What is Rakeback?

This was published 23-04-2008

You have probably seen several poker sites advertising something called RAKEBACK, but have no idea what the heck it is. Well, let me break it down for you so you can understand a little better and answer the burning question: what is rakeback?

Rake = The way the poker sites make money. Basicaly every hand in a cash game they take anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars (depending on the size of the pot) to pay for their operating costs and profits. For players that play a lot of poker (usually multi-tabling), this can add up over time, as they can contribute $1000’s of dollars in rake every month.

Rakeback = Getting a percentage of all the rake you contribute to the site paid back to YOU.

History of Rakeback

Rakeback was originally used as a tool to lure in big players and sponsored pros to poker sites by giving them a percentage of everything the site made off of them, back into their player account. This would keep the players happy and hopefully they would stay with the site for a long time.

Fast forward a bit, smaller sites that had problems competing with big sites like Party Poker and Pokerstars needed a way to attract new players and keep players loyal. They decided to offer rakeback as a marketing tactic to ensure the players would stay with their site, and new players would get something extra for signing up at their site.

Nowadays, around 25% of poker sites offer rakeback to their players and it is a very common tool used to market sites. If you would like to know how much rakeback you would generate check out this rakeback calculator.

Is Rakeback Ever a Bad Idea?

While many would argue that rakeback is always a good idea, there are some potential issues with rakeback. Since you are essentially getting paid to play more, if you are not a really good poker player you might start playing more than you should (in attempt to try and get more rakeback) and will actually lose more money than you would have without the rakeback. So, if you are going to take rakeback it usually helps if you are a WINNING player.

If you are interested in trying rakeback out, check out PKR Rakeback and Bonus page for details.

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