players being more conservative. Four card games like Omaha Poker tend to earn players more points, and therefore clear bonuses faster. Hi/Lo games earn even faster due to players regularly going all in and splitting a pot. The fastest point earner in general, therefore, is Omaha Hi/Lo.
  • Cash Games Vs Tournaments - Cash games will almost always earn faster than large tournaments or small SNG games. Sitting in at a low stakes cash game will earn 10 points an hour. A tournament could last two or more hours and you'll only earn between one and five points. That doesn't speak for one's money earning potential over the other, but if you're looking to clear a bonus quickly, cash games are usually better.

Things To Be Aware Of When Trying To Clear A Poker Bonus

It is important to be aware of the many rules that are part of an online poker site's bonus system. If you haven't read over the terms and conditions, you might find out that you're not getting the deal you expected.

First, find out how long you have to clear the bonus. Most poker rooms have some type of limit, often around six months. If you fail to clear the bonus in that time, you will not receive any payment. If you make the max deposit, don't spend all your time playing on $0.01/$0.02 tables: you'll never get the required points in that time. It is important to only make a deposit for a bonus amount you know you'll be able to comfortably play through in that period of time.

Many poker rooms require you to place a code into the system when you are depositing your cash. If you don't enter the code correctly, you may be denied your sign-up bonus. Sometimes, the customer service team for the poker site will be able to apply it after the deposit has been made if you contact them, but it is not a sure thing. The best way to ensure that a bonus is applied is to remember to fill in the promo code.

Poker bonuses are a great way to get a head start on building a bankroll. Spend some time, review the rules, and understand what is involved in clearing your poker bonus, and you'll have your money in no time.

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