Rakeback and Online Poker

Ask anyone at Poker Stars or Full Tilt; they’ll both tell you the same thing: Online poker has to get that edge back, and it starts with a good rakeback deal. With a high quality player traffic that routinely exceeds 100,000 hands per hour, that bankroll will start to add up fairly quickly.

What is a Rakeback?

To understand what a rakeback is, we have to understand what rake is. The term “rake” (with the “s” standing for “service”) refers to the fee players pay the poker room for every hand they play. While every poker room takes a small percentage of every hand, poker rooms take five different fees from every player at all times: rake, tournament entry fees, rake on winnings, and tournament processing fees. That’s the “rake”.

Poker rooms don’t make money from a percentage of the rake; they make money on the rake percentage of every hand. The percentage of the rake is the amount of profit the poker room earns from the hand. The poker room represents this profit by giving away a percentage of the rake back to the player. In theory, a player could receive as much as 50% of his rake back.

Most poker rooms take between 3% and 5% rake back from players. Net Entertainment’s software, utilized by several major poker rooms, averages around 3% rake back. Secure Payments, the software used by several major poker rooms, said that they cap the rake back at around $3, but have no maximums. On the other hand, Cardrunners, the software used by Bud Jones, averages around $1.50 and has no maximums or minimums.

All poker rooms say that they offer poker rake back, but it’s not specific to any room. Net Entertainment, for example, offers around 30% rake back;okers American poker site, says that it offers 30%, but is clear about what this means.

For example, 3betting.com, as part of its loyalty program, offers around 30% rake back. In effect, for every $100 that you pay in rake, you will get back $30. This sounds like pocket money, but it’s really not. A player must clear the bonus by playing enough hands to withdraw the bonus. Also, like all loyalty bonuses, these bonuses clear in increments. After enough hands, the bonus will be released into the account.

StarsPay, as part of its loyalty program, also offers around 30% rake back. According to the company, this allows for faster release of winnings, although it’s clear that the company hopes you will use the bonus for unrelated things like online merchandise. The devil, however, is in the details. StarsPay uses a points-system to determine which players receive what bonuses. A points wallet is opened directly to your StarsPay account, and using the cards often requires touching the NFC button on the client. Touching the card triggers the bonus unlock.

Most players like to use their cards to DevilFish (, and the deposit options on the client are fairly limited. Nonetheless, dozens of poker rooms still accept them. They seemed to be available no matter how many poker rooms the US player limit was reached. Clearly, some rooms were border cases, still accepting US players, while others were closed for being Too restricts.

DevilFish regardless of the rooms it accepts, becomes the default poker room in the Apple TV game. It’s clear why they chose it for the game. It’s also interesting to see that SNG players seem to be much more evenly split between slots and limit poker than in the console games.

In sum, Devilfish Poker has performed well both cosplay and as a poker room, but not enough to join the high rollers club.

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