Mission Debriefing: Where Poker Fits in the Online Betting Galaxy
Cyberspace is an epic place. Really, when you stand on the bridge of this ship, it’s hard not to be blown away by how positively, absolutely massive it all is. And that can make navigation tricky for even the most experienced crew members. As it’s important to understand what to expect from poker betting online generally to wrap your head around the best online poker bonus options, I’m going to provide some coordinates here.
Online poker can be found as part of a betting site that offers a wide variety of different betting products. Some of these sites might be what I would call a jack-of-all-trades. Think of these like an all-terrain vehicle, capable of navigating moonrock or the imposing conditions of Jupiter with ease and grace. These may offer a sportsbook, casino, bingo and poker options. Don’t count these out – I’ve found many of these kinds of sites to be excellent. In fact, many of the best poker sites in the world are part of a larger betting site.
You may also get a casino that includes poker to varying degrees. To be clear, I wouldn’t consider a site that just has the odd video poker game to be a poker site. I’m looking for real games, with real people, and dedicated software. I’d certainly be surprised if you could find anything worthy of being considered the best online poker bonus on a site which doesn’t make poker a priority.
Lastly, there are sites that are solely dedicated to poker. As you may expect, there’s some truly excellent options from these types of sites. That doesn’t mean all are good, but if their bread and butter is poker and they’ve failed on that account, well, they’re off the bridge without a helmet, as they say here in the space-corp.
Most important of all though is that there are many brilliant ways to play poker, on many different kinds of operator. So, there truly is something for everyone.
10 Types of Poker Bonus to Give Your Game a Rocket Boost
One of the things that impressed me the most during my adventure into the world of poker bonus options is just how much is out there. I’ve had to use all my piloting skills to make my way through this asteroid field of betting goodness – and I’ve identified 10 key kinds of bonus available to you.
Do keep in mind that these are just general and this is meant to help you identify the right promotions for you. It’s not a review of individual promotions. So do remember that this is an overview, and there’s plenty of room for even more types of bonuses and innovation from each and every operator. That said, this should give you a good blueprint of what to expect before you blast off.
1. Welcome Bonus
Now, this is more of a genre of poker promotion rather than anything specific, but it’s a very important one to discuss. A welcome bonus is any kind of promotion which is only available to new players. It could consist of any of the bonus offer types I discuss below, or it could be something completely different. It’s that it is tied to either your first few deposits or specific time constraints which make it distinct.
Importantly, because operators want you to pick them out of all the others on planet Earth, they can often be the best online poker bonus from that betting site.
2. Reload Bonus
This type of promotion is essentially a follow up of the welcome bonus and rewards consistent deposits. Often, it will work in a similar way to the sign up bonus, but maybe with smaller rewards.
3. Money Back
Much like my planet exploder gun, this is one where the name pretty much tells you most of what you need to know. This is a promotion where you get money back for playing on their site – often in the form of percentages of how much you have played, won or lost. It could apply to all kinds of bonuses but what unites them all is you’re getting money back you have put in.
4. Free Spins
Remember when I said that casinos often came with poker sites or poker options? I hope so, paying attention is vital to being part of my crew. Well, many operators saw an opportunity to combine the two, meaning free spins on slot machines – or as part of a wheel dedicated to poker – can be a way of providing extra value to your poker promotion.
5. Free Bets
A free bet is where you get extra cash or extra bets, usually on top of your deposit. You could, for instance, get double the amount you started with to play with. Free bets are often more closely associated with sportsbooks, but I found plenty of similar offers for poker during my travels.
There will almost certainly be a wagering requirement attached to them, and likely a time limit among other conditions, before you can withdraw any winnings. The fairness of these terms will have a big impact on the quality of this bonus, perhaps more than any other in the known universe.
6. Prize Draw
While there are many kinds of prize draw, I found it most common to be entered into one through normal play. Indeed, I think this is the best kind of prize draw, as I love any bonus which rewards you for playing as you usually would. So, for instance, you may get entered into a draw for playing a certain amount of cash or specific types of games.
The types of prizes – and indeed the specific of a prize draw – can vary, but generally I’d consider it to be any promotion where you’re entered into a draw with the chance of winning something of substance, similar to a betting raffle.
7. Invite a Friend
Now, captains don’t tend to know much about friends. Our only true friend is the vastness and beauty of space. However, for those of you with friends, many operators will offer you bonuses if you invite them to use their site. It could be cash, free bets, free spins, anything really. I’ve found many of the offers available to be quite generous. Now, if only I could find someone to invite…
8. Hand of the Day
This can go by many different names, and it’s less common than some of the others on this list, but it’s a cool concept. Basically, this rewards you for getting specific poker hands, usually high hands. You can get extra cash, bets or points if there’s a VIP system. I love this one because it simply means there are more ways to win and more ways for a great hand to reward you. Do note though, you’ll almost certainly have to show your hand for this to count.
9. Enhanced Rakeback
Whenever you play poker, a small percentage is taken by the house. It’s how they stay in business and for me, is one of the most important things for any betting site to get right about their poker product. Rakeback is the portion of this money you get back: it could be every day, week or month. Your rakeback is given to you through a percentage. Any promotion which enhances these percentages can be considered a rakeback promotion. You might, for instance, get enhanced rakeback for registering early.
10. VIP System
Consider this the opposite end of the poker promotion wormhole compared to welcome bonuses. Instead of rewarding new players for signing up, this bonus system rewards long-term users for sticking with them.
Many VIP Systems have tiers, which you move up the more you play, with a set amount of benefits. Just like the welcome bonus though, beyond that there’s no criteria for what that could be. Anything on this list could be among them. And just like that, our look at poker bonus options – like the Earth’s gravitational pull – achieves perfect balance.
The Best Online Poker Bonus Options This Side of the Milky Way
So, one of my favourite types of poker bonus is one you don’t always find on the promotional page. Sometimes you do – it depends on the individual operator. But I do understand that it might not be considered a bonus by some because it’s so commonly and generously offered by great betting sites. That, and the fact that I think it’s so significant, which is why I’ve decided to separate it from my other 10 picks of promotional types for poker betting.
If you choose to define it as a promotion, then for many, it could certainly be considered as the best online poker bonus. Even if you view it as more of a feature, there’s no doubt that it provides huge benefits and it’s a “bonus” in the literal sense. It’s the same as when you realise that catering has provided you with extra space soup packs – you think to yourself “what a bonus”, regardless of what page the operator chooses to put it on.
Have you guessed what it is yet?
For me, there’s no promotion more important than free entry to poker games and tournaments. That’s right, many betting sites allow you to enter big money tournaments for absolutely nothing. Not only that but many of them have massive cash prizes.
The Benefits of Free Poker Games and Tournaments
The catch? Well, there isn’t one, except that they’re very hard to win. As they’re open to everyone though, I think they’re worth their weight in gold in the value they have for practise. Perhaps better than any other kind of game, a tournament that’s open to everyone gives you a real sense of the medium level of competition out there.
If you’re unsure of your skills and what kind of level you’re at, this experience can pay off even if you don’t win anything from the tournament. If you lose, you can have a lot of fun and it’s a great learning experience, again, for absolutely nothing. No risk of your own cash, no need to deposit more (at least that is the case in the majority of and the best kinds of these sorts of bonuses). If you win, you get money for nothing but your time and effort.
The reason I think this is such an important part of great poker sites is that more than any other bonus, it opens the game up to people of all levels, acting as both a learning experience and a way for the best to showcase their skills.
What Makes a Poker Bonus a Star?
I’ve gone through some of the kinds of poker bonus you can expect and I’ve even broken down what I consider to be one of the most vital bonuses of any poker site. However, there’s more to a great bonus than just what kind of offer it is. There’s plenty of distinctions between those promotional types. So what I’ve done here is provide a satellite view of the five key elements I think separate the good from the bad, and the great from the good.
A Generous Proposal
Think of this as being like your first impressions of Earth. You can see it all but not in detail. This is what you’d read on the promotional title. It’s the initial concept. This is where you find out generally what is promised to you, whether it’s money back, free bets, free spins, tournaments entries, whatever it is.
Now, this alone doesn’t make a great promotion. In fact, should those details be unfavourable, it could actually end up being a hunk of space junk no matter how appealing it looked in the distance. But, you need to know what’s being promised in order to see whether it lives up to that promise.
Fair Terms and Conditions
And how exactly can a promotion deliver on its promises? For the most part, it comes down to the terms and conditions. These are what dictate how a promotion actually works in reality. It’s like the difference between knowing a spaceship flies, and knowing how to fly it. Try to engineer success without in-depth understanding and you could be in for a crash landing.
Especially important to consider is who is able to use that promotion, whether it’s new or old customers, as well as geographical restrictions – Earth-based of course, there’s still a lack of great Martian poker sites. There’s also any time limit you need to consider, what banking options can be utilised and, in the case of some promotions, what wagering requirements are needed.
Vital to all is what you need to do to qualify for the bonus, from just signing up to making deposits. The specifics of what you actually get are of vital importance. Essentially, what I look for – and what you should look for – in terms and conditions is what the tangible benefit of the promotion will be when all is said and done.
Creativity and Originality
The examples I’ve given for promotions are both the best, but also ones that are fairly common. That’s because I’m giving advice on what makes the best online poker bonus generally rather than looking at any specifically. That said, I do really value original and creative ideas. Many great original takes still fall into the categories I’ve discussed, or it could be something completely brand new. In any case, creativity and originality will always get points from me assuming the idea is good.
No betting bonus exists in a vacuum. While a promotion can be individually great, it’s even better if it’s part of a family of wonderful bonus options. This way, they can cover casual players, expert tournament veterans, new players, long-term players, as well as different styles and preferences. Plus, different kinds of bonuses provide different kinds of value. Just like a great crew, one can be made better by its companions.
A Great Platform
Of course, all the best promotions in the world mean mere atoms if they’re part of a betting site that generally has poor standards. After all, there’s not much point in free bets or free entry to a tournament, when the place you’ll be utilising those bonus benefits aren’t entertaining or worthwhile. That’s why when I look at the finest poker promotions out there, I’m taking everything into account: the whole solar system of betting considerations. A poker bonus is only as good as the betting site you can use it on.
Captain’s Log: Have Expectations as High as the Moon
If there’s one simple thing I want you to take away from all of this it’s that there’s a truly amazing selection of poker bonuses out there. Not only are many of them high quality, but there’s also an incredible variety , even though we’re talking about a single type of card game.
What I’ve seen on my hunt for the best online poker bonus is a real testament to the creativity of many of those who work in cyberspace, providing the finest atmospheres for poker betting they possibly can. The more I see of the universe in my intergalactic travels, the more I appreciate just how vast and varied cyberspace is, and there’s few better examples than the world of online poker.