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Poker is an extremely complicated game that requires building a diverse skill set in order to become proficient, but if I were to pick the most important thing every new player absolutely has to learn first, it would be proper bankroll management. Unfortunately, this concept is often misunderstood as plenty of people believe it’s all about maintaining a safe relationship between your poker wallet and the stakes you play on, when in fact setting up your bankroll starts even before you pick your room and make your first deposit, since the sites offer bonuses and reward systems that might have a long-lasting impact on your profitability as a player.
These bonuses and rewards come in different shapes and forms – and as you’d expect, not all are created equal. Furthermore, picking the right poker bonus can significantly reduce the size of your initial investment – in fact, plenty of professional poker players didn’t spend a single dollar on their initial bankroll and instead used the free promotional money to climb all the way to the highest stakes.
PokerBankrollBlog.com has been specifically designed to help you in making your first steps in the poker world and to ensure that you’ll pick the right bonus offer and rewards system to suit your personal needs – for me, my readers come first, so you can rest assured that the information provided here is always accurate and up to date.
VIP Cash Back and Rakeback
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Rakeback allows you to get some of the rake you paid back – for new players, VIP Reward offers usually provide considerably less than rakeback, with an average of 15%-20%. If you stick around long enough to accumulate enough VIP points to get the higher VIP ranks, you could receive cash back of 50% or even more–most top-tier VIP reward systems provide higher rewards than rakeback.
Inexperienced players tend to overlook the actual value of cash back, but every poker veteran will tell you that it’s what really has the biggest impact on building your bankroll and advancing up the stakes ladder. In fact, a great rakeback offer can be – and often is – the difference between a winning player and a losing or break-even one. The rake might not seem as much, but no matter the stakes it will always be relentlessly chipping away on your profits – so if you really want to maximize your gains from playing the game, securing a good rakeback offer should be among your highest priorities.
How it can help your bankroll
Rakeback is the best way of maintaining a healthy bankroll over prolonged periods of time and will help you stick to your stakes even when you’re going through a particularly harsh downswing. The amount of money you’ll get from a good cash back program should never be neglected – if you plan on playing a lot, you might receive as much as half of the money you lose at the tables back, allowing you to build a massive bankroll that would otherwise be crippled by rake.
First Deposit Bonuses
What’s more, many rooms have a somewhat tight time requirement, which means that you can’t wait as much as you’d like before claiming the entire sum – usually, you have to be quite an active player to get the entire bonus on time, especially if you’re playing on the lower stakes which naturally won’t net you as many points.
Unfortunately, if you miss the deadline in such a case, you lose the installments that you didn’t unlock – nevertheless, the money you managed to clear stays with your account. The size of a first deposit bonus will differ from site to site; most poker rooms will offer you between $200 and $800, but it’s quite possible to find more lucrative promotions and nail as much as $1,000 or more. Unlike with a few other bonus types, activating a first deposit bonus is actually very simple and doesn’t require any effort on your part aside from picking an appropriate poker room, as all you have to do is to enter a promotional code which is usually provided on the website in the Cashier menu before making a payment.
How it can help your bankroll
First deposit bonuses are well suited for building a bankroll if you don’t mind making a relatively large investment and you feel confident about your abilities to play low and medium stakes, skipping over the micros. The important thing to keep in mind here is that you’ll still have to play pretty tight and focus on playing massive amounts of hands over a short period of time, so being able to multi-table efficiently will be one of the first skills you’ll want to focus on.
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Just like first deposit promotions, reload bonuses need to be released by accumulating a sufficient amount of VIP points – the catch here however is that you usually have even less time to get the entire sum. Nevertheless, you should never give in to the temptation and break the rules of bankroll management by playing on higher stakes than you can afford to release your bonus. In such cases, it is not unheard of even for experienced players to go broke – and if you force yourself to go on prolonged, exhausting gaming sessions, tilt becomes a significant factor that can have a negative impact on your results. All in all, reload bonuses are a wonderful addition to your poker wallet, but you should never let them make you forget about the bigger picture and your long-term profitability.
How it can help your bankroll
Reload bonuses are amazing if you don’t mind investing some money into building your first bankroll, but didn’t necessarily feel comfortable making the first time commitment necessary to claim an entire first deposit bonus. What’s more, if you feel like you’ve been forced to play on stakes that are too low or require too much multi-tabling to be profitable for your taste, reload bonuses are a perfect way of boosting your bankroll and returning to higher stakes without risking going bankrupt due to a downswing.
No deposit bonuses are considerably harder to get – in fact, there’s quite a few poker rooms that don’t offer them at all. The reasons for this are fairly easy to guess if you consider the nature of those bonuses – basically, new players receive their first poker money for free. Consequently, you’ll find the highest number of such promotions with poker affiliates or strategy sites, which may offer a no-deposit bonus upon successfully completing a basic poker course to ensure that the new customer is going to dedicate his or her time to actually playing game.
Compared to welcome bonuses which require you to make a payment, the amount of money you can get by using a no-deposit bonus is quite negligible – $100 at most if you’re lucky and find a really amazing offer. Nevertheless, there’s a significant number of professional poker players who managed to build a successful career and a massive bankroll on such a foundation. Furthermore, smaller no-deposit bonuses may be offered on-site by new poker rooms, particularly the ones dedicated to providing mobile poker solutions.
Such sites are often hard-pressed to expand their player base and boost their traffic, so they might offer a small amount of money to anyone willing to play on their network. Keep in mind that while easier to find, those no-deposit bonuses won’t really boost your bankroll all that much – and if you decide to go for a low-traffic poker room, you might even have some problems with finding opponents to play outside of peak hours. Unfortunately, no-deposit bonuses from poker sites for US players are non-existent–only deposit and reload bonuses are available if you reside in the US.
How it can help your bankroll
Aside from giving you a chance to start a successful poker career without investing a single penny, no-deposit bonuses are great for building your bankroll if you have the patience to grind micro stakes long enough to release the entire amount. Being able to play on multiple tables at once is of paramount importance here, so contrary to popular belief these kinds of promotions require at least an intermediate-level skill set.
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