Online poker sites make their money by holding on to the “rake,” a certain percentage of every pot contributed to by players. Rakeback is a system where a site refunds a percentage of the rake (and other fees) paid. It is a rebate designed to compensate high volume players for the large fees they pay poker rooms each month.
Does every poker site offer rakeback?
No, only certain sites still offer rakeback. Some sites forego rakeback and entice players with increased VIP programs, deposit bonuses, and other incentives. Rakeback was once very popular and has in recent years been replaced by other promotions and VIP programs.
What percentage of rake do players get back?
This varies from site to site, and also on the rake contributed. Some sites claim to offer up to 76% rakeback, but that’s typically for very, very high volume players and is from combined promotions the sites offer. Average players can expect to see rakeback in the 15%-30% range.
Do I need to bet a minimum amount in order to get rakeback?
Generally, yes—although rakeback is valued at a certain percentage of the rake you pay, tiers usually require a minimum rake contribution before you can receive your percentage. You can expect to get an increased amount back the more rake you pay.
Do I get rakeback right away?
That depends from site to site. Some sites pay out rakeback weekly, some daily and others monthly. Other sites have rakeback-equivalent rewards purchasable with VIP points from their VIP store.
What are you really getting back with rakeback?
Rake is a percentage of the pot taken by the poker site as a fee for hosting the game. Rake typically falls in the 3%-5% range and is usually capped at a fixed amount. Rakeback is a percentage, ranging from 12%-72%, depending on how much you bet. It’s important to bear in mind then, that what you’re getting back with rakeback isn’t a percentage of what you bet—it’s a percentage of a percentage. Say you made $500 in bets in one week. That amounts to about $25 in rake. So, even if your rakeback percentage is a high 50%, you’re only getting back $12.50 from the original $500 you spent.
Are Rakeback Deals Worth It?
$12.50 on $500 doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is $12.50 you might not have if your site didn’t run a rakeback program. However, it’s worth comparing sites and seeing what they offer in terms of bonuses and rewards packages, and choosing the most advantageous. Sites stay pretty competitive, so you can be reasonably sure of getting a good deal from one of the major players. Smaller sites tend to be more aggressive in their promotions.
Can I turn my existing account into a rakeback account?
Am I still eligible for bonuses if I sign up for rakeback, and do those bonuses affect my rakeback?
Beware of Being Excluded from Other Promotions
Under some rakeback deals, you will be excluded from the sites ongoing promotions and you will not be able to participate in multiple promotions if you are getting rakeback. This is an important detail to understand. There are countless people who sign up for a deal through a rakeback site then post to forums wondering why they can’t take advantage of current promotions. This can be very frustrating especially since it is hard to change your account once you are under a specific deal.
Poker rooms will also not allow you to sign up for their welcome bonus if your account is setup under a rakeback deal. So it is definitely worth it to figure out how much you are going to play before signing up, and if you intend to be a casual player, most likely rakeback is not for you.
Can you get Rakeback on Tournament fees?
As the name implies you are only getting rake paid back on rake paid, rakeback also applies to getting a partial refund on other fees paid, including tournaments. If you intend to play in tournaments, make sure the deal includes tournament fees before comitting to it.
The Bottom Line
If you are a recreational poker player, rakeback is not for you. If you do, however, plan on griding cash games then getting a decent rakeback deal will definately pay off.