Should you get rakeback?
There is a popular misconception about online poker rakeback, namely that only high-stakes/high limit players can really benefit from the setup. It's somehow thought out in a way that low limit players will never really see a reasonable benefit in signing up for a rakeback deal. Absolutely WRONG.
In this article, I'll show you why you should never play a single hand in any online poker room without being on the receiving end of some kind of rakeback deal.
You're aware of the fact that whenever you play in an online poker room, you play against other players and not against the house. All right. You also know that the house needs to make money somehow on the whole deal, otherwise they'd just quit and move on to something lucrative. They make their money through the rake.
The rake is a fixed percentage of every pot that the house takes before it goes into the winner's stack. It is usually 5% with a max of $3.
Every player with an equity in a certain pot pays part of the rake, not only the winner, as another popular misconception preaches. You put money into the pot, you contribute to the rake. The reason is that the pot is an independent entity. It doesn't actually belong to the winner, until the moment the chips are pushed over to him, thus the money that the house takes, is not the winner's money but every player's who had equity in the pot. This means that the rake will influence you game, no matter what limit you play at, and you'll have to take it into account if you ever intend to become a winner. The rake is going to make your task more difficult.
Let's see a few examples of pots being raked, so that you gain a better understanding of why high-limit players are not the ones who benefit most from a rake rebate deal. If you play a table where the pot is $10, the rake will amount to $0,5 (again, paid by all active players) that is not much, but in the long run, it'll have a hard impact on your winnings.
Let's now suppose that the pot is $60. 5% of 60 is 3. Three is also the max limit of the rake the room will take. If you play at this limit, this is where you'll pay the most rake relative to the pot size. If you play pots any higher than $60 the room will no longer take the standard 5%, as they'll always take the max of $3.
In case of a $2000 pot, the $3 taken in rake will hardly have any kind of impact on winnings. Guys who play at these limits will feel the effects of the rake the least of all players. Thus the rakeback will only mean a plus for their winnings-column, and not a life and death issue like it does for lower limits. Still, by the end of the month, rakeback can reach well into the thousands for these guys ( depending of course on how much they play).
If you play $50-60 pots all the time, rakeback will become the difference between winning and losing. Online poker is a game of small edges. You need to find small edges all the time and push them as hard as you can putting them to work as often as possible. Rakeback is such an edge, and it's not even one that I'd call small.
Many players say they have no need for rakeback, since they only play to release bonuses. That's quite a nonsense. First of all, they play for money, right?
Second: what do they need to do to release a bonus? Generate as much rake as possible as fast as possible. Wouldn't it be nice to get about 30% of the rake you generate back, while releasing your bonus ? I'd say it would. There are a whole bunch of rakeback offers out there that do not deduct rakeback from the bonus. Take advantage of one of these and earn yourself a nice little addition on top of the bonus.
Whenever you feel like you've discovered an edge in online poker, cling to it and put it to work If you feel there are edges in the game that aren't worth exploiting, maybe you're just not meant to ever become a good poker player.