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Getting Started

A quick guide to making money by being a break even level (or better) poker player!

There are so many poker sites offering a massive range of bonuses, that anyone playing a site and not earning a bonus for doing so, surely needs their head looking at!

There are quite a few 'getting started' and 'bonus whoring' guides on the internet, but I believe most of them are over complicated, ending up like some sort of murder mystery book -

"If you have more than $500, go to square 2, if you have less than $100 go to option C5, or if you have precisely $4.59, check out the offers section at and pick up a special prize!"

Instead, this guide will give a simple to follow step by step run through, which WILL earn you money. No ifs or buts, just straight into it.


This guide assumes that you know how to play poker to a break even level, and have not deposited funds into the sites detailed below.

If you are not currently playing to break even level, then either buy a book on how to play Low Limit Texas Hold'em, or read up on the subject on the internet.

Once you know the basics, I would advise you to sign up to two sites -

  • First of all, register at Poker Champs. They have hourly freeroll tournaments, so you can play a lot of FREE poker, to get in some practice. I would very much recommend playing freeroll No Limit Texas Hold'em tournaments, rather than play money ring games (single tables). The style of play (after the first 10 minutes or so of madness as the nutters go all in) is generally a lot closer to what you will find at a real money table.
  • Once you have played freerolls on Poker Champs for a few weeks (or until you feel you are doing well), you should move onto the REAL MONEY tables at Royal Vegas Poker. They will give you $10 free of charge and without you having to deposit a penny! Take your free $10 to the Low Limit Hold'em tables (10/20c or below) and learn the ropes some more!
Most importantly, you must learn discipline at this stage. In the unlikely but possible event that you lose ALL your free $10, do not deposit any of your own funds into the account. Simply play the two daily freerolls ($200 and $1000) until you win enough in prize money to play at the real money tables again. The general gist of this guide is not "speculate to accumulate" but more fool proof - I know it will sound like a con, but if you follow this guide sensibly and you know the basics of poker, you CANNOT FAIL to make money!
SO... if you are now breaking even on the real money tables of Royal Vegas....


Let's Begin!

First thing you need to do is find yourself $50. If you're thinking "ooh, that's too much, I can't afford that", then think again and read the next paragraph or so, to see that this really is fool proof. If after reading through, you still reeeeeeeally can't stretch to $50, move to site 2, complete that, then come back.

Site Number One - Bet 365

Play It Live at bet365poker!
Go to Bet 365, download the software, open a poker account and deposit your $50. As you will see in our bonuses section, they offer a 100% first deposit match bonus, meaning that if you pay in $50 to a new account, you will be given a free $50, once you meet certain criteria.

The reason we're starting at Bet 365, is because these criteria are very easy to complete! All you have to do is play 250 raked hands and the $50 bonus is yours.

Still not want to commit $50? Lets take a closer look at the bonus!

  • $50 divided by 250 raked hands gives you a bonus of 20c per raked hand.
  • Given that hands are raked at around 20c on Bet 365, you could theoretically sit at a 5/10c Limit Table and play every hand, just calling the Big Blind, before folding on the flop.
  • You would be putting in 5c to each pot, whilst 95% of these pots will be raked (given the style of play at this level).
  • 250 raked hands * 5 cents is $12.50, so even if you lose EVERY SINGLE HAND YOU PLAY, you have only lost $12.50 to qualify for your free $50 - a profit of $37.50!

Now the above example does take the mickey somewhat and if you were that obvious about it, Bet 365 (or any other site for that matter) may well refuse to pay out the bonus. The above example is therefore meant to illustrate JUST HOW BAD you would have to be, to not make money out of these bonuses!

A Quick Something (Keeping Track)....

One of the most important things you can do when embarking poker adventure / career / whatever you want to call it, is KEEP TRACK!

The easiest way to do this is via a spreadsheet. Now this can be as simple or as complicated as you like, but it must keep track of your profits and losses as well as things like your raked hands and pending bonuses.

Being the good samaritan, I have included my own spreadsheet from a little while ago, complete with some data, so you can see what you to put where. It's not perfect but it does the job - just input your data in the shaded areas and leave the white boxes to auto calculate.

Click Here for the spreadsheet.

How should you play through your bonus?

I would personally recommend playing at 25/50c Limit tables, if you are confident that you can play to a break even level. This is totally up to you though - it's your money and it's your time, so play at a level you find interesting and exciting, whilst minimising your risk of losing big to a bad beat!

Whilst you're at Bet 365...

Make sure you take advantage of their MASSIVE freerolls. They have a weekly $5000 freeroll with no entry requirements (Saturday at 7pm UK time) as well as a daily $1000 and $200 freerolls. Also, if you play more than 100 of your 250 raked hands in a 24 hour period, you can enter 3 more $1000 freerolls per day.

These are all certainly worth a punt, as they pay out up to 300 places, with $950 going to the winner of the big $5000 event. MTT's can also help break up the monotony of playing ring games purely to clear a bonus. Even more impressively, if you play 250 raked hands in a month (which you will be doing) you can enter their $30,000 monthly freeroll. Somebodys got to win it, why not you!

Wrapping things up at Bet 365...

Once you have cleared 250 raked hands, you will need to drop an email to Bet 365 customer services. They are the only site I've come across so far where you need to do this, but it's no hassle. Simply say "I've played the required number of raked hands to claim my bonus, could you please credit my poker account (username) with my $50 bonus"

Once your account is credited, it's time for a progress check. How much profit did you make? Would you play a different blind structure if you had another chance? Were you too tight? Too loose?

Take stock for a moment, withdraw your winnings (if you want to) and get ready for site number 2 - there's no point playing Bet 365 any more, if they're not giving you a bonus for the priveledge... someone else is about to!

N.B. You should still visit Bet 365 once a week for the $5000 freeroll - it's simply too big to miss!

Click here to move on to site number 2!