THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2006-01-22, by TwoGun
Online poker rooms offer an array of deposit bonuses. We review many of the signup bonuses available on our bonus codes page. A lot of people new to online poker are often unsure as to what to look for in these bonuses. Below are what I believe to be the most important factors about a bonus, listed in order of importance:
1. Games available
First and foremost, is the bonus even available for the game and limit you enjoy playing? Some bonuses are not available for micro-limit players or low-stakes players. For these players, it is unwise to start playing higher stakes just to clear the bonus. Instead, just play without the bonus or find a site that has a bonus available for the game you are interested in playing.
For ring game players who play medium-stakes or higher, this is almost always a non-issue. However, for low-stakes players and tournament-focused players, this factor is extremely important.
2. Clearing rate
What's the point of claiming the bonus if it will take forever and a day to clear? Most of the times, the poker rooms have reasonable bonus clearing requirements. A typical bonus clears at a rate of 10 raked hands for every bonus dollar. If a bonus takes much longer to clear, then you will need to play a lot of poker before you see much of that bonus money.
We make rough estimates as to the clearing rate of some signup bonuses on our bonus reviews page. These will give you an idea as to how much these bonuses are worth per hour.
3. Time to clear
Most of the time, this is a non-issue since poker rooms will give players ample time to clear the bonus. Nevertheless, it is wise to read the fine print. If they only give you a limited time to clear the bonus, you may not be able to clear the entire bonus. If you are tackling a bonus that has a slow clearing rate and have a limited time to work off the bonus, the bonus may turn out to be almost useless to you.
4. Max amount and percentage match
All else being equal, the higher the better! Just remember that the larger bonuses tend to have slower clearing rates.
5. When the bonus is paid
Some poker rooms pay off their bonuses in segments, while others require you to clear the entire bonus before you receive any bonus money. If you think it will take awhile to clear the bonus, it is very important that the bonus is paid off in parts. This way, if you are unable to clear the bonus, you will receive at least some bonus money.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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