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The difference between free chips and free cash

The world of online poker is an incredibly competitive place. It’s competitive for those of us who like to pit our wits against each other and it is even more competitive when it comes down to the casino sites and poker specialists who want us to play with them.

In many respects this is good news for grinders at all levels. Everyone is falling over themselves to offer us more and better games at levels that are especially tailored to how and when we want to play, and what sort of level we want to play at. You could say it’s a grinders’ market.

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For those who are prepared to shop around, there are some obvious additional benefits to be scooped up in the form of introductory offers. So, for example, some providers offer up free bonus chips to anyone in the UK who signs up with them. On the face of it, that represents free money and you would be crazy not to take them up on the offer.

But, inevitably, there is a catch. Businesses that go around handing out free cash tend not to be in business very long. And providers and their rivals are not about to go out of business any time soon. So what is going on?

Firstly, we have to say no-one is doing anything that is not above board, straightforward and ethical. There is no sleight of hand taking place here. That is not how such reputable sites operate and nor is it in any way how they can be seen to operate.

Instead, we are entering the complex world of marketing inducements, which may not always be quite what an eager punter might imagine them to be. Remember, these guys are not in the business of simply handing over free cash.

What they are doing is boosting your bank roll whilst you are within their domain. The only catch is that the money they give you is likely to have to stay in your account. As long as ‘free’ bonus cash is tied up with your winnings, you may find it difficult to withdraw it as cash. Different sets of terms and conditions apply but unless you are going to read the Ts and Cs it is worth working on the basis that you have to earn your bonus, and your bonus has to stay within the game.

Once you have got that clear in your head, everything else is green for go. It may not be free money, but it is free chips – and that is always a useful competitive boost.