Nearly all online poker sites offer players free poker money – either as a bonus when you make your first deposit or through various promotions. Some sites offer a no deposit poker bonus for players to try out their software, whereas others will give players free poker money in addition to the advertised bonus – but only after they have made a qualifying deposit.
So where should you start with all these poker sites that offer free money? The answer is with the terms and conditions of the free poker bonuses. Some offers enable you to build up a free poker bankroll from scratch without limitations, while others will have restrictions on the type of game that can be played and withdrawing your winnings. My article explains more.
Free Money at Poker Sites Explained
The primary reason to offer free money at poker sites is to attract players. Free poker money – however it is dressed up – is a marketing cost, and a necessary marketing cost at that! All the time that one poker site is offering a first deposit bonus or other free poker money promotion, the other sites have to follow suit or risk losing out on new business.
However, free poker bonuses for making an initial deposit are not actually free. They are redeemed in chunks or incrementally as players contribute to the rake deducted from cash game pots or enter a multitable tournament or Sit & Go game that has an entry fee. Effectively, players are paying for their bonuses as a proportion of the rake they pay.
What about No Deposit Poker Bonuses?
No deposit poker bonuses are a great way to experience real money poker without having to commit any of your own funds. They are an excellent introduction to an online poker site – especially if you have been playing for play chips on the site. Play money poker is not at all representative of what you will find when there is cold hard cash up for grabs!
However, not all no deposit poker bonuses are what they seem. Some will offer you a limited amount of cash and the balance in tournament tokens that have to be used within a specific time frame. Others require that you make a real money deposit or earn a predetermined number of VIP Points before you can withdraw any profit you have made from the no deposit poker bonus.
Free Money at Poker Sites after Making a Deposit
Although not a poker bonus without a deposit, some poker sites have now introduced promotions in which they offer free poker money to players after they have funded their accounts in addition to the advertised bonus. These offers are generally more flexible than no deposit poker bonuses and enable players to choose the type of game they want to play.
One additional advantage of these promotions is that players´ bankrolls increase quite quickly. For example, if you were to deposit €20.00 on a poker site offering a 200% bonus plus €20.00 as a no deposit poker bonus, you will eventually have €80.00 in your account once the bonus clearing requirements have been fulfilled (€20.00 deposit, plus €40.00 bonus, plus €20.00 no deposit poker bonus).
Other Ways in Which Poker Sites Offer Free Poker Money
The other ways in which poker sites offer free poker money are in ongoing promotions and VIP programs. Like first deposit bonuses, this “free money at poker sites” is not actually free. Players usually get rewarded for completing promotions or earn cash bonuses for contributing to the rake or paying tournament entry fees.
However, for a breakeven player at the tables, these promotions and VIP programs make the difference between effectively playing for fun and enjoying a lucrative online poker experience. It is well worth comparing these ongoing promotions and VIP programs to see which the most valuable are compared to your style of play and the hours you are prepared to spend at the tables.
Where to Find the Best Free Poker Money Offers
Free poker money offers are constantly changing, so we have created a dedicated page to guide players towards finding the best poker bonus. Essentially there are three key things to look out for with each offer:
- What time limits apply to the free money poker offer?
- What restrictions are there on the types of games available?
- What are the conditions for withdrawing any money you win?
Remember that some poker sites want to you to “opt in” to a promotion, while others will have an ineligibility clause if you make a withdrawal during a promotional period. Remember also that the biggest is not necessarily the best. So don´t be blinded by offers of a free poker bankroll that look too good to be true. They usually are!