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Introduction | Learn the Game | Free Money | Bankrolls and Variance | Bankroll Strategy | Bankroll Strategy (continued) | Example Bankroll Growth

Free Money

What’s that I said? Free money? Now I bet you’re thinking “I’ll have some of that.”

Quite right too!

Poker sites make their money through rake. Rake is money deducted from the pot, or from a tournament entry fee. Poker sites don’t care who wins or loses, as long as people keep playing. The more players, and the more hands they play, then the more money the site makes. Simple but often overlooked. Understanding this helps you use free money offers to your advantage.

Because of this, poker sites want to encourage people onto their sites, so they offer free money in a variety of forms. Generally the amounts involved are not huge, but with patience you can turn that free money into a significant bankroll. If you look in our poker forums you will see a number of people who have done just that.

Free money mainly takes the form of :

Free chips

Download the software, open an account, and they will deposit some free chips into your account. There aren’t too many of these offers, but they do exist, and they are a great way to start off. Absolutely zero risk. See our No Deposit Poker Bonuses section for free offers.


Freerolls are tournaments where there is a prize fund, but no entry fee. Sites use them to promote traffic on their site, and they vary massively in terms of the size of the prize fund and the amount of players involved. Some freerolls have entry qualifications such as playing so many raked hands in the previous 24 hours, but others are open on a first come first served basis. A great way to learn, fun to play, and a chance to make free money.  Before starting, make sure you check out our Freerolls Guide for a list of popular freerolls and Fred Parker's winning Freeroll Tournament Strategy articles!

Deposit Bonuses

These are not quite as free as the other two above, but once you have a bankroll, this is a good way of building it. You deposit money to a site, and they will match a certain percentage of it. So a 20% deposit bonus will give you an extra $20 if you make a $100 deposit. Bonuses always come with restrictions to ensure that you play enough for the site to get its money back – some have to be met before the deposit is credited to your account, and others have to be met before you can cash out from the site. Always read the terms carefully! And remember, First Deposit Bonuses are one-off’s so don’t waste them.  Check out our Poker Bonus Codes and Reload Bonus Forum sections for a list of current Deposit bonus offers.

Rake Rebates

This is a relatively new development in the online poker world.  The poker rooms make money by taking a percentage from each pot, called “rake.“  Poker-Strategy.Org was the first online strategy site and forum to broker deals with the poker rooms that allow players like yourself to receive a portion of their rake back each month.  If you want a Rake Rebate, check out the Rake Rebate Section and remember, you can only get it if you follow the instructions and click the proper links to download the software!  This can add hundreds of free dollars to your bankroll!

Learn the Game | Page 3 of 7 | Bankrolls and Variance