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Delayed Deposits
 

This was a serendipitous discovery. I registered at a casino purely to see if their Deuces Wild video online poker games was full-pay. It wasn't, nor did they offer any bonuses, so I never deposited. Several days later an e-mail solicitation offered 20 percent, which I was happy to take advantage of.

A problem all websites face is getting people to stick around long enough to complete a transaction. They are always trying to come up with schemes to make a website "sticky," and e-mailed promotional offers is the cyber-gambling industry's method of choice. The purpose of free "play for fun" games is to gather marketing data; consumers always have to register to play. The free players and folks who dropped out before completing a deposit then get enticing offers. Try delaying your deposits at places that do not offer up-front bonuses, or those whose offers are stingy. When speculating with your time, note that the Java sites require much less investment than the download sites.

Antes
 
The other way to prime the game is with an ante. It can take the form of contributions from all the players or from one player, usually the dealer, on a rotating basis. The money from an ante is "dead"; its purposes are to give players something to win by making the first bet and something to lose by waiting for perfect hands. Antes can be used in any game, but they are most common in Stud, where the order of the betting depends on the door cards.
 
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