Choosing a No Deposit Bonus – Reviewing Free Money Offers
Boku87 – This guy built a $100 bankroll up to $10k in just 15 Days!
If you’re a new poker player and want to enter the real money games for the first time, than no deposit bonuses are definitely the way to go!
The advantage of playing with a no deposit bonus means that you can gain valuable experience in the real money ring games without having to risk any of your own money or give away precious financial details (credit card numbers, ewallet accounts etc). With a $50 or $100 free poker bankroll you can then start from scratch building up your bankroll until you have enough money to become independent i.e. be able to fund your account with your own poker money and winnings.
When looking out for no deposit bonuses, there are a few criteria that you should look out. Before choosing a no deposit bankroll, use your own judgement and research before simply attacking a free poker money offer only to find out that there are one or two limitations.
What is the Size of the No Deposit Bonus?
The first thing that I do when looking at no deposit bonus offers is look at how big the offer is. Are you receiving a free $25 poker bankroll or a $100 bankroll? Obviously you want to pick the latter since it is bigger and will last a lot longer. A $100 bankroll gives you 4x more buy-ins than a $25 bankroll. It will also enable you to play at a higher level than a $25 bankroll. According to poker bankroll management, you need a bankroll to cover at least 20 buy-ins for cash games. If each buy-in is worth 100 big blinds (as is suggested) than a $25 bankroll means that you can only play at the smallest $0.01/$0.02 micro-stakes games. Technically speaking these games require a bankroll of $40 (0.02 x 100 x 20) but since this is the smallest level it will have to do. If you have a $100 bankroll however than you can play at the next level of $0.02/$0.04 or maybe even stretch your pockets for the $0.04/$0.08 cash games.
What are the Restrictions for the No Deposit Bonus?
Every no deposit bonus will have some restrictions in one form or the other. Of course, the most common restrictions are withdrawal limitations. The terms of conditions at PokerSource.com for example requires a minimum of 2,500 raked hands before you can withdraw your $100 free bankroll from UB or Absolute Poker. The other $25 free no deposit bonus for Bodog requires a minimum of 150 Bodog Points before you can make a withdrawal.
Importantly, we have to remember that these sorts of terms and conditions are entirely fair. After all, the poker room is giving you free money so they are 100% entitled to impose withdrawal restrictions on these to stop poker players taking advantage of their free money offers. The point that I am making here is that you do need to check beforehand what the withdrawal restrictions are for your no deposit bonus. The last thing that I’d want to do in a situation like this is to churn up a fat bankroll of $1,000 only to find that I can’t withdraw it until I’ve played 500 more hands etc.
Which Poker Rooms are the No Deposit Bonuses Available At?
Just because you’re not playing with your own money doesn’t mean that you can’t afford to be picky with which poker room you play at. Remember that online poker can be a much more pleasant and fun experience if you play at a highly respected poker site with lots of traffic and user-friendly software. Carbon Poker, for example, provides a funky “Rabbit feature” which I personally love. It lets you see the next cards on the flop, turn and river if everyone folds their hand early. This is really interesting if you were on some sort of draw and wanted to see what would have happened had you stayed in the hand and your opponents called your raise.
That being said, you can find no deposit bonuses at all of the top US-friendly and non-US rooms including PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Bodog, UB.com, Absolute Poker and Bet365.