Is rakeback for me?

By | March 1, 2010

The general answer is probably yes. Every player pays some rake no matter which version of poker is played and no matter how the game is played. But the choice is individual. The majority of people in the online poker rooms only play the game for fun. They are just looking to get the maximum enjoyment out of their gambling dollars. Most will not know about the rake and have no immediate interest in claiming some of it back. These players tend to be steady losers. Be grateful to them for supplying your winnings. If you only play for a few hours a week to clear the bonus, there is a short-term argument for saying the rake is irrelevant to you. But circumstances can change. What would you do if the bonuses were to dry up? Equally, if you find you are winning more often and start thinking about playing with a more professional approach, not having an agreement about the rake could leave you with a problem. Then look at your playing style. If you like to get involved in the action, you will tend to see more pots and this will increase the rake paid. If you are a tight player preferring to pick the hand to play, you will be involved in fewer pots and pay a smaller rake. The number of pots also increases if you play short-handed. In a full ring, it is less necessary to defend blinds and so there are fewer pots. Players pay the maximum rake on low to medium sized pots. No limit players pay less, often because the poker rooms operate a “no flop, no drop” policy, i.e. no rake is charged when a player with a good hand raises pre-flop and the others fold. This limits the number of big pots per hour as against limit games where playing the odds usually results in a draw.

Even though claiming back some of the rake is usually favorable, move with care. Always read the terms and conditions of the rooms where you play before you act. Often, these schemes are not offered directly, but made available through affiliate sites to attract new players to the online casinos. Most poker rooms have rules preventing you from having more than one account. If you are caught with multiple accounts, your winnings may disappear. You could also be banned. Similarly, just as you check out the poker rooms before signing up, you should also check out the reputation of the affiliate before signing up. If the affiliate crashes and you lose your accounts, many dollars may have disappeared. With proper research, you can get good deals when you sign for new casinos and poker rooms. Check out the rules before you try to add this to your existing rooms.

Because rakeback is effectively free money, it’s usually a good idea to get signed up. Even if you only make a few dollars out of it every month, you might want to turn professional next month. For now, look for the highest rakeback percentages from reputable affiliates and open new accounts within the service terms of the best poker rooms.

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