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Rakeback Makes You Money � Even When You Lose!

Published April 30, 2008 - RSS/XML Feed RSS

The adage, “the house always wins,” continues to hold true, whether you play at the tables or through an online casino. 

In fact, even if you win and poker hand, the casino still wins – through their pocket of the rake. The casinos charge you their rake in order to allow you to play at the table.   Therefore, you automatically “lose” money in every hand, even if you win. However, you can reap back some of these profits by strategically using rakeback

Casinos’ profits come from the rake
Casino's makes money from the rake – being the fees taken off of each and every table, whether you win or lose. Most of the time this fact is overlooked or ignored, as it is an underlying rule that is simply accepted in order to play. 
With online poker, the same rakes are in play, although they are less than the brick-and-mortar casinos. According to research reported by the Digital Journal, revenues from online poker are upwards of $200 million per month – and this largely comes from the rake. 
Each online casino decides its independent policy pertaining to the rake; typically, it is a percentage or value of the entire pot and calculated on a sliding scale. Most casinos have a maximum rake fee that they charge. 
For example, the casino, depending upon the limit, charges a rake ranging from $0.01 for each $.20 in the pot to $.25 on each $5 in the pot, with a maximum rake of $.04 to $1.00 respectively. 
How to boost your profitability
If you play online poker, you definitely want to research and subscribe to a rakeback provider. Rakeback affiliate programs partner with casinos to get players and keep them at the tables longer. The more you play, the more the casino and the rakeback organization make, as they are also paid commissions on your time spent playing. 
In particular, if you are a lower limit player, the percentage of the rake charged can impact your winnings significantly. Because many online trading rooms have a maximum for the rake per hand, this helps high limit players. However, if you a lower limit player, you will be paying proportionately more, and thus, the rakeback could be very beneficial.
With this in mind, you can reduce the amount of rake proportionately charged. Playing larger pots is more advantageous than smaller ones. Even if you are playing on the lower limits, it is a wise strategy to play hands that have a probability of creating large pots.   Keep in mind that the small pocket pairs, which can become sets, are stronger hands at the lower limits – especially in comparison to an ace-ten that has a probability of winning smaller pots. In addition, the value of suited connectors rises at lower limits due to both rake calculations and strategy elements. 
If you are already playing online, why not boost your win rate easily?  Taking time to sign up with a rakeback affiliate provider should be an automatic decision – one for which your pocketbook will thank you. 
Making money, whether your win or lose
Your new subscription to a rakeback site will enable you to re-capture a percentage of fees your online poker gambling site charges you to play. Rakeback providers offer payback anywhere between 20% - 30% of the rakes charged. 
There are two prevalent ways rakeback companies calculate how much money will be returned to you: contribution or shared. 
In a contribution calculation, the amount of rakeback you earn depends upon how much you contributed to the pot. Therefore, if you placed $25 in a $100 pot, then your contribution accounts for 25% of the total value. Therefore, you would earn back 25% of the rake. 
On the other hand, the shared calculation method equally splits the rake between all of the players, regardless of how much you put into the pot. Thus, if you are in a five-handed game, you would obtain 20% of the rake from each pot. 
Choosing between the shared or contribution rakeback calculation depends upon your style of play. If you typically are the largest contributor to the pot, then you would opt for the contribution calculation, as this equitably provides you with the proportionately accurate payouts. On the other hand, if you are an average or lower contributor to the pot – or find yourself not contributing to the pot occasionally – then choosing shared is economically the best deal.  You should choose the rakeback affiliate that best suits your style; read the fine print carefully to determine if the rakeback affiliate is calculating based upon contribution or shared.   
How the rakeback is calculated
Reading fine print helps ensure your rakeback is calculated in your best interest. The best are rakebacks calculated from gross rake fees, instead of net rate fees.  If the rakebacks are paid by net fees, meaning a percentage of what your rakeback provider makes, this leaves only a few dollars in your hand. 
The amount of money you can make from rakeback can add up significantly. For example, let us assume that you play approximately 15 hours per week at one table, with a limit of $5/10 and a rake charge of 5%. Your gross rake during this period is approximately $250.  
If you are subscribed to a rakeback affiliate program with a 25% gross rakeback, you will receive $62.50 of those original rake fees charged. This is a nice bonus for your pocketbook, regardless if you win or lose. 
The perks of rakeback
Rakeback communities are growing ever more popular, with membership in some sites now closing in on hundreds of thousands of active members. Beyond the monetary benefits, there are other advantages you may receive from your rakeback provider:
Quick rakeback calculators – These online accessible tools will help you easily and accurately figure your profits and rake with simple input based on your game-play habits. 
Freeroll tournaments and exclusive promotions – Somehow, you just feel best about playing with other people’s money, especially when the money made is to become your own. These types of incentives are always a plus. 
Rakeback tracking services – The site will show your combined rakeback per different time periods, keeping your game play history. Self-help and analysis can better be accomplished if you have records of actual results.
Referral programs – On top of your re-capture of the rake fees charged, some can earn additional money by saving their friends’ money too. Many sites offer 2% - 10% commissions of their referral’s rakeback payments. Get a large number of your friends subscribed, and you may be off to your own legal, pyramid type fortune.
The bottom line
As a poker player, you may have other factors to consider, such as your tournament play. If this is the case, for example, then you should choose a rakeback program that will credit a portion of your tournament fees, as there is technically no rake. You should also evaluate if “bonuses” are important to you, and if so, choose a rakeback service that does not lower your payout based upon the bonus you obtain. Ultimately, however, choosing the right rakeback programs means looking at how they calculate their payouts – and carefully reading the fine print.  


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