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Poker Sign Up Bonuses & FAQ

The world of online poker is full of many bells & whistles that make the player experience an enjoyable one. One of the first perks you will encounter when venturing into online poker is that of the “Sign-Up Bonus”.

When you open an online poker account for the first time there are numerous sign-up bonuses you will be able to apply to your first deposit. From there you can continue to make deposits and apply deposit bonuses to get the most bang for your buck.

There is a lot that can go into the different types of bonuses and how they work. Let’s take a look at some of the more pertinent information as it relates to bonuses in the online poker world.

What is a sign-up bonus?

Many online poker sites offer incentives to players, especially new depositors, in the form of bonuses. In most cases, the bonuses are paid out incrementally as certain amounts are raked by the player.

For example:

A site may offer a player who deposits $100 a bonus of $100 that awards $5 every time the player rakes $25. To earn the full $100 bonus sum, the player would have to rake in $500 in total.

What is a raked hand?

Rake is the scaled commission fee taken by a cardamom or online client operating a poker game. It is generally 2.5 to 10 percent of the pot in each hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount. As it relates to bonuses, you must play “raked” hands to qualify for your bonus.

What is a “rakeback bonus”?

Rakeback is a player rewards method that began in 2004, whereby some online poker sites or their affiliate partners return part of the rake a player pays as an incentive for them to continue playing on that site

Rakeback in cash games can be calculated using two different methods – dealt and contributed. The dealt method awards the same amount of rakeback to each player dealt into a hand, and the contributed method rewards players based on their actual contribution to the pot.

Rakeback is similar to “comps” in “brick and mortar” casinos.

Is there a maximum bonus I can receive?

The short answer here is yes. In almost all cases you will see that when sites offer 100% deposit bonuses, it will come with a cap. Often, that cap will be $500 but it can vary from site to site and bonus to bonus.

A site would really be putting itself in a tough spot if it didn’t cap the amount and the high stakes players deposited massive amounts that the site would then have to match in bonuses over time.

Can I withdraw bonus money after it is earned?

Yes. Once the bonus money is earned, you are free to withdraw it if you so choose.

Can I use more than one bonus code at once?

No. Online poker sites do not offer the chance to redeem numerous bonuses at once when signing up. Likewise, when making additional deposits in the future you can only redeem one bonus at a time.

Can I use the same bonus more than once?

The answer can vary depending on the site and length of the bonus. Some sites capitalize on current trends or seasons and create bonuses to reflect that. A “SUMMER500” bonus, for example, that offers a 100% deposit bonus up to $500 at the start of the summer, might not be valid come winter time.

Given that some rules can differ from site to site or from bonus to bonus, it is important to read the fine print of the bonus to better understand its usage, and number of times it can be used.

Can a bonus expire after it has been redeemed?

No. Once you redeem a bonus it is up to you how quickly or how long it will take to be released. The only thing that matters is number of raked hands played. So, whether it takes you two weeks or two months or even longer, the bonus will still release as intended.

Can I transfer a bonus to another player?

No. Once a bonus is redeemed
it is yours and yours only.

Can I use a bonus code for a new deposit if my previous bonus has not yet been fully released?

This is a very good question and is one that there is no blanket answer to. We suggest referring to whichever site you are using and check their terms and conditions as they relate to bonuses.

What happens to unclaimed bonus funds if I cash out and close my account?

If you have only obtained, let’s say, $15 of your $25 bonus and you wish to cash out and close your online poker account, that unclaimed $10 does not get added to your account, it simply ceases to exist.

Remember, the rules of the bonus dictate that you must meet certain raked hand thresholds in order for the bonus to be released. If you do not do so, then you are not eligible for the remaining bonus money.

Do I have to use a bonus code when signing up?

No, only if you wish to redeem a bonus. It makes sense, however, to use a bonus code anytime you sign up or deposit money as it is essentially free money waiting to be claimed.


You should now have a good, basic understanding of online poker bonuses and how they work. For more detailed and in-depth knowledge of specific sites or specific bonuses, we recommended diving deep into the fine print of each.

These questions and answers mainly serve as general knowledge given that requirements and bonus types can vary from site to site.

The same way brick & mortar casinos can offer different comps from casino to casino, the same applies to online poker rooms when it comes to bonuses.

To get started off on the right foot, check out our list of some of the best bonuses in the world of online poker:

  • Best Online Poker Sites
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