Real Money Poker Sites

How to Play Poker For Real Money (Sometimes Without Having to Spend It)

You can play online poker for real money, and you can win real cash as a result.

That much should be obvious.

But… did you know… sometimes you can get real money… without having to do anything for it? For free?

It’s true, and secret of sorts that other web portals fail to talk about.

But not us – we’re going to show you how.

I’m going to share some tips that will put (or save) more money into your pocket, often without having to spend any first.

Putting More Money In Your Pocket (Maybe…)

You may not realize it, but there are several ways you can put MORE MONEY into your pocket.

Let’s look at how you do that.

1. Deposit Bonuses

A deposit bonus is an incentive from the poker site. They’re trying to get you to create an account and make a (your first) deposit.

Most deposit bonuses – also known as welcome bonuses for first time deposits – are match bonuses. For example, you might receive an offer to get a 100% match on your deposit up to $1,000.

That means for every $1 you deposit, the poker site will match you 100% or $1 – up to a maximum of $1,000 (in this case).

So what happens when you deposit $1,500? You get $1,000 from the poker site for a grand total of $2,500.

Hopefully you can see how cool these are. And, you didn’t have to spend any money to get it.

But… there’s a catch.

You will have to clear the bonus first before you can withdraw it. If you try to cash out beforehand the poker site will void your bonus money, and any money you may have won with it.

Clear through requirements work like this – the poker room asks that you wager so many dollars (or earn so many points) in exchange for $x of your bonus. These measures are in place to prevent people from abusing the system – just making a deposit, grabbing the bonus and cashing out.

Most bonuses will be released in small increments, say $5 or $10. This continues until you complete the offer or it expires, whichever comes first.

This is a great deal, especially if you’re a breakeven or profitable player. Because then you can earn the bonus and walk away with FREE money, and you didn’t have to risk much to get it.

That’s about as free as things get in a casino.

Be sure to read our reviews to find the best, and largest, deposit bonuses.

Play For Real Money Without Buying In For Real Money

So you want to win money without having to spend any?

There’s a way to do that.

It’s called playing freerolls.

A freeroll is a tournament that lets you play without having to buy-in. This can be any game or variation, and there may or may not be a limit to how many players can sign up.

(Just a tip – it makes more sense to sign up only to freerolls that cap how many players can sign up. Try to stay under 1,000 players, 5,000 players max.)

Then you play like the freeroll like a standard tournament.

The twist is that the room will add money to the prize pool – out of their own pocket.

It might not be much, say $20, $50 or $100. But they’ll pay the top 10-20 players. And from my experience 1st place usually walks away with $5-$20.

There are no rules or terms for winning either, to the best of my knowledge. You can take the money you win and do whatever you want.

My suggestion is to approach these like a low limit tournament or SNG. It might take a few attempts but you WILL cash if you play ABC poker and stay patient.

Then you can snowball this free money into taking shots at lower stakes SNGs and MTTs. I recommend SNGs since they’re better for bankroll building.

Then maybe you can be one of the few players to ever parlay free tournament cash into tons of money – thousands, maybe even millions!

Guaranteed Tournaments – The Fastest Way to Become a ‘Mirrionaire’

Another way to leverage poker sites for large sums of money (with little effort from you) is to play guaranteed tournaments.

Guaranteed tournaments pay out a minimum prize pool NO MATTER WHAT. It doesn’t matter if 10 players sign up or 100 or 10,000 – the minimum amount advertised will be met.

(Note: the exception is if there is a clause that says a minimum of 100 players need to join or whatever for the tournament to start.)

These are great because as the saying goes, the cream rises to the top. Most weak players bust out early unless they get super super lucky.

That means with a bit of strategy you should have no problem cashing in these, let alone making the occasional deep run or final table. Those situations are often worth BIG BUCKS.

But that’s not all.

Say you find a tournament where not enough people signed up to meet the minimum guarantee – but the site was going to run the tournament anyway.

These are called ‘overlay’ tournaments. And if you find one, you should jump on it.


Because you have fewer people to play through. If 1,000 people needed to sign up to meet the minimum, but only 500 people did, the field has been cut in half.

Sure, the payouts will be adjusted for fewer people, but you play these to win, not min-cash. So that just makes the game more top heavy – which tournaments are anyway.

In some cases these are just over exaggerated SNGs.

And damn-near FREE real money for you.

Once again, though, that’s not all. There are other tournaments that are super soft and full of money for you to grab:

  • Turbo – These games are soft because most players don’t know how to adjust to the faster blinds.
  • Knockouts – These games are great because most players focus on the knockouts instead of winning (where all the real money is made).
  • Satellites – These games are full of fish trying to get into larger tournaments on the cheap. What I like about these is that once you win the tournament ticket, you can actually use it for other games (at most sites). So instead of taking a $215 ticket to play a Sunday major, spend it on softer games instead (like SNGs).
  • New Member – These are given to players that signed up and made their first deposit. Definitely take advantage of these when you first create your account.

That should keep you busy for awhile.

The bottom line is that there is plenty of opportunities to get real money playing online poker – often times without having to exert any effort – or spending any money at all.

And that’s the best money to get – free money.