How to Hunt for Poker Bonuses

As you may know one of the most important things in poker is your bankroll. Without proper bankroll management you will not be playing poker for very long.

However, if you’re a losing player bankroll management will never be a cure for the inevitable. A losing player will eventually lose all of their money. Unless they get better, of course.

One way to buy yourself enough time to go from an unprofitable player to a profitable player is to start with a bigger bankroll.

Easier said than done, right?

Not always. In fact, one way you could quickly build a starter bankroll is to take advantage of as many poker bonuses as you can. This is known as bonus hunting.

What is Bonus Hunting?

Bonus hunting, also known as bonus whoring, is going from one poker site to the next just to complete the deposit bonus. Many players have been able to build bankrolls of several hundred, even several thousands of dollars, by bonus hunting. Once they build their bankroll, they then settle down at the site of their choice.

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How to Bonus Hunt the Smart Way

There is a right way and there is a wrong way to bonus hunting. I’ll show you what I feel is the smart way to go about hunting for bonuses.

First things first, it should go without saying that you will want to stick to safe poker sites. This means sites that are known to be trustworthy, send out withdrawals quickly fast and are secure.

The next thing to keep in mind is that you will want to start small and work yourself up. That’s assuming you’re starting with a small bankroll of $50, $100 or $200. If you’re starting with more, I still suggest starting small so that if you do lose your initial deposit you can still play at the sites offering small deposit bonuses. In other words, if you have $1000, deposit it all into one poker site and lose it, you won’t have anything left. However, if you take that $1000 and deposit it into a site where they’re offering a $200 deposit bonus and you lose it all, you’ll still have $800 to try again somewhere else.

Okay, so my first tip is to start small. My second tip is to be aware of the clearing rules. That means finding sites that don’t require tons of hands, points or dollars in rake generated for each dollar of your bonus. You’ll also want to be aware of sites that limit or exclude certain game (types) for bonus clearing. Knowing what type of rake method the site uses is helpful too. For example, a site that uses the dealt method would be your best bet, since everyone “dealt” into the hand is considered to have contributed to the rake, thus earning you your bonus. The contributed or weighted contributed isn’t as good, because you actually have to put money into the pot. Unless you’re a spaz (which isn’t good for bonus clearing either), clearing a bonus can take along time with these two methods.

After taking a look at the clearing requirements my third tip is to be aware of the expiration dates. The last thing that you want to do is sign up for a poker site that has semi-difficult clearing requirements or that uses the contributed rake method, only to have 30 days to clear a $2,000. In other words, make sure that the expiration date is somewhat reasonable for the amount of work that you have to put in to clear your bonus. The longer that you have the better. Keep in mind that if you don’t clear your bonus by the expiration date that you’ll lose the rest of your bonus money, and in some cases, your entire bonus.

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Last, it’s important that when bonus hunting that you play the best that you can. I realize that this can be difficult if you’re not that great of a player to begin with. However, by sticking to ABC poker, raising your good hands and folding your bad ones, you should do well enough to breakeven or take a slight loss. Even if you take a slight loss you should still more than make up for it with your bonus money. Just don’t lose too much, otherwise bonus hunting could be a waste of time.

And that’s it. Pretty simple, really. Just find the easiest bonuses to clear, and work your way up from smallest to biggest. Assuming you play well and run OK, by the time you’re done bonus hunting you should have a decent bankroll that can handle anything thrown at you.