Bonus Code Comparisons
Poker Sites
PokerStars Review
888 Poker Review
Party Poker Review

Poker Bonus Codes

Bonus Codes are used by some poker sites to try to attract new players. They normally give a new player something for free, or at least almost! They will often require you to make an actual deposit in order to qualify for the bonus. From their perspective this means they are getting a player who does actually have money, and they hope that that player will like the poker site enough and stay. In the longer term, if that player deposits again, they will cover their freebie money. If that player simply loses the bonus money, then the poker site won't have lost that much, as that money will circulate within their site (betweeen players, and most importantly for them, be "lost" in rake & tournament fees).

Generally there are 2 types of offers that the poker sites make. A defined amount of bonus (e.g. $30 for free), or a percentage bonus (e.g. 100% bonus. Namely if you deposit $50, you will get a $50 bonus. If you deposit $100, you will get a $100 bonus). Some of these can sound fantastic...like 200% bonus up to $2000. But generally speaking, the better sounding the offer, the harder it is to unlock the money. What that means is, there will often be play-through requirements before you can ever withdraw that money. For example, you deposit $200 and get a $400 bonus, but then you have to have paid $500 in rake and tournament fees before you can make a withdrawal. So at the very least, it may take some time. And at the very worst you could end up depositing multiple times on a futile quest to unlock the "free" money. So be careful to set a limit that you want to spend, and be prepared to give up on unlocking a bonus if it starts to feel impossible (timewise) or expensive.

If you are a winning player, fully unlocking the bonus might not be such of a problem, but if you are not, then you could simply lose your $200 and the $400 bonus money before you ever got the chance to cash out. So don't look at it purely as free money. It is free money, but you generally will need to be successful at the poker tables to be able profit fully from it.

When you sign up to a poker site, you will in some cases be prompted for an actual bonus code (other times arriving via a bonus link will be enough). Entering the bonuscode will ensure you get that latest bonus deal.

As mentionned, some sites don't use actual bonus codes, but use bonus links or a banner advertisment, like this one:


At Surfers Poker we are first and foremost a poker community, so we try to keep the advertising to a minimum. We do advertise some bonuses on various pages, like the promotions page, but generally we are just happy for players to hang out here and be part of our small, friendly poker community.

It is worth noting that some poker sites will also use the names Referal Code, or Promo Code, or Deposit Code, or Sign-up Code instead, however these basically mean the same thing. They are just another name for bonus code. So don't get bamboozled by the language. Similarly with the word Marketing Code. That is also generally the same thing, but with Pokerstars please note that they use both a bonus code and a marketing code, to keep you on your toes!