Rakeback Explained – a Guide Every Poker Player Should Read

If you are a semi-professional poker player or even a micro stakes weekend player you have probably heard the term rakeback. Rakeback can be a pretty confusing concept at first, but it is probably more simple and easy to use then you might think.

What is rake, you ask?

Poker rooms make their money by collecting rake from the pot. Online poker rooms as well as brick-and-mortar card rooms both collect rake at different rates. The rake is typically 5-10% of the pot with a maximum capped amount. Poker is different from most other table games as you are playing against other players instead of playing against the house. This means whether you are winning or losing it doesn’t matter to the casino because it is getting paid by taking its cut out of every pot for hosting the game.

Tournament Fees (Tournament Rake)

Most poker tournaments charge an additional fee added to the buy-in. This is similar to the rake in cash games or ring games. Usually a buy-in to a poker tournament will look like 100+20 which means that the game is a $100 buy-in, which is added together for the prize pool, and $20 goes to the house. Typically faster games known as “turbos” will have smaller fees because they are much quicker and using up less of the card room’s resources.

They aren’t as expensive as Poker Online Indonesia which is why they are quite popular and can be played again and again for boosting the prospects in the tournament where there is every man for himself and that is the beauty of poker tournaments that we don’t get to see nowadays.

Rakeback and how you can benefit from it

There are three main types of Rakeback. Each are calculated differently, and will be explained later in the guide. Some poker sites offer Rakeback to increase the amount of players playing at their site, after all the more players they have playing at all times, the more money they make. This is a trade-off for them as they give a percentage of rake to the player that has a Rakeback agreement. This means that if you are receiving Rakeback, whether you are winning or losing you will earn a steady payment from the poker site itself, depending on the amount of hands you play on their site. A few of the biggest mainstream poker sites do not offer Rakeback as they are well established with hundreds of thousands of players. Playing at a slightly smaller site or a new site can greatly benefit you by accepting a Rakeback deal. A typical Rakeback rate for a normal player is 20-45%, much higher rates can be achieved by playing as a Prop which will be discussed later.

Types of Rakeback

There are three basic types, Contributed Rakeback, Shared Rakeback and Dealt Rakeback.

Shared Rakeback –

One of the most common Rakeback types. The player’s contribition to the pot does not matter, as long as they put at least one chip in the pot. The total rake is divided evenly among all players who contributed to the pot. This means that if 4 players enter a pot the rake will be divided evenly crediting the player with 25% of the rake, allowing a percentage of that amount to be earned through their Rakeback deal.

Contributed Rakeback –

This deal pays a player according to the amount of money they actually contributed to a pot. If you contribute 10 dollars into a 20 dollar pot this would give you a Contributed Rakeback of 50% allowing you credit for half of the rake. If the rake was 2.00 you would get credit for 1.00 of the rake. So if you had a 40% Rakeback agreement you would earn .40 cents for this one hand.

Dealt Rakeback –

Very similar to Shared Rakeback with only one main difference. A player does not need to contribute anything into the pot to be eligible for Rakeback in the hand. They only requirement is that they are indeed dealt into the hand. The rake is divided the same way as Shared Rakeback, split evenly among the players in the hand.

What’s the catch?

Rakeback deals cost nothing to set up and can be found with varying rates all over the internet. Most poker sites require that you be a new player to their site and open your account through one of the various Rakeback sites on the web. Some sites will still allow you to add a Rakeback deal to an existing account. Rakeback is a win-win situation for both the house and the player. The player is motivated to play more hands on the poker site, which benefits the poker site itself.

Becoming a Prop

Mentioned earlier, there are ways to get a very high Rakeback rate, some as high as 100%. This is done through “Propping”. When a poker site opens its doors, they aren’t usually established with thousands of players, they offer special deals for Prop players. A prop player is used start up new games, and increase the amount of play on the site. Being a prop player usually has a list of rules and requirements, the most common ones are things such as not mentioning your a prop to any other players or discussing your deal. Some rooms also require you to play at certain limits and table sizes.

How do I start?

It does not cost anything to get a Rakeback deal or become a Prop player. A few sites do not allow US players, but many of them are open to players from any country. You can start with any size bankroll or no bankroll at all and get started through free rolls and special giveaways.