When I first find out about rakeback there were a lot of questions that I wanted answers to, so I compiled this FAQ to help all the players new to rakeback. If you want to find out more about how it all works, this big rakeback FAQ should help to clear things up for you.
Just click on the question in this rakeback FAQ to reveal the answer. If you want to minimize the answer, click on the question again.
- What is rakeback?
Rakeback is simply where you receive a percentage of the rake you pay in real money games back to your account. Have a look at the what is rakeback? article for more detailed information.
- Is rakeback legal and above board?
Yes, rakeback is perfectly legal and all that. In fact, the majority of poker rooms that offer rakeback actually process the payments to your account themselves.
- Can anyone receive rakeback?
Yes, any player is able to sign up for a rakeback deal at a poker room and start receiving rakeback.
It doesn't matter how infrequently you play or how small the stakes are, every player that signs up to a rakeback poker room from ThePokerBank can receive rakeback when they play for real money. Cool or what?
- Can US players receive rakeback?
Yes. As long as the poker room accepts US players you can get rakeback. Here are a few example of US rakeback poker rooms:
- Why haven't I heard of rakeback before?
Rakeback deals are not advertised by the poker rooms themselves, and not too many poker websites make players aware of rakeback, which is probably why you haven't heard about it before.
Even though rakeback is perfectly fine, poker rooms are not going to automatically give rakeback to players unless they have signed up through special rakeback sites (like ThePokerBank).
A lot of people play poker unaware of the presence of rakeback, so the poker rooms are saving money by not automatically giving rakeback to those players.
- Do most online poker players get rakeback?
Regular online poker players will always find out about rakeback at some time or another, and after they do they will rarely play at a poker room without receiving rakeback.
Casual or recreational players are less likely to get rakeback, but 90% or more of those that play on a regular basis to try and win money are aware of rakeback and play at a room with a rakeback deal.
- Can I get rakeback at more than one poker room?
Yes, you can sign up to as many rooms as you like that offer rakeback and take advantage of their rakeback deals. There is no limit to how many rakeback rooms you can sign up to.
Most players tend to find a room they enjoy playing at and stick with that site though, as opposed to moving from one room to another. However, there is nothing wrong with opening up rakeback accounts at different rooms if that's what you want to do.
- Why don't all rooms offer rakeback?
Some poker rooms prefer to not offer rakeback deals, and stick with offering player points or VIP loyalty programs instead.
Poker rooms actually give away more money to players through rakeback deals than they do through player points or loyalty programs, so they are able to save more money by not offering rakeback to players.
Now that you know about rakeback, the chances are that you are unlikely to play at rooms that do not offer rakeback deals to players because of the money you are leaving on the table.
About poker room rake.
- What is rake?
Every time you play a hand in a real money cash game, the poker room will take 5% of the pot. This is called the "rake". This is how the poker rooms make their money. In tournaments, the rake is paid before you enter a tournament (e.g. in a $10+$1 tournament, the $1 goes to the poker room).
Every poker room charges rake at pretty much the exact same rates. However, some poker rooms give a percentage of this rake back to the player as "rakeback", hence the rakeback deals on this site.
- How is rake calculated?
As a general rule, in cash games the poker room will take 5% of every final pot as rake. So if the final pot is $10, the poker room will take 50c and the winning player will get the remaining $9.50. However, the majority of poker rooms will not take rake from hands where there has been no flop.
Tournament rake is a lot clearer in that you are able to see the amount of rake you are paying to the room for each tournament in the lobby. As a general rule, poker rooms charge 10% rake for every tournament you play. So in a $20 tournament, you should expect to pay $2 to the house ($20+$2).
- What does MGR stand for?
MGR stands for Monthly Gross Revenue. To put it more simply, it is the total amount of rake that you generate for the room in one month.
Poker rooms use this MGR figure to work out your rakeback payment. So if you are on a 30% rakeback deal and generate $100 in MGR in one month, you can expect to receive $30 in rakeback.
- What are the different methods of rake for rakeback? (Contributed, dealt and shared).
When a poker room calculates the amount of rakeback you should be paid, they will use the contributed, dealt or shared rakeback method.
Contributed rakeback is calculated by looking at how much money you have put in to the pot by yourself. If you are on a 30% rakeback deal and you have put $20 in to a $100 pot, you will receive 30% rakeback from the rake taken from the $20 you put in to the pot (30% of $1 rake = 30c).
In a nutshell, you get rakeback from the rake taken from your money only.
In a dealt rakeback deal, you receive an equal share of rakeback from the total amount of rake paid in each pot. You will receive a share of the rakeback even if you do not play in the pot, you just need to be dealt a hand.
So if there has been a $100 pot with 5 players at the table, $5 rake will be taken and you will have effectively contributed $1 rake ($5 / 5 players = $1 each). You will then receive 30% of that $1 shared rakeback amount, which will be 30c.
In a dealt rakeback deal, you do not have to even play hands to generate rakeback.
Shared rakeback is just like the "dealt rakeback" method, but the difference is that you actually have to enter the pot to get a share of the rakeback. Therefore you will not receive any rakeback if you do not put any money in to the pot.
So if there are 6 players at the table and only 3 player actually play a pot, the rake will be shared equally between those 3 players in the shared method as opposed to it being shared between 6 players in the dealt method.
The shared rakeback method is very rare, if ever used at all these days.
- Dealt rakeback or contributed rakeback? Which rakeback method is best?
Both of these rakeback calculations are more or less equal for the majority of players, so there is no clear-cut better rakeback calculation method as a player. Nonetheless:
- If you feel you pay more rake than most players, you should go for contributed.
- If you feel you pay less rake than the average player, you should go for dealt.
Very tight players will benefit from the dealt/shared rakeback methods whereas very loose players will benefit from the contributed method.
However, if you are neither of these extremes then I would not worry about which rakeback calculation method you have, as it will work out pretty much the same either way. If you want some specific calculations on both these methods, check this thread at 2+2.
More specific rakeback FAQs.
- When will I start generating rakeback?
You will be able start generating your rakeback right after you have signed up to the poker room through ThePokerBank. There are no delays in sorting out your account for rakeback; it is an immediate process.
- When will I receive my rakeback?
Different rooms pay rakeback to their players at different times. However, as a general rule you should expect to receive a lump sum of rakeback paid to your account once a month (some rooms offer more frequent payments).
Check the individual rakeback deal pages for information on rakeback payments and frequency.
- Are tournament fees included in rakeback?
The vast majority of rakeback poker rooms include tournament fees in rakeback calculations. In fact, it is pretty rare to find a room that doesn't and I am not aware of any that don't.
It used to be that some rooms like UltimateBet (not a recommended room by the way) would not include tournament fees in rakeback, but you can comfortably assume that all half-decent rakeback rooms will include them.
If a room doesn't include SNG or MTT fees, I will be sure to make it very clear on the rakeback page for the room.
- Do I still get the new player bonus if I sign up for rakeback?
Yes, you still get the new player bonus along with rakeback at all the rakeback poker rooms listed on this site.
However, some rooms such as Full Tilt and Betfair will deduct bonus money (that you have redeemed) from your MGR before calculating your rakeback payment. Therefore you will still get the full bonus, but your rakeback amount will be slightly less whilst it clears.
After your bonus has cleared at these rooms, your rakeback calculations will be as normal with no deductions.
- Can I get rakeback if I have an existing account at a poker room?
Unfortunately no. This is an especially common problem for Full Tilt players who have already signed up for an account and now would like to receive rakeback. It is not possible I'm afraid.
The best alternative is to find another room that you have not signed up to yet and get rakeback their through ThePokerBank. It's a shame that you cannot get rakeback on existing accounts, but there is not a lot that you can do about it. It's just one of those things.
However! I know a lot about online poker rooms and all that, so if you get in touch with me I will be able to advise you on the best possible alternative rakeback room for you. It's not a problem at all.
- Can I get rakeback at more than one room on a network?
Most networks will limit you to having only one rakeback account on one of their skins.
For example, on the Cake network, if you have Cake Poker rakeback you are not allowed to set up a rakeback account at PlayersOnly.
- Can I get rakeback at PokerStars?
PokerStars does not offer rakeback, and anyone that says you can get rakeback at PokerStars is lying to you.
However, they do offer cash rewards for collecting players points, which works just like rakeback in a way. Check out the PokerStars rakeback page for information on how much effective rakeback you receive by collecting FPPs and exchanging them for cash rewards.
- Are there any strings attached to rakeback money?
Nope. After the rakeback money has been paid in to your account by the poker room you are free to do whatever you like with it.
You can take it back to the tables, withdraw it, admire it, whatever. It's your money and there are no strings attached to it.
- What does it mean when bonuses are deducted from rakeback calculations?
Some rakeback poker rooms will deduct any bonus money from your MGR before calculating your rakeback payment. This is fairly standard in the world of online poker rakeback.
To give an example, let's say you generate $100 in MGR and earn $40 worth of bonus money in one month. If the room deducts bonus money from rakeback calculations, the $40 will be taken from the $100, leaving $60 left to calculate rakeback from as opposed to the full $100.
However, after the bonus has expired your rakeback will be calculated as normal.
- Which is better; rakeback or VIP programs?
Rakeback is going to return a greater percentage of your rake for the majority of players.
VIP programs like the PokerStars loyalty program (see PokerStars rakeback) can return a higher percentage of your rake back to you, but this is only if you play a lot of high stakes poker and generate a crazy amount of rake for the room.
As a general rule of thumb, rakeback is more profitable than VIP programs.
- Who pays me my rakeback?
The poker rooms themselves work out the amount of rakeback you are owed and then pay it to your account. It is all sorted by the poker room, but I am always at hand if you encounter any problems or need help with anything. Just contact me and I will help sort any problems out.
ThePokerBank rakeback FAQs.
- Why does ThePokerBank offer rakeback?
This site focuses on providing strategy and tips to help players win money from Texas Hold'em on a regular basis.
Seeing as the majority of visitors to this site are regular players looking to make money, it makes sense to offer useful rakeback deals to make time spent playing online poker more profitable.
- Why should I sign up for rakeback through ThePokerBank?
Because I will look after you and make sure you get your rakeback deal with the poker rooms you sign up to from ThePokerBank.
If you ever have any questions of come in to any problems with rakeback, just contact me and I will be sure to help you out and get things sorted for you. Your rakeback is secure in my hands.
- Why do only some websites like ThePokerBank offer rakeback?
Not all poker websites are able to offer rakeback to their visitors, so in a way ThePokerBank is pretty special.
I have worked out these deals with each of the individual poker rooms to be able offer rakeback to every visitor of ThePokerBank, which is something that not all poker websites have done.
- Are all links to rakeback poker rooms on ThePokerBank special rakeback links?
Yes. If you a visit a rakeback poker room from any link on this site and sign up, you will be tracked as a rakeback player. For example, if you visit Full Tilt through the link on the US friendly poker rooms page and sign up for an account, you will get rakeback.
If you feel more comfortable following the steps on the individual rakeback pages (for example the Full Tilt rakeback page), then feel free to sign up through those links.
- Why don't you ask me for my poker username after signing up for rakeback?
Because I don't need to know it for you to get rakeback. Other poker websites may ask for you to submit your table nickname or username, but it is not at all necessary to get rakeback.
If there are any problems then I may ask for your username then (to help), but other than that you can keep your player details as private as you like.
- Which rakeback deal is the best?
The best rakeback deal is the one that is best suited to you. Different poker rooms offer different % rakeback deals, pay at different times of the month, pay at different frequencies and so on. My best advice is to play at a room that you enjoy playing at the most.
It's all well and good going for the highest rakeback deal, but it's not going to be too much fun if you are playing at a room that you do not enjoy playing at and have trouble beating.
Go for the rakeback deal that floats your boat and be happy.
- Which rakeback deals are the most popular?
After that, rakeback deals for poker rooms on the Cake Network are also popular due to their higher than average 33% rakeback offer and their acceptance of US players.
Have any other questions not on this rakeback FAQ?
I tried to answer many of the most popular questions about rakeback in this FAQ, but if you are still unclear about rakeback or want to ask me a specific question, please don't hesitate to contact me at greg[at]thepokerbank[dot]com.
I am a friendly guy and I am more than happy to help answer any questions you might have (no matter how basic or obscure you think they might be). You won't find out if you don't ask!