Comprehensive Guide to Online Poker Rakeback deals

Everything you need to know about Rakeback deals, including why and how to get a hidden extra Rakeback with Donkhunter!

Comprehensive Guide to Online Poker Rakeback deals image

There is a lot of money to be made in Rakeback deals. Poker rooms offer it to bring new customers and reward the most loyal ones, while professional online poker players use it to boost their earnings significantly.

But how exactly does online poker Rakeback work, how do you get it and how much can YOU expect to make? Which online poker rooms offer the best Rakeback deals?

This Comprehensive Guide will give you those answers and you will learn how to increase your profits with the best Rakeback deal you can get.

Table of Contents

What is Rakeback in online poker?

What is Rake and How it is Calculated

Can I Get Rakeback for Tournaments and Sit & Go's?

How does Rakeback work?

How much can I get in Rakeback?

What are Rakeback Pros?

How do I get Rakeback? 

Rakeback Deals

Hidden Extra Rakeback Deals

DonkHunter Rakeback Deals

How do I maximize my Rakeback?

Why Doesn't Every Poker Site Have Rakeback?

Which online poker sites have the best Rakeback?

How does Rakeback work on ACR?

How does Rakeback work on GGPoker? Fish Buffet

Does PokerStars have Rakeback?

Conclusion

What is Rakeback in online poker?

So first things first: Rakeback is a type of promotion that many online poker sites offer where they return to the player a percentage of the rake paid. Aka, extra money, taken from the commission that poker sites charge, paid back to the players. How much exactly depends on the deal you have with the poker site and how much in rake (commissions) you paid: high-volume and high-stakes players tend to benefit the most from this system.

Rakeback online poker sites were the norm back in the day, as still are among new poker rooms because it's an excellent way to attract new customers. Nowadays not every poker site offers Rakeback, but most do, including some big names in the industry, because it rewards loyal customers and keeps them coming back.

Every online poker site that has Rakeback rewards also has a different system to calculate it, such as loyalty points, VIP programs, and so on. A few examples and recommendations of the best poker sites to earn Rakeback will be given.

Since this reward is always calculated according to the Rake you pay, it is necessary to first understand how Rake works to know how much Rakeback money you can get.

What is Rake and How it is Calculated

While playing cash games you may notice that the online poker site takes part of the pot: that is rake and it is how poker sites make money: they host the games and collect Rake as their commission.

Normally, poker sites only collect rake after the flop. The percentage for cash game players is usually around 5% of the pot, but with a cap such as $ 5 or 3 BB, depending on the limit you play. Every online poker room has its own rake system.

In general, micro and low stakes charge a higher rake, mid and high stakes games usually have a rake cap and or a lower rake percentage compared to lower stakes.

Can I Get Rakeback for Tournaments and Sit & Go's?

Yes, you can. Rake works a little differently but it still applies for Tournament fees and Sit & Go's, therefore if the poker room has a Rakeback offer it still applies for players of tournaments and SnG.

Instead of a fraction of the pot, the rake is charged as a flat amount that is included with buy-ins and tournament fees: $ 100+$10 for example means that $ 10, which is the tournament fee, counts for Rake. In this case, the rake is usually around 10% but the same logic still applies: mid and high stakes normally have a lower rake percentage than mid and low stakes poker tables.

In essence, every time you spend money on an online poker game, the operator collects rake in some form: part of the final pot for cash games or a fixed amount for tournaments and Sit & Go's.

How does Rakeback work?

Now that you know how Rake works, you can calculate your Rakeback. It is usually somewhere around 20 to 40 % of all the Rake you paid in any poker game on the site (including cash games, tournaments, and Sit & Go), paid back to your account balance. You can use your Rakeback payment to play more or withdraw it normally, your choice.

Most online poker rooms have progressive Rakeback payments: the more rake you generate by playing poker, the higher percentage of Rakeback you get. High-volume players benefit from this system the most, while recreational players barely notice it. That is why Rakeback is so important for professional players.

Again, online poker sites have different systems for this, which you would have to read and check terms and conditions. However, you can find our top recommendations and a few examples below.

In some cases, Rakeback is paid directly to your poker account, while in other poker rooms you gain some sort of points, coins, etc that can be redeemed as cash rewards. Some have simple, flat, and direct cashback, while others have convoluted point systems and random rewards.

How much can I make in Rakeback?

With all that information in mind, plus an estimate of the volume you play, you can now estimate how much you can get in Rakeback payments.

For example, in Americas Cardroom or any other room in the Winning Poker Network (such as Black Chip Poker, YaPoker, etc) mid-stakes poker players, in a cash game of NLH10/20, pay a 5% rake, with a $ 3 cap each pot. On average, such players can expect to pay 1.5 BB or around $ 30 in rake per 100 hands.

If one such player plays 100 hands in one hour, with a 20% poker Rakeback deal, that would make $ 6 in Rakeback per hour. This is a very conservative estimate, however, because you could multi-table or get 40% or more Rakeback at Americas Cardroom if you put in the volume and get a good poker Rakeback deal, both of them could multiply your Rakeback per hour a few times.

Even assuming that very conservative Rakeback of only $ 6 per hour, that would mean $ 36 a day (assuming 6 hours a day), $ 900 a month (assuming 6 days per week), or about an extra $ 10 k per year (assuming 11 months a year).

As you can see, the sum is significant, and if you play higher stakes it could be much more because you would pay more rake and could VIP Rakeback deals over 40%.

What are Rakeback Pros?

Grinders who play poker in high volumes are called Rakeback pros.

As demonstrated by the numbers above, if you play a lot, especially at high stakes, even if you barely break even, you can still make a lot of money from Rakeback alone. Some poker players focus on this strategy and for them getting the best Rakeback deal possible is even more imperative. They almost always work with affiliates and partner sites.

How do I get Rakeback?

Rakeback is not usually automatic, you have to ask for it. For that, you can contact the poker room directly or have the assistance of affiliates who can cut you an exclusive Rakeback deal.

The first option is to write to the online poker room directly. If you a player is eligible, according to the terms and conditions they described for their Rakeback programs, they should include the player in the Rakeback deal described on their page and pay it directly to the player account. A few do so automatically, but that is often not the case, so you have to check with the online gaming site of your choice.

Rakeback Deals

The most efficient way, however, is often through affiliate Rakeback deals. Affiliates are third parties that work with the players and partner poker sites to get the best Rakeback deals for their players. In this option, the affiliate will pay you the negotiated amount.

The advantage is that they let poker players focus on playing while they negotiate a Rakeback deal with the site. Because they bring in a lot of players, they have more leverage to negotiate and can usually get even better conditions or extra benefits for their players.

Hidden Extra Rakeback Deals

Even when a poker room offers 40% Rakeback, you can sometimes get up to 50% Rakeback with us. How is that possible?

We negotiate a Rakeback deal with the site directly and this way we can get extra Rakeback (beyond what is openly offered by the site) to our players. This extra Rakeback is then paid by us directly to you, so you can just focus on playing and enjoying the extra money!

DonkHunter Rakeback deals

DonkHunter makes sure that our players get the best deals and the best player support possible. Here are 8 reasons why DonkHunter stands above the competition.

How do you know if our deals are really the best? It's because we make money together with you, but in our minds, you do the most of the work, so it's only fair that you get a large portion of what we make.

As a result, we devised a reward system that returns to you a portion of what we created together. By using your services, you will not only benefit from the Rakeback offer and the deposit bonuses, but you will also receive considerable additional benefits from us.

It's in our best interests for you to enjoy the poker rooms and deals in our offer. You won't play in the room if you don't love it, and you won't collect any rake, thus we won't make any money.

However, if you have a positive experience there, you will stay, and we will benefit. It's a win-win situation and one that we truly believe in.

We encourage you to shop around; if you find better deals, we will gladly match or cover them.

How do I maximize my Rakeback?

If you are following so far, you know already know the answer to this question by now.

The first key is volume, you must play at as many poker tables as possible (multi-table is almost a necessity) and also the highest stakes possible. Of course, games are going to be more difficult, but if you can at least break even or profit a little, Rakeback might more than make up for that.

The second key is getting a good Rakeback Deal. If one place offers you 30% Rakeback and another one offers you 45%, then that's +50% to your Rakeback income, assuming you play just as much.

However, going for the highest Rakeback offer is not always the best choice. There are other factors to consider, such as traffic (it won't help if you can't play as much because you can't find a poker table outside peak hours), if the games are softer or harder, and so on.

That is another advantage of affiliates: they have a lot of knowledge about different poker rooms and can give you a personalized recommendation based on how much you play and your skill level.

Why Doesn't Every Online Poker Room Have Rakeback?

Rakeback programs take away part of the poker room's income, in exchange for more customers. If a particular online poker site already has a significant number of loyal customers, they have less incentive to offer Rakeback.

By the same token, if a poker room has a Rakeback over 40%, that might mean they are struggling to attract or keep customers in for some reason (but that's not always the case), or perhaps they are just new and are trying to establish a decent player base to get started.

PokerStars, for example, doesn't offer Rakeback as a player reward method, and it was the most popular online poker room in the world until last year when it was surpassed by GG Poker. GG Poker actually does have a nice Rakeback program and this is certainly part of the appeal for them, as well as any gambling site.

Which online poker sites have the best Rakeback?

The poker sites with the best Rakeback are:

  1. Winning Poker Network: PokerKing, Americas Cardroom, YaPoker - up to 65%
  2. GGNetwork: GGPoker, BetKings, Natural8 up to 60%

You can find here a list of the highest Rakeback poker rooms that are part of our offer. We only work with reputable poker rooms so you can be safe that every option we list is legitimate.

To illustrate how VIP Rakeback programs works, we bring you three examples that are also big well-known names in the poker industry: Winning Poker Network (Americas Cardroom, PokerKing, Black Chip Poker), GG Network (GGKings, Natural8, BetKings), and PokerStars.

Remember, if you choose us as your poker affiliate, you can have additional benefits. This offer is just what is listed by the poker room, available for any player, even unaffiliated.

How does Rakeback work on Americas Cardroom?

PokerKing
  • Rakeback up to 65%
  • Deposit bonus 2000 $

+ cryptocurrency / Bitcoin payments
+ high traffic 24/7 including US players
+ plenty of promos including up to 65% Rakeback

- support takes a long time to answer
- mobile app only has Blitz (aka Zoom) and Jackpot Spins
- many regular players

The promotions are the same across all Winning Poker Network, which includes ACR, PokerKing, and Black Chip Poker.

WPN offers a Rakeback program that goes up to 65% called Royal Club. Royal Club is divided into 6 ranks: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Royal, and King.

You improve your Rank by collecting Status Points: 6.6 for every $1 paid in rake. The higher your Rank, the more Rakeback.

Bronze: you start here. No requirements.

Silver: 750 SP required, 12 to 15% Rakeback.

Gold: 3,000 SP required, 15 to 21% Rakeback.

Platinum: 7,500 SP required, 18% to 22% Rakeback.

Royal: 100,000 SP required, 26% to 46% Rakeback.

King: 1,000,000 SP required, 57% to 65% Rakeback.

Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum are monthly ranks, but once you reach Royal and King they are annual ranks, which means you have one year to achieve the required amount of points.

65% Rakeback is extremely high, but also very difficult to achieve. Players on monthly ranks (Bronze to Platinum) will only receive 15 to 25 % Rakeback on average.

If you want to know more about this poker room check out our complete PokerKing review.

How does Rakeback work on GGPoker? The Fish Buffet Program

BetKings
  • Rakeback up to 100%
  • Deposit bonus 600$

+ high cashback
+ big deposit bonus
+ Asian players at all rates
- no SNG
- PVI system

GG Network (GGPoker, Natural8, BetKings, Snail Poker) has a rather interesting Rakeback system called Fish Buffet. It is a little complicated, but it is one of the best promotions in the industry, if not the best.

Just like WPN, you have to collect points, in this case they are called Fish Buffet points, to climb ranks. The higher your Rank, the higher your Rakeback.

According to GGPoker itself: "On average, players will be rewarded 100 Fish Buffet points for every $1 paid in rake and fees. This value may vary based on a variety of factors, such as but not limited to, game type or tournament played, player behavior at tables, and deposit history".

Once again, some are weekly ranks, but the top ranks are monthly.

Where it says Spins / average Cashback, it is because on the lower ranks you have to Spin a wheel to get random rewards, including Rakeback, which theoretically could go up to 100%! However, the chances are very low, so they show you the average. Fixed Rakeback is generally better.

In short, GGPoker Rakeback starts at 15% (average, via Spins), to a 20% flat cashback payout weekly once you reach "Platinum Fish" (fairly easy), up to 60% Rakeback at the top (possible if you rake a lot).

We have a complete guide to GGPoker Fish Buffet Program which was updated and revamped in 2021.

Does PokerStars Have Rakeback?

In short, no, it doesn't. It has a reward program of sorts, where you gain Starcoins and can redeem them for prizes. Although massively popular, it has always been criticized by Rakeback players and this might have had something to do with them being surpassed by GGPoker in the leadership of the online poker industry.

Conclusion

Rakeback is a very effective way to increase your poker earnings. Even with a low ROI (return on investment), high-volume players can make hundreds or even thousands of dollars monthly with Rakeback alone and profit from it.

Not every poker room offers Rakeback and the best way to get the best possible Rakeback deal is with DonkHunter. Contact us to know more. 

 

Author: Charles Fieltes Jr is a poker and crypto enthusiast who researches and writes about poker rooms since 2020, also a translator for Portuguese & Spanish.

Instagram: @charlesfieltesjunior

 

Author: Daniel Queiroz is a Brazilian professional poker player that also enjoys e-sports in his free time.

Instagram: @danieelqueiroz