The importance of loyalty bonuses (in whatever shape they may be)

Online poker sign-up bonuses are common place these days. Every poker room will give you a bonus one way or the other, the question is: does that bonus really help your game, or is it just something of an image-thing for the poker room offering it? In order to understand the intricacies involved with these bonus offers you need to understand a couple of things about their nature.

Under normal circumstances, a sign-up bonus is given to a player to encourage play. It is supposed to provide motivation for the player, who knows that as long as he’s playing towards unlocking his bonus, he has a clearly defined edge in the shape of rakeback. The bonus that he unlocks will act as a cushion which takes a lot out of the bite the rake will deliver to his bankroll. As soon as the bonus is unlocked and pocketed though, the motivation to play on is gone, provided the poker room doesn’t have any other attractive promotions worth sticking around for.

From the poker room’s perspective, the bonus is a tool used to make sure that every player who joins the room produces some sort of revenue. The rake a player has to generate in order to have his bonus unlocked is 3-4 (perhaps even more) times the actual amount of the bonus. That makes sure the room benefits off the player, and even if he moves on after the bonus is unlocked, the room will be happy.
Some poker rooms however offer bonuses for other than the right reasons named above. They do it to appear in-line with the latest trends, to look competitive on an ever-hostile market, and last but certainly not least to attract players. The fact that they cannot really afford to give out that bonus is a different matter.

These bonuses are usually crafted in a way that makes it exceptionally difficult for players to unlock them. That way, the room will get to keep the bonus money, and the player’s attempts to unlock it will also yield some revenue.
Anyway, poker rooms that do offer serious and un-lockable bonuses are beginning to realize that there is huge potential in the players that eventually do move on, their bonuses released.

The competitive nature of the business is a driving force which compels these rooms to act and to try to retain these players. Providing a bonus that never runs out is the obvious answer here.

Poker rakeback is one such bonus, which makes sure the player gets rewarded in proportion with the amount of action (rake) he generates, and thus it also protects the poker room: it only has to pay big dough to those who indeed deserve it.
Every online poker player who knows more than just the rules of the game plays with rakeback, for exactly the above mentioned reasons. Playing without is an option too, but if one considers the amount of money lost on account of not having a lucrative rakeback deal pampering the odds, it doesn’t look like a viable one at all.

 

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