Online poker is an extremely lucrative market with a relatively low barrier for entry compared to traditional casinos and poker rooms, which has resulted in a flourishing online market for poker players to pick and choose from. With so many competitors, many online poker sites offer new players bonuses and free plays to attract consumers to play poker using their service. As a consumer, you can take advantage of this and play poker online for free. Read on to find out how you can play poker online for free while trying out different online poker sites.

Evaluating poker bonuses

When it comes to choosing the right poker site for you, it’s best to try out a few different services and evaluate each one. Everything from the poker bonus to the pay out rates and buy ins can differ from one poker site to the next. EU poker sites may offer different bonuses for legal reasons than US poker sites, for example. Only by trying out different poker sites and discovering the range of options available is it possible to evaluate what are the best online poker sites for you.

Play for free on poker sites

The most common bonus an online poker will offer is a sign up bonus. The market is saturated with online poker, so poker sites are eager to attract as many brand new customers to their business as possible. This often means trying to lure the consumer in by offering some free initial plays in the hope that you will keep playing and start paying. There are often very specific terms and conditions associated with these bonus offers, but if you’re very careful you can use these to your advantage and play poker online for free.

What to watch out for with poker bonuses

Since poker sites are businesses that are run for a profit, they have to be careful to balance giving away free plays with making money. Depending on the particular poker site you use and how reputable they are, some are more willing to use underhanded tactics to make money. In theory, EU poker sites should obey EU laws, but often times poker sites are registered in far off countries with looser or less well enforced restrictions, regardless of where they are marketed. This also makes it harder to investigate or recoup funds from fraud. Even reputable poker sites will often stack their terms and conditions with gotchas that means reading the fine print is absolutely always a must.

Avoiding the pitfalls of poker bonuses

Very often poker sites will require you register a credit card with them before you can start playing for free. Reading the terms and conditions is important, because sometimes poker sites may sign you up for a ‘membership fee’ that automatically bills on a regular basis after your free trial runs out, or the poker site will not give any warning once you run out of free funds and start charging you for more. In both these situations, these hidden fees and charges can be avoided by paying careful attention and being explicitly aware of the charges involved.

Tips for playing online poker for free

You can quite easily take advantage of online poker bonuses for free without worrying about hidden charges or recurring fees by carefully selecting your payment methods. A temporary Visa gift card with a set limit on it is ideal, because it means you can never be charged more than the amount on the card. Otherwise, you should pay with a credit card as these often come with the best fraud protection measures and you can usually contest charges, as opposed to a debit card where it can be very hard to recover funds. A credit card with a low limit is best, preferably one you don’t use for anything else.

Shop around for the best deals

Now you know how to play poker safely online, you can easily take advantage of the best online poker offers available to play for free. Collecting your winnings when you strike it lucky is the next barrier, as many poker sites will ring fence any earnings and require you to pump in some money yourself before you can withdraw any winnings accrued from free bonus offers. Being aware of this and gambling responsibly with your funds is the best countermeasure, as it’s important to remember there is no need to stick with any one service. There is nothing stopping you from changing services at any time and with so many online poker sites around, there’s no shortage of different services to choose from.

Choosing the best offers available

With so many sites to choose from, it can be hard to even know where to start. Luckily, there are many online poker review sites that you can visit to discover other peoples’ experiences and recommendations. Pay attention to who owns the site, as often times many of these review and comparison sites are owned or in partnership with online poker sites. Under EU laws, EU poker sites that have paid for inclusion in lists should be clearly marked as an advertisement. Pay attention for ‘sponsored post’ tags or the like as this means they have paid for their ranked spot. Comparison sites run by third party communities or non-profits are preferred as these are more likely to offer honest reviews and rankings.

Make the most of poker offers to gamble for free online

Armed with all this knowledge, poker fans can play for free online, taking advantage of the best offers and avoiding falling foul of fraud or hidden charges. With so many options available, there has never been a better time for poker fans to indulge without breaking the bank. It’s easy to avoid most of the pitfalls and gotchas that online poker sites use just by being aware, staying vigilant and making sure to always read the terms and conditions!