How to Maximize the Value of Bonuses and Promotions

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When you're starting out as an online poker player, the sign-up bonus may be the deciding factor in which room you choose.

There are two schools of thought poker rooms follow in structuring their bonuses. One is to make it a high dollar amount and the other is to have a smaller but more easily cleared bonus amount.

As a new player you may be attracted by the larger number. The problem with the big-dollar bonuses is that for new players they are extremely difficult to clear. Many require several thousand raked hands, and are hard to clear at lower limits.

Some sites do have high-dollar bonuses that can be cleared in stages. These are a better option than the large-dollar lump sum bonuses. You may not clear the entire thing, but at least you will clear some of it!

For most new players the smaller bonus is the best option. New players are seldom going to be playing the volume necessary to clear a huge bonus.

Instead, a smaller bonus - say $50 - will be much easier to clear. When you clear the bonus it's added to your bankroll. Guaranteed free money toward your roll is almost always better than a long slow grind toward a sometimes-unreachable goal.

It's a good idea to check out a few of the top five rooms in your first year. You can clear all of their bonuses and add that money directly to your bankroll, and by the end of the process you'll have a good idea of what to look for in a site.

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