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Poker Bonus Whoring – Learn to Make The Most of Your Online Poker Bonus

The object of poker is to make money. It doesn’t matter what you do at the poker table (with the exception of cheating, collusion and scams) for as long as you walk away with money, you can consider your mission fulfilled.
Winning and felting opponent after opponent is nice, however it’s nowhere nearly as easy as you’d think it is based on all the poker books and online poker articles you read. Sometimes, especially if you’re not properly bankrolled, breaking even is the best you can hope for.

Fortunately, there are other ways that allow you to make money at the table. One of the most interesting such alternative money-recovering and revenue generating ways is through rakeback. Rakeback will give you a certain percentage (around 30%, but it can be more than 100%) of your rake back. You pay rake whenever you play real money poker, so no, you will not be able to otherwise subtract yourself from under the effects of the rake.

While playing with rakeback is indeed an excellent way to open a new revenue stream, when you’re playing medium to high stakes, it is less efficient at micro stakes (the kind that you’ll probably end up playing when you begin your bankroll-building quest). Make no mistake, rakeback will help you on low or micro stakes too, what I’m saying is that it might not be the most efficient method to make money at this stage.

Since efficiency is the keyword if you’re truly into generating money, you need to look into a different method to circumvent the system at the beginning of your online poker career. Bonus whoring or bonus hunting is the answer. I won’t lie to you: most online poker rooms hate the notion as it is, because players coming in, releasing the sign-up bonus and leaving is the last thing they’re after, but it’s the best thing for you to do, and at the end of the day, somebody has got to do the dirty work too. Bonus hunting can give you a great edge. Starting out on a $100 bankroll and reaching the point where you’ll generate $24/hour is indeed entirely possible. It doesn’t sound too bad, does it? If I managed to grab your attention, read on to learn about the method in detail.


Sign-up bonus – also known as first deposit bonus, a sign up bonus is a set amount of money a poker room will give you to reward you for your choosing them. Sign-up bonuses are usually of the following form: upon your first deposit, you get a X% match on your money up to a Y maximum. Some sign-up bonuses are given to you upfront, others need to be unlocked before they’re transferred to your real money account. Poker rooms offer these bonuses to gain an edge on their competitors.

Reload bonus – While most poker rooms will only grant you a bonus on your very first deposit, some offer you match bonuses on your subsequent deposits as well. These bonuses are called reload bonuses.

Bankroll – the total amount of money a player has at his/her disposal solely for the purpose of playing poker is called a bankroll.
NETteller – NETeller is an online money transfer solution that will make it easy for you to make deposits and to withdraw money from poker sites. You will need a Neteller account, because you will need to the ability to move funds from one place to another quickly and commission free. If a poker room does not support payment through NETeller, it is probably not worth messing around with.

Bonus validity- While not all online poker rooms do this, some do set a validity term on their bonuses. If you have 30 days to unlock your bonus and you fail to do it till the expiry date, you forfeit it.

Raked Hand – A raked hand is a hand which yields a set minimum amount of rake for the room ($0.5 for instance) and thus is accepted by the room for bonus-clearing purposes. Every poker room will define the concept of “raked hand” in a different way, therefore a bonus hunter will need to be able to read and understand bonus terms and conditions properly. Because of the minimum rake a hand needs to generate to qualify as a bonus-releasing hand, bonus hunters will be compelled to play certain minimum limits.

Contributed rake – some poker rooms only allot an individual player rake contribution (raked hands) if he/she actively contributes with money to the pot. For the purposes of bonus whoring, this rake contribution method is not the optimal one, and should therefore be avoided.

e-cash pin – the e-cash pin represents a security feature Cryptologic network sites have implemented. They send you a pin code via email, which will enable you to withdraw money to your NETeller account. This procedure is a pretty lengthy one and will therefore impair your ability to unlock your bonus as fast as you possibly can. If you have a large enough bankroll though and you play higher limits, it will not represent a noteworthy problem.

Pokertracker – Pokertracker is a piece for software designed to analyze play and to compile relevant statistics. Every good online poker player has it, and you will need it too if you intend to be a good bonus hunter. You’ll be able to pick it up for around $50, but if used wisely, it’ll more than make up for that expense.

5x, 10x etc. – when you see a number in your bonus redemption requirements followed by “x”, it means that you will have to play your bonus amount through that many times to have it released. If you have a $50 bonus for instance and the requirements are 10x, you’ll have to play 500 raked hands to have it transferred to your real money account.

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