Free Bonus Poker
Robert A. Heinlein once said that “nothing of value is free,” and that’s almost always true in the world of casinos and gambling. That doesn't mean that you can't make “free” promotional offers work to your advantage, though. If your game is table poker, for instance, then you are in an excellent position to capitalize on these offers.
The Player's Guide to Free Bonus Poker
This guide will cover the free bonus opportunities at both table and video poker, and the best ways to take advantage of them. Information about the video poker variant “Bonus Poker” is included as well.
For the purposes of this article, we'll be defining “free” bonuses as those that can be used without having to spend any money or make a deposit. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the winnings from the bonus are yours to keep without first meeting particular requirements.
Free Bonuses at Table Poker
The most common type of free poker room bonus you'll see is the “no deposit” bonus granted when you create a new account with a site. These are different from bonuses that match your funds when you deposit a certain amount.
In rare cases, the no deposit bonus is actually free money—and if it is, it will likely be a very small amount, definitely no more than $10. The standard caveat attached to the no deposit bonus at poker tables is that you have to play a certain amount of hands at certain stakes to have the full amount released to you. You'll get a small amount initially, then more for every 250 raked hands played or some similar arrangement. If you plan to play that amount regardless of the bonus offer, then the no deposit bonus becomes free money.
Check the terms and conditions carefully, however, as poker sites sometimes list free entry tickets to tournaments as part of the total dollar amount of their no deposit bonus. Some of the bonus amount may also only be applicable at other types of games offered by the site, like slots or video poker.
The other major type of free bonus available at poker sites is the loyalty bonus. Poker sites may reward you with anything from free play to free tournament tickets periodically as you reach certain thresholds of play. At some sites, you'll generate loyalty points as you play and they can be cashed in for the reward of your choice. This is another case where if you had planned to play a lot anyway, these bonuses are basically just a free perk to enjoy.
Free Bonuses at Video Poker
Online casinos are the place to find video poker, and you'll find quite a few of these that offer no deposit bonuses. The terms are a bit different than what you'll encounter at the poker tables, however.
A casino that offers a no deposit bonus will either give you some free credit, or simply give you a certain amount of free hands to play at video poker. The constraint here is that you usually can't withdraw the winnings until you've wagered some multiple of either the bonus amount or the amount you win using the bonus. If it doesn't cost you anything to use the free credit or free spins, however, then it's worth wagering to see what you get. If you hit a large jackpot, that may give you the funds to meet the wagering requirement and still have some free bonus money left over.
Looking for Bonus Poker?
Bonus Poker is a very popular variant of video poker. It plays exactly like the standard video poker game, but the pay table is rearranged to make the game more volatile. That means a little less in the way of smaller wins, but bigger wins occur when you hit the rare hands. There are further variants such as Double Double and Triple Bonus that add new possibilities for winning hands, such as getting a kicker along with your four of a kind.
Most online casinos will let you play all of these Bonus Poker game types for free with “play money,” so that you can get comfortable with the game and find your favorite at no risk.
How to Find the Best Free Bonus Poker Offers
If you're planning on playing a high volume of video or table poker, it's worth shopping around to see who currently has the best free bonus offers. As always, be sure to carefully check the terms and conditions before you start wagering.