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Who pays for the FAQ? How do I get the best online poker sign-up bonus? And why are those questions related?

Last updated: Oct 2003
Copyright © 2004
The official and up-to-date version of this answer is here.

The FAQ is a volunteer effort. It's a lot of work to update articles with fresh information, maintain old links and add new ones, and keep abreast of the rapidly changing world of poker. If you have an update or want to submit a new article, send mail to We'll give you full credit for your article (you retain the copyright) and help you become famous among the r.g.p. community!

(Almost) no ads! You'll notice that doesn't distract your eye with a dozen flashing banner ads on every page. Instead we try to keep the site as plain as possible to make it easy for you to find the information you need. We figure if you wanted to be on another site you'd go there yourself.

But there is a way you can help the FAQ financially if you are thinking about opening up an online poker account. By taking advantage of the system of online poker sign-up bonuses, you can receive a bonus deposit (usually $20 to $100) when you open a new account and help fund the FAQ at the same time. How's that? By using the bonus code of our sponsor site, who receives a referral fee from the poker site, and then donates many hours of volunteer time to the FAQ (and also pays for our web hosting bandwidth).

How do these referrals work? When you open up an online poker account, you have a few choices:

  1. No bonus code or referral ID. If you surf directly to a poker site by typing in their URL and then download the software, the account you open won't be associated with any referrer. You may receive some sort of sign-up bonus from the site, or not, depending on what promotions they happen to be running.
  2. Sneaky referral ID. If you ever click on a banner ad that takes you to a poker site and then, perhaps much later, you download the software, your new account will be tagged with the referral ID of the site with the banner ad (unless you use a bonus code, explained next). You can usually see the ID in the landing page URL. Sometimes the referring site offers a sign-up bonus that you will get when you open your account, but sometimes not. In any case, the referring site receives credit for helping the poker site find you, even if you don't get a bonus.
  3. Sign-up bonus code. No matter how you download the software, if you enter a sign-up bonus code in the account registration form then you will receive the bonus and the promoter of the bonus code will receive credit for sending a new customer. By using a bonus code, you can be sure of getting the best bonus currently available and also know who will benefit from the opening of your account. Rather than helping some random banner advertiser or spammer, you can choose a more deserving recipient.

Now, there is no question that you want to receive a sign-up bonus when you open a new online poker account. The only decision is who you want to receive the referral fee. In the hope that you find this FAQ a worthy cause, we refer you to a constantly updated list of the best sign-up bonuses offered by the top sites. You can find the latest codes in the bonus code center.