No Deposit Bonus Poker
Does this sound too good to be true? You are right. For the most part, the terms and conditions make these offers a bit more limited than they might initially seem.
There are a few no deposit offers with no strings attached, however, and there are some that are still an excellent value—if you play them the right way.
The Player's Guide to No Deposit Bonus Poker
This guide will familiarize you with the various types of no deposit bonuses available for both table and video poker. You'll also learn about the relevant terms and conditions to ensure you're getting a good value. Finally, we'll discuss the importance of changing your poker strategy in order to take advantage of a no deposit bonus.
No Deposit Bonuses for Table Poker
At sites that focus on table poker, your no deposit bonus will usually consist of a small amount of free play with each new account, realistically somewhere around $10. If the site offers other types of casino games, they may make a larger offer split between different kinds of games (i.e., $10 for slots and $10 that can only be used at poker).
If you see larger no deposit bonus amounts offered at poker sites, it is probably a package deal. It means you won't get the full amount to use at the tables right away. Let's take a look at 888Poker's $88 no deposit bonus as an example. When you first sign up, you only get $1 of free money to use at the tables!
So where is the other $87? Well, $7 comes in the form of free entry tickets to various tournaments. Whether or not you receive the remaining $80 will be dependent on how many hands you play. As you reach certain thresholds of play, 888Poker will release $8 of the free play to your account at a time.
No Deposit Bonuses for Video Poker
Online casinos bundle video poker with the general casino game software or app, which means your no deposit bonus offer will apply to all of those games.
The use of free play or free spin offers as a no deposit bonus are more readily available at online casinos, as opposed to specific online poker sites. However, there are some catches here. Free spins might not be available at video poker machines. If the free play or free spin offer can be used in video poker, the catch may be that you can't withdraw any winnings from these bonus funds until you've played through a certain amount of real money wagers.
It's always important to check the terms and conditions of any no deposit bonus offer. You'll usually find a link to this somewhere on the web page.
Terms and Conditions
We've touched on playthrough requirements for no deposit bonuses. This section will explain them in greater detail.
No deposit welcome bonuses almost always have some wagering requirement attached to them, regardless of whether they are for video or table poker. The real money wagering requirement is usually a multiple of the bonus amount. That's the amount of money you'll have to put in play—regardless of whether you win or lose—before you can withdraw any winnings from your account.
No deposit bonuses used for video poker at online casinos tend to have relatively high playthrough requirements—usually in the range of 30x to 80x the bonus amount. There may also be a cap on how much you can cash out in winnings from the bonus. These bonuses, therefore, work best as a small enhancement at a casino where you were already planning on playing a good deal of video poker. There is no advantage to using them and then leaving the site.
Poker tables handle their no deposit bonuses a bit differently. What usually happens is similar to the 888Poker example described above. The larger the free play amount offered, the more likely it will be divided into chunks that are released to you over time. It is less of a deterrent for table poker players, however, as your goal is usually to play as many hands as your bankroll allows.
Most poker sites and casinos don't spell all these terms out on the page that advertises the bonus. You'll have to click through to a separate “terms and conditions” or “FAQ” page to get all this information. If you're having trouble finding it, try Googling the name of the casino, plus “poker bonus,” plus “terms and conditions.”
Can A No Deposit Bonus Change Your Strategy?
Having a no deposit bonus at your disposal doesn't change the unique strategy that's best for each type of video poker game. If you have received some truly free spins, however, you might as well incorporate them and adjust your strategy a bit to shoot for high hands, like four of a kind, straight flush or royal flush while they are active. It is a better method than hanging on to more conservative pairs.
At a poker table, be sure to add your no deposit bonus in with your bankroll. So if you receive an added $8 for every $250 you play, you can add $8 to your overall bankroll for every $250 you plan to wager. These bonuses are almost never sufficient to influence whether you should play for a pot that you otherwise wouldn't, but they add a little cushion to your play that should be factored into your record keeping.
The No Deposit Bonus Poker Advantage
Most no deposit poker bonuses provide you with a slight advantage—and remember, every little edge you can get over the house helps. Just be sure to check the terms and conditions in order to verify that you are getting into an advantageous situation, and don't let enticing bonus advertisements drive you to play at a venue you would otherwise avoid.