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Choosing the Right Sized Poker Bonus

The first time you deposit cash to your online poker account, you’re bound to have a ton of questions. How much cash should I deposit? Do I need to go for the biggest bonus possible? There are other important questions you should ask yourself when figuring out if you should “go for the gold”.

For instance, are you looking to play online poker as a career? Do you want to play poker online to have fun or just to see if you can get lucky? Do you plan on being a long term winner, a rounder, a card shark? All these questions are important in determining the size of your initial deposit, and a few more thrown in for good measure.

Playing Poker Online Just For Fun

Players who are more interested in poker as a game or a distraction definitely don’t need to attempt to clear a maximum cash bonus. Playing poker for fun means depositing only as much money as you can afford to lose. This means your only concern when depositing is the minimum for the poker room you play at – usually, these minimums are between $10 and $50, but if you don’t mind potentially losing a couple hundred bucks, go ahead and deposit that amount.

If on the other hand, you consider yourself more than a recreational player, learning how much cash to deposit is a matter of figuring out your style of play, how often you play, and how much of a bonus you can potentially earn.

If you plan on playing for more than just fun, you may want to consider your skill level, the type of games you play, and other factors before you decide to deposit the maximum bonus amount. If there’s no way you can clear a $600 bonus in sixty days, don’t deposit $600 just to earn a potentially lucrative bonus that you’ll never see. Your skill level, the games you play, and your comfort level are more important when picking a deposit amount than any potential bonus.

Playing Poker Online for Cash

When choosing your initial deposit amount, first consider what poker game you most want to play. Your bankroll requirements will be way different between a $10 tournament and $100 buy-in NL cash games. This bankroll guide is intended to give you an idea of how much cash to deposit, but every player is a little different.

For no-limit cash games, a good bankroll is between twenty and twenty-five times the buy-in amount. If you want to play long-term, you need to be as close to twenty-five or thirty times the buy-in. $1,000 to $1,500 is a good bankroll for a player at a $50 buy-in, no limit cash game.

Limit cash games require a larger percentage of the game’s buy-in, but because those buy-ins are lower, your bankroll can be a little smaller. 200-500 times the big bet amount is ideal, meaning that playing a $3-$6 limit cash game requires anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000 in your bankroll.

Players who are into the sit and go tournaments should have a bankroll that is at least 50 times the size of the buy-in. For example, if you plan on playing at $10+1 sit & gos, your initial deposit should be at least $275, with a bankroll of about $550 being absolutely ideal.

How Your Skill Level Affects Your Initial Deposit

Let’s face it – if you lose all the time, it won’t matter how much your initial deposit is, you will lose it all. Naturally, the better a poker player you are, the smaller your bankroll has to be. If you are a skilled, conservative player, you can get by with a smaller bankroll than the less-talented, aggressive-emotional players. Aggressive play creates large swings in play, requiring a larger bankroll to absorb the impact.

Always err on the side of being very conservative, both with your play and with your initial deposit size.

Match Your Deposit to Your Poker Bonus

Let’s say the poker room you want to join offers a 100% match bonus up to $600, much like Full Tilt Poker or one of the other big poker sites. Ideally, you should deposit $600 in order to earn the best bonus. But since you only get one shot at clearing your deposit bonus, and you have a limited time in which to claim it, you don’t have to go for the gold and risk a lot of your money to earn a bonus you may not clear.

Remember that you have to earn your bonus money, so match your initial deposit to your level of play, and be realistic about your bonus earning potential.

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