The Ultimate Guide to Poker Offers

By Julia Krotova
June 29, 2023

With so many places to play poker online, some people choose where they’ll go by the special poker offers and bonuses these sites offer. To understand which of these bonuses are the most appealing, you must first understand what some of these offers mean.

What is a welcome bonus?

How does the refer-a-friend program work?

What are freerolls?

Let’s try to answer some of these questions and more!


1.  Welcome bonuses

Most sites offer some sort of welcome bonus to incentivize newcomers to register to receive a bonus. Once they set up the account, the player will usually have to make an initial deposit, and after this deposit, they’ll usually receive a bonus.

Now, there are several different types of these welcome bonuses:

  • Match deposit bonus: Here, you get a bonus as high as your initial deposit. In other words, you make an initial deposit of $100 and receive $100 more as a welcome bonus (just pay attention to the maximum amount that will be matched.)
  • No deposit bonus: Here, you receive a bonus just for registering. Since this system is prone to abuse, these bonuses are usually significantly lower.
  • Free tournament ticket: Online poker tournaments usually have an enrollment fee. In this scenario, you would enroll for free.

Remember that sometimes you’ll need a promo code when you sign up in order to unlock a welcome bonus—if you don’t enter this code when creating your account, you won’t qualify for the bonus. This means that you’ll have to be extra creative and search for the latest offers before joining a new site. For instance, you must find the best promo code in New Jersey when playing in NJ or on an NJ-based site, but the same codes aren’t available to players in all areas. Always check the terms and conditions of the offer before signing up too, to make sure that you will qualify and you know what you have to do to unlock the bonus.

2.  Freeroll

Yes, freerolls exist even on online poker sites. Unlike other games, they usually earn you a spot in an online poker tournament. As we’ve already mentioned, you typically have to buy in to play in a contest; however, this is no longer a requirement with a freeroll.

Remember that the tournament treats you just like anyone else (who has actually paid for their spot in the tournament). You don’t have a leaderboard disadvantage, and nothing prevents you from having a chance at the main prize. The payout structure is the same for everyone.

While freerolls are usually a reward for the regulars, they’re also used to attract new players. A chance to play without real money is ideal for new players who are still learning the ropes. You have no up-front costs, meaning you’re virtually playing for free, but the chance to win is still there.

Since you never know what tournament is next, you might want to become a well-rounded player by mastering mixed games.

3.  Refer-a-friend

Most poker sites incentivize referral programs, meaning that you get a bonus if you recommend them to a friend, and this friend registers using your code.

Now, this is not as simple as just registering. There’s a certain eligibility criterion that they have to pass to avoid scams or scenarios where you just make fake accounts to get as many referral bonuses as possible.

Usually, a friend must place a certain deposit or play a specific number of games before you get your bonus.

4.  Bad beat jackpot bonuses

Now, this is a unique bonus that acts as a sort of consolation prize. There’s no worse feeling than having a strong hand and getting beaten by an even stronger hand. Well, as it turns out, this may qualify you for a bad beat jackpot bonus.

Just keep in mind that while you may find the term “strong hand” quite intuitive in poker, the truth is that most sites have their own interpretation of the term. So, make sure to check this beforehand.

Since a small percentage of each pot goes to the jackpot, this loss at a table may be the best thing ever happening to you. Just keep in mind that, most of the time, this is indeed a consolation prize giving you a few more moments of hope.

5.  Loyalty program

Player retention is a high priority for every poker site, meaning that most have at least some loyalty program.

This works like in any other field – players accumulate loyalty points by participating in real-money games. These points (whose conversion rate may depend on the site) can usually be redeemed for:

  • Cashback payments
  • Freerolls
  • Tournament enrollment
  • Merchandise

It’s also not uncommon for poker sites to offer enhanced customer support for players who have accumulated a specific amount of loyalty points. This gives the user a higher sense of belonging and may evoke brand loyalty.

These bonuses may be the deciding nuances when it comes to choosing the right online poker site for you

While these bonuses may not seem as much, the truth is that they do a great job at sweetening the pot. In a time when there are so many online options, even a single additional bonus may sway players one way or another. Why not use a welcome bonus to spend more time getting familiar with the site? What’s wrong with being appreciated as a regular player? It turns out that these bonuses matter more than you think.



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Julia Krotova poker author
Written By.

Julia Krotova

Julia is a freelance writer with an affinity for poker. She plays in the occasional home game in the UK with her gal pals for low stakes and is an avid fan of free-to-play online poker games.

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