How long will it take to earn your Deposit Bonus?

Visit enough online poker sites and you’ll eventually see ads for a “100% deposit bonus up to $500.”  Some of the poker deposit bonuses are much higher than this, which makes it really tempting to sign up for the signup bonus alone.  But as many online poker players know, these bonuses don’t come easy; otherwise people would constantly be room jumping to claim the different deposit bonuses.

Since most poker rooms don’t just hand the money over upfront like they do with free poker bankrolls, it’s up to you to figure out how long it will take to clear a bonus.  That being said, let’s take a look at how quickly you can expect to earn the full amount of a deposit bonus as well as the specifics of the bonus itself.

The Size of your Deposit Bonus

While many poker rooms will advertise a 100% match bonus up to $500, this doesn’t mean $500 is the amount you’ll eventually be clearing.  As the term “100% up to $500” implies, the poker site will only give you a 100% match on the amount that you initially deposit.  So if you deposit $300, you will be playing to earn a $300 match bonus.  And as you’ll find out, even if you deposit $500 or more, it doesn’t guarantee you of being able to earn this amount of money.

How a Bonus is Cleared

Every online poker site requires you to play for your deposit bonus.  Obviously the more you play, the more money you’ll clear from the bonus amount.

They way poker rooms measure the amount you’ve played is through VIP or frequent player points.  For instance, a site might require you to get 10 VIP points to earn $1 of your bonus; after you earn $10 total, that amount would then be released into your account.  Almost every site allows you to clear your bonus money by playing in both tournaments and cash games.

One other important note about clearing bonuses is that you don’t have forever to earn the frequent player points.  Most poker rooms give you 1-3 months to earn the match bonus before the offer expires.  Once you’ve reached the time limit, you’ll keep unlocked money while the rest will be unobtainable.

How Long will it take to clear the Bonus?

Since you’re working with a limited amount of time to clear the bonus, it’s important to know how long YOU have to earn the cash.

When figuring the amount of time you need to earn a bonus, the best place to start is with how long it takes to earn a VIP point.  For the sake of this example, let’s say you earn 1 VIP point for every $0.10 you contribute in rake.  Likewise, you would earn a VIP point for every $0.10 you paid in tournament fees, and release $1 of your bonus for every 10 points earned.

So assuming you played an average of 4 tournaments a day at a buy-in of $20 + $2, you would be earning 80 VIP points a day ([4 X $2]/0.10).  At this rate, you would be clearing $8 from your deposit bonus a day.  If you deposited $500 at a room that offered a 100% match bonus up to $500, it would take 63 days to clear the bonus.

For cash game players, it’s a lot tougher to get an exact number on how many days it would take to clear a bonus because you’re always contributing a different amount to the pot.  Plus your playing style – whether you’re a tight or loose player – will certainly factor into the equation too.  However, it’s still possible to get some rough calculations on how long it will take to clear the bonus.

To illustrate this, let’s say you play full table, $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em games where average pot sizes are typically $25 and the house takes 5% rake ($1.25 per hand); we’ll assume you contribute about one-tenth of that amount ($0.13) on average.  At this rate you would be earning 1 VIP point every hand, which gives you 100 VIP points an hour if you played 100 hands during this time.

To finish this up, we’ll say you play 4 hours a day just like the tournament player.  Since you’d be clearing $10 an hour it would take 50 hours, or 12 and a half days, to clear the $500 bonus.

Be Careful how much you deposit

In the end, you need to do your research on deposit bonuses before signing up at any poker site.  Some rooms have much stricter requirements than others, which makes their bonuses nearly impossible to obtain for the average player.  Also, don’t ever let a huge bonus be the only determinant in regards to the site you choose.

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