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More Free Poker Bonuses and Perks

There are some categories of poker bonuses and perks that add up to free cash. These "free money" type of bonuses draw in business in a few different ways, most importantly by handing out a little extra cash. Another big reason “free money” bonuses attract customers – online poker rooms that offer them are generally seen as more “customer friendly”. Online poker rooms benefit from the extra business they get by seeming more friendly. It is worth the $10 here and there because of the traffic it generates.

There are five types of bonus that can put a little easy cash in your bank account right away. Here are the most popular poker perks that are pretty much “money for nothing”.

No Deposit Bonuses

If you're the kind of poker player that wants to try out an online poker room without much risk, you should look for a room that offers some kind of "no-deposit bonus". While many bonuses are tied directly to the amount of cash you deposit (and don't take effect until you deposit that amount and clear the bonus through rake payouts) the no-deposit bonus exists independently of any cash you throw at the casino.

Some no-deposit bonuses are more straightforward than others, offering a player a certain amount of money in "free play". This means that simply signing up for the poker room of your choice earns you a positive balance in your poker account that you can use to wager as if it were real money. Any winnings you earn with that money are your own -- so are any losses you sustain.

Not all no-deposit bonuses are that simple. I haven't yet found a no-deposit bonus that didn't come with a "standard wagering requirement". That means that in order to earn actual money against your no-deposit bonus credit, you have to wager a certain amount of cash. When you find out that the wagering requirement you must play is much higher than the offered bonus amount, you realize that this is a pretty shrewd move on the part of the poker room. While it is true that you don't have to make a deposit to play, you will have to play a certain amount of money to earn any money from that free play.

Bonus whores (can't we just call them hunters?) prey on no-deposit bonuses like owls prey on mice. They often sign up for dozens of poker accounts with no deposit bonus offers. Even though bonus whoring is rampant, many poker rooms online still offer no-deposit bonuses because they really do increase the number of people playing at a given room.

New Depositor Freerolls

Poker freeroll tournaments are the only way I know to learn how to play Texas Hold'em or other poker games online without putting up your own money. Online poker freeroll tournaments aren't as common as they were at the beginning of the poker phenomenon, but there are still plenty of casinos offering freeroll tournaments, with or without requiring that you make a deposit to your account before you earn entry.

Freroll tournaments open to new depositors are known as (wait for it) new depositor freerolls. Makes sense, doesn't it? Most online poker rooms have freeroll tourneys available as a bonus or perk to their players making a first time deposit. Some casinos online don't even require a new deposit to enter a freeroll -- simply signing up for an account is enough to get you free entry into their tournament. Naturally, these tournaments are made up of thousands of new players, so your odds of winning any money for your time are really low.

Reload Bonuses

Existing players can earn bonus money just as easily as new players. If you've had an account with a poker room and already earned your initial deposit bonus or other perks, you can still let your deposit money make money using a reload bonus. Most often, a reload bonus takes the form of a certain percentage of your reload deposit, and almost always has a top limit. For example, I earned a 50% reload bonus (up to $600) last year at PokerStars.

You have to keep your eyes open and really look for these bonuses, as most online poker rooms are not exactly crazy about advertising reload bonuses to the whole world. Usually, you'll get an email from the poker room suggesting that if you make a bonus in the next thirty days, you can earn a certain percentage back as a reload bonus.

Up Front Bonus

The much sought after "up front bonus" seems like it is too good to be true. Unlike normal deposit bonuses, which have payout requirements attached to them before you can earn the money, an up front bonus is earned immediately upon deposit. Currently, Bodog offers a ten percent up front bonus up to $100. This means that new players can earn up to $100 just for signing up. Seems like a small amount, but it is more than most online casinos are paying. Don't forget that the Bodog up front bonus (and many other up front bonuses) are re-loadable, paying out another up front bonus amount at certain levels of play, up to $400 at a time if you play lots and lots of poker.

Rakeback Bonuses

Earning a rakeback bonus from an online poker room means you get back a certain percentage of the rake you pay to the house. These kinds of bonuses are ideal for players who spend a ton of time playing, as the clearing requirements to earn your 35% rakeback (a common number at casinos offering rakeback bonuses) are really high.

Professional players -- people who play poker for a living -- can save thousands of dollars a month on rakeback, while amateur players betting $50 or $60 a month won't pay enough rake to make this bonus worthwhile.

Since every poker room has a different policy, you may be able to find even better bonuses than those listed here. Some poker rooms will send you a free hat or a t-shirt just for signing up, and even though it is a small one, that is a perk in and of itself. The poker room perks available to you are only limited to your ability to find them. Though there's still no good way to earn money for nothing, poker room bonuses and perks are as close as you can get.

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