Whenever they’re faced with a choice, when it comes to the poker room they’d consider playing at, first thing most poker players notice and are enticed by, is the sign-up bonus. Yes, indeed it looks extremely attractive to see a 200% match advertised, up to X, Y and Z, but is that really as good as it looks and is it really the factor that should determine whether you play there or not?
What kind of advantage does a sign-up bonus provide you? They say it’s a great initial push to your bankroll, however, you don’t receive it straight away… You have to play quite a lot to unlock it, so it’s not an initial help. If you’re a good player and you manage to unlock it without busting out, then and only then will you enjoy the edge it gives you, but even then you’ll only get that edge once.
Reload bonuses are a different matter. They will give you a bonus much like the first-deposit one, for every re-deposit that you make, albeit this match will be a smaller one.
(if your initial bonus was a 100% match, you’re redeposit bonus will be a 50% match up to a lower limit, or something to that effect...) At first glance, they look like a great way to reward loyal players, but let us take a closer look. Is it really so?
Go to our rakeback deals section to pick the rake rebate offer which suits you best. The fulltilt rakeback is only 27%, but I think I needn’t tell you that the action offered by Full Tilt Poker will more than make up for the low percentage. Get your ub rakeback too, or sign up for several such rakeback offers.
Who gets the re-deposit bonus? The player who re-deposits, of course… What kind of player re-deposits? One who’s lost all his money, right? I mean a winner is more preoccupied with how to withdraw money from a poker room, rather than with how to deposit some more. So, if you’re a winning poker player, and you generate a ton of rake for the room you play at, in the process, zilch is exactly what you get.
There’s something fundamentally wrong with this whole setup. Let’s encourage those who can’t play to deposit some more money, and let’s forget about those who produce the most money for us.
So much about re-deposit bonuses. At this point, I suppose it’s obvious to all our readers that an efficient loyalty reward must be performance related, that is, it must be linked to the amount of rake produced. This is why rakeback is the most efficient online poker player loyalty reward, one that both parties involved, will benefit from. The good player who helps the poker room earn the most money, will get his just deserves, and in the same time, he’ll feel encouraged to keep up his antics. That works fine for the poker room, too as it’ll have a highly motivated rake-generating machine, that will keep on going. I suppose I don’t even have to mention the fact that rakeback affects every single hand that you play, win or lose, so it is truly an edge without equal in online poker.
Now on the actual point of this whole blurb.
Lately we’ve been hearing increasingly more about poker cashback (or cash-back). What exactly is it, and does it have any potential? Is it as good as rakeback, or not? In this respect, it’ll probably help avoid confusion if we clarify from the get-go that there are two forms of poker cashback out there, and the two of them have nothing in common whatsoever.
The first one concerns free poker bankrolls. You sign up to a room, you get a 100% match on your first deposit, which is instantly transferred into your real money account (of course, there are very strict limits as to how much you may deposit within this scheme). You may cash your initial deposit out right away, and at the end of the day, you have secured yourself a free bankroll of X dollars. The money that you get back (your initial deposit) is called cashback.
This is the first type of poker cashback. The second kind is the more interesting one. Some poker rooms will offer you cashback deals based on the rake you generate by playing real money games at their tables. Well, actually the cashback you get is directly proportional with the amount of FPPs (Frequent player points) that you produce, but then again, the FPPs are directly proportional with the rake, so no matter how you twist it around, the cashback is a percentage of the rake you pay.
You might say: well, it’s the same as rakeback then, right? Dead on. Poker cash-back is in fact rakeback, under a different name. Why did they have to give it a different name?
Well, sometimes poker networks decide they will no longer allow their member rooms to give anyone rakeback. Why Big Brother suddenly decides what worked a few months ago is no longer a good thing, is beyond me, but it probably has to do with the fact that they’re trying to show how they’re no longer desperate for players, and how solid an operation they’ve suddenly become, even though rakeback helped them attain the status in the first-place.
Some rakeback sites are more serious than others. I think that’s quite obvious as the rakeback community is rather diverse and contains many elements out to make a quick buck with little effort. Sign up only with trustworthy rakeback providers to save yourself the nasty surprises, and to make sure your rake rebate flow will be a sustained one.
Anyway, abusing the position of control it has over its "minions”, Big Brother taps the small rooms on the shoulder and tells them: starting today rakeback is a no-no.
The small guys, of course, do not feel nearly as cocky, and they know they need rakeback, so they give it a new name, and they off they go riding into the sunset.
Poker cashback offers will be set up somehow like this: you generate 1,000 FPPs and that’ll make you eligible for $20. There will be variations to it too, which mimic the tiered rakeback offers. The higher up you climb on a VIP ladder, the more cashback you earn. Same ****…different day.
Cashback is indeed as good as rakeback. Depending on the money-to-FPP ratio, some cashback offers can be better than some rakeback offers. These would be the equivalent of getting a higher % rakeback.
Bottom line: if you come across a good online poker cashback offer, rest assured, it will provide good value.