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This is a section of our website where we will compare various poker bonuses. The very first thing to say is that while size matters, there is a handful of more important aspects, when it comes to poker bonuses. Throughout this page you will learn more about things like Bonus Value, Increments of Release as well as various aspects about poker sites, such as Traffic and Softness of games. Counting on all of these aspects will get you to a point where selecting a Bonus will become an easy task to do.

Differences and Similarities in Poker Bonuses

What are poker bonuses? In general, they are a marketing tool used by poker rooms in order to attract new customers that pay rake and earn them money. However, with hundreds of poker sites there also are hundreds of different bonuses, each of which is a little bit different from the next one. The main difference will be in their sizes and match percentages.

Match percentage is what dictates the amount that has to be deposited, in order to take advantage of the maximum bonus amount. For example, a common match of 100% will reward you with a bonus that will be equal to the amount deposited. In simpler words, if there is a 100% up to $500 Bonus, you will have to deposit $500 to get the maximum bonus. Percentages are usually between 100 and 200%, but can get as high as 1000% in some cases.

The bonus amount shown on most landing pages is, in fact, the maximum amount that can be claimed. New inexperienced players often overrate this aspect. Sure, $10,000 poker bonus sounds great, but if it is released in one chunk and you have to pay $100,000 in rake to unlock it, it’s not all that great. Generally, bonuses range between $200 and $2,000 in size, with very rare exceptions for larger ones.

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Best Deposit Matches and Bonuses

Individual bonuses can be divided into more player-friendly and less player-friendly ones. This is mainly impacted by the particular deposit match percentages as well as the bonus amount. An industry leader, iPoker Network is known for offering 200 to 250% deposit match bonuses with bonus amounts anywhere between $500 and $2,000. A 250% bonus of $1,000 will only require a player to transfer $400 on his account, in order to take advantage of the maximum amount offered. This is good for quite an obvious reason, as beginner players will rarely have enough funds to deposit $1,000 or even less. High match percentage allows these kinds of players to receive larger bonuses.

However, the larger can’t always be translated as the better, when it comes to poker bonuses. As it was mentioned before, huge bonuses will often have predatory terms that will work to the benefit of the poker site and offer bad value to the player.

The best poker bonus for beginner players in 2018 comes from Everest Poker. This poker site is also known as a friendly one to beginners and those just starting out in online poker. The great thing about this Bonus is the way it’s credited or awarded – $1,000 will be added to your pending balance once you have made a real-money deposit and even a $10 transfer will get you that exact amount. Even though it’s unlikely that one could clear the full amount with a $10 Bankroll, there is no harm for beginners in terms of its size.

Free Tournament Tokens and Other Perks

Poker sites will also offer some extra gifts, perks or Tournament Tokens for signing up and making a real-money deposit. When it comes to tournament tokens, these are usually awarded for Freeroll Tournaments for depositing players that often hold significant value. Prizes include real cash as well as various electronics or merchandise. Of course, it differs on a player-by-player basis and some might see this as a great chance to increase their bankrolls, while others won’t even consider playing them. One thing is for sure though, this is extra value and completely free of charge, so if you fall in the category of those who care, don’t miss your chance.

The best poker room offering free tournament tokens in 2018 is Winner Poker. This site will offer free entries into real-money poker tournaments for 90 days after your first deposit, as well as an upgrade in their VIP Program and complimentary entries into various promotions that are exclusive.

Playthrough Requirements

This is one of the most important aspects that also determines whether a poker bonus should be used and taken advantage of. Each one has to be considered on an individual basis, as the terms differ. The playthrough requirements of a bonus will say how much you have to rake before the funds will be available at your account as well as the increments, in which it is credited. Bonuses also differ by their clearing period, that is the amount of time you are given to clear it, before it expires. An industry standard for this is between 30 and 60 days, with some exceptions granting a chance to clear your bonus in 180 days (PokerStars, for example).

The value of the bonus or its playback rate is also of great importance, as this aspect actually shows the true worth of it. You see, by playing poker for real money, you pay commission to the room for providing you with the chance to do so. This is called ‘rake’, or ‘fees’, if you play tournaments. The bonus value refers to the amount of these fees that has to be paid before $1 of it is awarded. Again, this differ between different bonuses, but can be anywhere between $5 for $ 1 bonus to $2 for $ 1 bonus. You can actually calculate the exact percentage of return one provides. The latter example of $2/$1 would be a really generous one, as you would gain a return of 50% just from this single bonus. Add some promotions and VIP Programme, and you might find yourself asking how this poker site makes any money at all.

The increments of release is another aspect that is worth taking a look at, especially if you’re a small-stakes player. Most of the time, bonuses will be released in small increments of $1 to $10. If you’re a micro-stakes player this is a perfect scenario, as it will constantly boost your bankroll every time you rake the required amount. However, there also are the so-called lump sum bonuses that are awarded in one piece. These are far from being suitable to a micro- or low-stakes poker player.

A perfect example of this are the poker bonuses offered by Red Kings Poker. There are 8 different ones offered, starting with a relatively small $250 bonus, which is released in small increments all the way up to a $2,500 fixed, lump sum bonus. Even though $2,500 is obviously more than $250, it is literally worthless, unless you are a very high volume player with a decently sized bankroll. However, if you can afford going for that large bonus, you should certainly do it. It’s worse value-wise, but in the end you’ll earn more money anyway. We actually have two exclusive, tailored Red Kings Bonuses for our readers that offer the Best possible value and friendlier terms so be sure to check out our Red Kings Review page.

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Which Bonus is Best for Me?

The whole purpose of the whole section up to here was to make you understand that the answer of this question depends on several factors, such as your skill level, definitely your experience and obviously the size of your poker bankroll. However, we’ll go through some bonuses for all types of players.

Best Bonuses for Beginners

Most beginner players, who come in through TV or other advertising campaigns don’t care about deposit bonuses or anything similar. One great example is PokerStars, which does a lot of advertising. Even though their site is known as the Nr.1 poker room for beginners, it is certainly worth it to try other alternatives, especially given the fact that the bonus at PokerStars is far from suitable for poker newbies. We have three great alternatives to advise – RedKings, Everest Poker and 888 Poker. These rooms will benefit newbies by offering easier competition as well as games and bonuses tailored towards new & inexperienced players. RedKings’ $400 Skrill Bonus is a perfect example, as it’s awarded to all deposits that are over $10 (the minimum amount allowed) and is also cleared in beginner-friendly, $10 increments.

888 Poker is also very good for beginners, when it comes to all the aspects mentioned above, and particularly games, bonuses and promotions. The moment you join, an $8 award is placed in your account. If you choose to make a deposit, there is up to $800 first deposit bonus. You’ll also benefit from some Free Tournament entries as well as exclusive Freerolls. These will be the backbone for the start of your journey and will help with adding important dollars to your account.

Best Poker Bonuses for Recreational or Small Stakes Players

free and bonus offer from 888pokerIf you fall in this category, we assume that you don’t have plenty of time to play poker, and you also have between $50 and $500 to invest into this venture. If this is the case, keep reading. The bonus amount shouldn’t play the key role in choosing a poker bonus for yourself, the amount of time given to clear is what’s more important, as you aren’t sure how much time you’ll be able to dedicate to the game.

We have researched a wide range of rooms and found that the best poker rooms for you will be the ones that offer steady daily traffic at several game types and limits. These are PokerStars, Party Poker and the rooms on the iPoker Network. We would advise in favour of the latter one, as their bonuses are more generous and the games are equal in quality to the ones at the other two rooms mentioned. Winner Poker, a site on the iPoker Network, will award you with a 200% bonus of up to $2,000, compared to the 100% up to $500/$600 at PokerStars and Party Poker, respectively. On top of that, Winner will also award exclusive freeroll tokens and 90 Days of daily Freeroll entries!

However, if none of the rooms we advised seems to satisfy your demands, you can choose any other poker site. You may also use a trusted online guide that will have reviews and offers available for you. For example, also contains details of the best poker deposit offers. Just make sure that you choose one with enough traffic and somewhat generous rewards, as both these things are crucial for an exciting and, more importantly, lucrative playing experience. You’ll be looking to pick tables with the worst players and play there, which might be impossible if a particular poker room doesn’t have enough tables. See our Poker Software section for some handy Table Selection Tools.

Best Bonuses for Advanced and Professional Players

This is the turning point where bonuses and traffic are less important, as game softness becomes more crucial. You’ll be looking for a poker room that offers a wide range of tables to choose from, as well as soft games that aren’t filled with good players. Of course, if the games are soft, good players will always target them, but you can see the point. Also, as a high-volume player, the benefits from a VIP Programme will outweigh short-term advantages of a poker bonus. Sites that offer enough traffic for you will be PokerStars, Party Poker, the iPoker Network Rooms, 888 Poker as well as the rooms on the Ongame Network. If you’re a high-stakes player, your best bet and basically only choice will be PokerStars, as it’s the only room with constant high-stakes games running, including tournaments.

If you, on the other hand, are looking for a large, rewarding deposit bonus, the best places to play at will be Winner Poker or Red Kings. These are iPoker and Ongame Network powered rooms that generously reward their players and offer significant traffic and number of tables.

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Even though the best poker bonuses in 2018 offer significant value to players, they are mostly short-term and expire after you have cleared a particular amount. Thus, if you are a serious player, you should consider and calculate the returns of a VIP Scheme or Programme that is offered by just about any room. PokerStars, for example, offers returns of up to 74% via their VIP Club. However, these are quite impossible to reach, unless you have 10 hours a day to devote for poker play.

Winner Poker and Party Poker, on the other hand, offer significant value that can actually be achieved. Their VIP Systems will bring up to 50% value back into your poker account. This is done by earning & converting points into real money. The key aspect to achieve high return is saving points and purchasing only highest rewards. Again, this will require you to save points for a couple of months. This won’t be possible unless you have a hefty bankroll.

There are several small sites that offer fixed Rakeback deals, but given that there’s hardly any traffic at the tables, they are far from being worth it.