What is Rakeback?
The rake is the fee the poker room takes from the pot for each game. Players can then be rewarded rakeback, which is paid in to their account as a bonus and will be a percentage of the money they have previously paid in rake. This is a feature unique to online poker – rake is not credited back to players in the land-based game.
In the competitive market to attract players to poker rooms will often offer a rakeback. This share of the rake taken from each pot and given back to players is often seen as a key way to get people to sign up. It can have a very positive outcome on poker players’ profitability, especially for players who play many hands per day or week, and those players who like to grind out a living or second income.
Rakeback is considered to favor players who play many hands, as rakeback amounts are often determined by how many games are played. This is why it is a key consideration for regular players and professionals. Pokerstars in 2017 caused some controversy among regulars by announcing it was reducing its rakeback reward by as much as 85%. This was a particular sore point for those players who relied upon it for income. Pokerstars said that offering a more balanced rewards scheme was in the interests of the game in general and there was concern that making the poker environment too cosy for regular grinders was putting off recreational players.
It seems that rakeback in general is now in danger of becoming a thing of the past for that reason – one off and ‘in game’ rewards are now seen as a more reliable and balanced way of keeping a range of players interested – from seasoned grinders to one off recreational poker fans.
READ: Want to get in to online poker? Read our guide to get started.