Online Poker Coach

How and what is poker rakeback, and why it can determine whether you will be in a good or bad mood!

One of the industries that have been changed, almost completely, by the internet is the casino industry. Less than three decades ago, almost all forms of gambling had to be carried out within a casino environment. This is no more. The number of players who visit online casinos has surpassed those who still prefer the ‘actual’ casino environment.

Online poker is one of the most popular destinations in online casinos which has made the industry highly competitive. In order to attract players, online casinos have been very innovative regarding the incentives that they offer. The poker rakeback is one of the most effective incentives offered by online casinos, and this guide will demystify the concept.

What is the poker rakeback?

To understand the poker rakeback, you first have to understand how online casinos make money from poker. Unlike other games, such as slots, in poker, you are not playing the house, but other players. Online casino sites make money by charging a percentage of the poker pot. This percentage is known as the ‘rake’ and it is how gambling sites make money from online poker.

To attract more players, or to incentivize existing players to be loyal to an online casino, most websites will refund part of this ‘rake’ back to players. This is what is referred to as a rakeback scheme. Once you have poker rakeback explained, it is easy to see why it is so attractive to seasoned online poker pros. In essence, the online casino is sharing its profits with you – essentially giving you some of your money back.

How is the poker rakeback calculated?

Just as it is with the rake, the rakeback is calculated as a percentage. The usual rate is generally within the 20% and 40% range. Some casinos might offer higher rakeback percentages – with some going all the way up to 100%.

So, how does this work in a real life setting? Let’s say the casino site charges a 5% rake on every pot. This means that if you wager £100, the casino will retain £5 from your stake as the rake, while £95 will go into the pot. If the casino offers you a 50% rakeback, this means that £2.5 will be returned to you (half of the rake that you paid) regardless of whether you win or lose your stake.

What are the benefits of poker rakeback

Well, it depends on whether you are a more ‘casual’ player or if you are a pro in online poker. For a casual player, then the poker rakeback gives you an opportunity to walk away with more cash after winning, or to minimize your losses. If, for example, you have paid the online casino a rake of £200 in a night, and you have a 50% rakeback deal, you will get back £100. This can either go into padding your winnings, or reducing your losses significantly. Any self-respecting expert offering you online poker tips will tell you that you should – at all times – attempt to minimize the losses you can incur from a game of poker.

How does rakeback poker change how you play?

Having answered the question: what is rakeback poker?, we now need to explain how the concept has changed the strategy that you can adopt when playing online poker. It is important to note that the concept of the poker rakeback is relatively new. Most followers of the game believe that the concept originated as early as 2004. It is also important to keep in mind that the rakeback only exists in online poker.

One of the ways that the rakeback has changed how online poker is played comes from the emergence of the ‘rakeback pro’. As already touched upon earlier in this guide, the rakeback is paid to you whether you win or lose your wager. This creates an additional, albeit minimal, revenue stream when playing poker.

Noticing this, some pro poker players have a strategy based on breaking even during the game in order to make their profits via the rakeback. By adopting a very cautious and largely ‘defensive’ poker strategy, they try to ensure that they don’t lose on their wagers (or that they minimize their losses as much as possible) and depending on the rakeback for profit.

Since the rakeback is usually quite small, this is a strategy that might require one to play several online poker tables at the same time to make a decent profit. Some rakeback pros have mastered the art, making thousands of dollars every month from their cumulative rakeback received.

Do all online casinos offer rakeback?

No, they do not. Generally, rakeback deals are usually offered to high-rollers, loyal clients and pro-players to keep them on site. This does not mean that casual players cannot benefit from them, although it is rare. Generally, you should seriously consider online casinos that offer impressive rakeback deals (40% and higher). If a casino does not offer rakeback, check out their other bonuses and reward schemes before writing them off, you can stumble on a bonus scheme that is just as attractive as a rakeback.