.. the key to success in poker is in your hands.

Online poker is extremely popular and because of this, a large number of poker rooms have commenced operation. This works in favour of players both new and old. These rooms are competing for your business and are offering bonuses for joining their site. Bonuses differ from site to site in relation to the size and redeeming conditions.

Sign up bonuses for instance are only available with the initial deposit made and in order to collect such a bonus a code has to be quoted when making the deposit. Codes are obtained from magazine advertisements and various poker related sites on the internet.

Most bonuses are a percentage of your first deposit and can be in the range of 50-150%. Some sites offer a flat bonus of $100.

Once a bonus has been allocated, it just sits in limbo in a bonus account until it is cleared and the only way to clear a bonus is to play poker. Typically clearing a bonus is structured on the number of hands you play, and the reward is usually some where between six and ten times the number of raked hands you play. For instance if your clearance ratio is ten times then you would have to play 100 hands to clear a $10 bonus. A few sites also include a time limit to clearing a bonus and if that time expires before it is cleared then the total amount of the bonus is withdrawn. Some times playing in tournaments can earn credits that go towards clearing the bonus as well.

Once the bonus has been cleared, it can be treated as your money to do with as you see fit.

Poker rooms do not give money away for free and that is the reason why a certain number of hands have to be played to clear the bonus. The sites are making money from these hands and so they are only in fact foregoing their profits from them, as they will profit from your play in the longer term. The terms and conditions section should be read, as they explain how bonuses are cleared for that particular site.