With poker’s explosion in popularity over the last decade, more and more people are tempted to try their hand at winning a big pot. Nowadays, without having to leave the comfort of your own home, you can play against players all over the world via online poker sites.Luckily for us players, the competition between sites to gain a prospective new player is fierce and, to this end, many poker rooms offer a so-called ‘Welcome Bonus’ – essentially giving you some money back for choosing them!Many popular sites – including ‘Full Tilt’ and ‘PartyPoker’ offer you a 100% bonus (capped at a certain limit), meaning that whatever you initially deposit, the site will match. This money is usually released once a certain number of hands are played – the sites want you to play some cards before they give away cash! While these offers can be highly lucrative, someone playing small stakes (or not playing often) may struggle to release their full bonus.For those less likely to play enough hands to benefit from the above, there are ‘No Deposit Required’ bonuses, that allow you to play poker without having to put in any of your own hard earned cash first! ‘SkyBet’ offer £5 in this manner, ‘888.com’ will provide $8, while ‘BetFair’ will give you $10 in free tournament entries. Any winnings are yours to keep, but to access the cash you will have to make a deposit using your card. A small price to pay for your free money!Thus, while the “house always wins”, it is clear that – with enough research – a canny poker player can ensure that at least some of the house’s winnings come back to his or her own pocket.