"The best rakeback deals on the net"

Build a poker bankroll.

Back in the days, if a person wanted to make some money playing poker, he knew he had to invest some in order to gain some.

Nowadays, with the stiff competition the internet has brought about in online poker, you don’t need to sacrifice a single cent out of your pocket in order to play real money poker.

While almost every single online poker room will give you a hefty bonus on your first deposit, to get you started, some poker rooms go as far as to offer you a bonus (they call it “free bankroll” these days) without any deposit needed on your part.

While these bonuses are not exactly what you’d call “impressive”, they still they provide a theoretical chance for you to build up a poker bankroll out of thin air.

What is rakeback? It is a part of the poker rake you pay to your online poker room whenever you play a real money hand, a part which finds its way back into your rakeback account thanks to a rakeback deal that you signed up for. For the best rakeback offers check out our rake return section.

I say “theoretical” because, if you want to play properly bankrolled from the very beginning (we all know how important that is, don’t we?) you’ll only be able to play at some of the lowest limits. If you decide to play under-bankrolled, chances are, you’ll lose everything before you make any sort of progress.

So basically there are two ways to start your poker bankroll. 1) Locate a nice free bankroll offer and take advantage of it, 2) make a hefty deposit and take full advantage of the first deposit bonus.

1) If you decide to go for the free variant, you’ll have to be extremely patient, cautious and careful. Never play under-bankrolled, stick to the lowest limits if you have to, at least until you manage to build up a more or less consistent stack. Play in STTs and SNGs, or MTTs that provide reduced competition and good rewards for the winners.

Avoid regular cash tables, because you’ll pay more rake at them, you’ll face adverse odds, and you’ll be worn down much quicker.

STTs provide you great value for survival, they put you up against only a few opponents, they give you great odds. Some MTTs do achieve the same, although competition at these tables will be more numerous and thus more difficult to beat, too.

2) If you decide to take the easy way, you’ll make a hefty deposit at one of the poker rooms which offer great first-deposit bonuses. That is the very first thing you have to be on the lookout for: a quality signup bonus. These bonuses usually come as a certain % match on your first deposit, up to a set maximum.

If you sign up to a rakeback offer, you’ll still be eligible for these bonuses and you’ll have secured yourself a lasting edge, too. The money that you make through these bonuses doesn’t usually land in your poker account right away. You have to work for it by generating FPPs (Frequent Player Points) which is what the rake translates to. Using these FPPs you’ll unlock (redeem) your bonus gradually or in one big chunk, depending on the poker room’s policy on this matter.

Since low-limits/stakes are where you’ll find most of the rookies, obviously these tables provide better value than high stakes ones in the long-run. These are the tables you want to play at, the only problem is, you need to work for a good few hours to eek out a couple of bucks profit. Thank God for Multi-tabling though. Nowadays every respectable online poker room offers you this option.

Playing in freerolls gives you the opportunity to start a poker bankroll but it will not give you rakeback. Once your bankroll is sturdy enough, cash out and move to a room which offers you either a nice rakeback deal or gives you rakerebate via a prop setup. Poker rakeback is a deal no savvy player will pass on.

As you open multiple tables, they show up in mini-view, so you can keep an eye on all of them as action ensues. Naturally, you won’t be able to play as intricate a strategy as you would at a single table, but still, you’ll be able to generate money at most of those tables. Since quantity is everything when it comes to money, you may want to give up a little bit of quality in your play for the quantity.

That’ll usually mean that you’ll tighten up. Tournaments are tougher to multi-table because they require more attention, but if you play properly bankrolled, cash tables should yield nice results too.

- by Jon Clarke

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