How to play no deposit poker: The Complete Guide

Want to play no deposit poker? Put your wallet away and use these tactics instead...
No Deposit Poker Guide
With millions of avid poker players scouring the web to find opponents who they can profit from, there’s little need for online rooms to offer any kind of joining incentive these days - yet many still do. 

After all, they still don’t want to lose your business to someone else – yet most of the offers you’ll find require you to make a deposit first.

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Some sites, though, are able to offer you a no deposit bonus which means you can start playing for small stakes and keep what you win, with a view to establishing a bankroll that can sustain a full-time career. 

There’s no such thing as something for nothing though, so if you decided to take advantage of a no deposit poker bonus you’ll need some inside knowledge on how to make the most of it. With that in mind, here are our top questions and answers:

No Deposit Poker FAQ

How do I obtain a no deposit poker bonus?

Simple: Just complete the online registration form, and agree to take the bonus if an option is given. Winnings made using bonuses are usually subject to playthrough requirements (the need to gamble an amount of cash worth a set multiple of bonus itself before you can make withdrawals).

This is purely to prevent unsportsmanlike players simply joining up to claim a bonus, taking the money and never actually playing any poker. It’s hard to believe there are people out there who would want to do such a thing but sadly they do exist!

What games can I spend the no deposit bonus on?

The answer to this question varies according to which site you play at. It’s common, for example, to split the bonus with a small percentage redeemable on any games you like including Texas and Omaha Hold ‘Em, Stud, Razz and Horse – all with various limits. 

The rest of the bonus is then redeemable on tournament tickets, so you’ll need to accept the terms of the tournament, which is likely to be No Limit Hold ‘Em.

Will I be given all of my bonus at once?

Quite possibly not! Many no deposit poker bonuses are paid out over a gradual period, encouraging you not to blow the lot on one hand and take a more measured approach to building a decent bankroll. 

This is for your benefit as many new players find online poker so exciting that they get carried away, which – as any professional will tell you – is not a good idea.

Can I withdraw a no deposit poker bonus straight away?

Almost certainly not, though this is only due to the aforementioned wagering requirements and the possible need to take part in tournaments to meet bonus terms and conditions.

In other words, you’ve got to play poker before you can make withdrawals be it ring games or tourneys – though that’s what we live for anyway so we’d hardly consider it an onerous requirement! 

It’s important that you check the precise terms and conditions of any no deposit poker bonus before registering at a site.

Do I need to download the site’s software to get a no deposit poker bonus?

Probably not. Most sites work on a browser basis these days – however, we’d recommend downloading if the option is provided as it makes both ring games and tournament play so much more reliable. 

Poker isn’t the kind of game where a sudden loss of connection is at all welcome. You don’t want someone going all In with a pair of rockets in the hole when the river comes and you suddenly find yourself sitting on an Ace High Flush – only to find you’ve suddenly been disconnected and pushed out of the game against your will.

Can I use my poker bonus to play casino games or make sports bets?

The answer to this one is almost always ‘no!’ The clue is in the name with no deposit poker bonuses, so don’t invoke your operator’s ire by trying to mess them about. 

That said, poker is way more fun anyway, so it’s unlikely you’ll be tempted to commit bonus abuse, though some players do enjoy the occasional flutter for relaxation purposes so do watch out and make sure you’ve used up your poker bonus and met any required terms and conditions before playing anything else.
Alternatively simply use another site for your casino and sports betting – it’s easy enough to have two sites open simultaneously.

I am a newbie and want to use my no deposit poker bonus to learn to play. Is this a problem?

Absolutely not! In fact it’s exactly why your operator has given out the bonus in the first place. By giving you free cash to play with you can get to grips with the practicalities of playing with real cash without any risk to your own bankroll, so when you do decide to make a deposit you’ll feel fully confident about playing. 

Some beginner players are afraid that they’ll slow down the playing process and upset the regulars, though again this isn’t an issue as your operators’ software will use automatic timing devices to prevent anyone being held back by your lack of knowledge of experience.

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