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If you’re like me, you play a lot of online poker. While I mostly just play with fake money these sites provide for free, ever now and then it can be exciting to get into a real money game. Even just low stakes bring a level of realism to the game that the fake money just doesn’t provide. While I don’t recommend gambling to anyone that doesn’t know what they’re doing, if you have some experience with poker it can be a fun diversion now and then.
A lot of online poker sites today draw you into real money games by offering a poker deposit bonus. These poker deposit bonuses get added to your account after you make a real money deposit into their site. Most of these poker deposit bonuses I’ve seen are based on a percentage of what you deposit, and seem to range between 10% and 25%.
Getting an immediate 25% return on all money you deposit seems like it’s too good to be true and it obviously is. You don’t actually get the added money until you’ve played a number of raked hands that at least equals the value of the poker deposit bonus. Many sites hold back your bonus until you’ve played raked hands for double, triple, or even more times the value of the bonus. So it’s definitely not free money. If you’ve been wining, its money you would have won anyway had the games not been raked. If you’ve been losing, well then it’s almost like free money in that the bonus comes out of the winnings of the people that beat you. So in other words, you have to lose a bunch of money for your poker deposit bonus to be ‘free’.
That all makes a poker deposit bonus seem like a scam, and well, in a way it sort of is. That’s how casinos make money too, however. Any kind of gambling site or organization has to have some way of making money, so there’s always that catch. The only way around it is to just play with your friends, or start your own games.
Since gambling sites offer their service to you from anywhere at any time, sometimes it’s worth the catch. A poker deposit bonus is a nice little ‘thanks for the business’ message from the site you choose. If you’re going to be gambling anyway, it’s a good deal, but I wouldn’t be drawn into a site just because of their poker deposit bonus. Sites that have especially high deposit bonuses also seem to have higher rakes and stricter rules about getting your bonus.