Poker has become a very popular game. The statistics are incredible and tell us how many people are playing poker nowadays, both live and online, especially in recent years. Even though the estimates vary based on different sources, there are over 100 million people playing online poker at the moment. The advancements in technology have given us the opportunity to register at any of the poker sites, make a deposit, and play this exciting game in a matter of seconds!
In online poker, different ways of rewarding players have become a vital part of a poker player’s income, on top of the hard-earned money at the poker felts. These rewards give players a great opportunity to additionally grow their bankrolls. Today we will present to you the basic forms of rewards, why every aspiring poker player should take them into consideration, and why, because of that, a wise decision of a poker site to play on is so important. But first, we must explain a term, from which the whole idea of rewards stems from - rake.
What is rake and are we really only playing against other players?
The easiest way to describe rake would be as a kind of a “tax” that online rooms collected in exchange for hosting games. The rooms take roughly from 2.5% to 10% of the total pot in each played hand, with an existing cap to it (even tournaments have rake that rooms collect for hosting the tournament; for example, an $11 buy-in tournament consists of $10 that goes directly to the prize pool and $1 that goes to the room). Since poker is a game of player versus player, without rake, the poker rooms would make no money, hence rake being one of the mechanisms to earn a profit. To summarize, we could say rake is a tax that poker rooms collect to host games, cover the expenses of maintaining the software, support, pay the employees, etc.
This makes it quite clear that, in online poker, we are not only competing against other players but also versus this tax that poker rooms collect. This is also one of the reasons why rewards are so important and can contribute a lot to your progress.
One of the most basic and first forms of rewards a new poker player will get familiar with is a poker bonus. There is a variety of different poker bonuses, but the most known (and usually the most rewarding) is the welcome bonus. It is a simple bonus in the form of a cash reward, which a player is given by the poker room when they make their first deposit and start playing poker. This bonus will not be credited to you instantly and as a whole, but rather as increments, released when a certain amount of hands, or better, a certain amount of rake is paid. These bonuses are usually in form of a %; in most cases, you receive up to 100% of the total deposit (sometimes even up to 200%), are released in increments, and have a time limit.
One example of this type of bonus is PartyPoker's 100% up to $600 on your first deposit, where bonus equals to 10% rakeback.
Another common poker bonus is, so-called, reload bonus. These bonuses are given out by the poker room on an occasional basis and are activated when a player makes a redeposit. They are released in a similar fashion as welcome bonuses, though their value is usually smaller.
Good example for reload bonus is PokerKing's (WPN) 25% up to $200 on your reaload, provided that you don't have any funds in your account at the time of deposit.
Lately very popular type of Welcome Bonuses are free tickets, which you receive directly to your account with making just a minimal deposit. No other restrictions whatsoever.
Tickets are usually broken down in several parts and type of poker like MTTs, SNGs or Spins tournaments
During WSOP promo on GG Network (BetKings, GGPoker, Natural8, 2bet4win) you will receive up to $100 Free tickets while making a first deposit of $20 or more.
As mentioned in the beginning, poker rooms collect rake, a small percentage of the pot at the cash games, or a fraction of buy-in at a tournament. And rakeback is a reward that the poker room gives to players, where you are given back a certain percentage of the collected rake over a period of time.
In theory, the rakeback idea is pretty simple, and to get the most out of it, it is all about volume. Players who play more (and therefore pay more rake) will get more rakeback.
The majority of poker rooms nowadays offer rakeback in the form of a VIP scheme. These reward schemes use the principle of “climbing the levels”, where you have to collect a certain amount of points to progress to the next level. The amount of rakeback, therefore, depends on your VIP level and the value usually increases by about 5% for every new level.
Cashback and loyalty programs
Nowadays, a lot of people call rakeback cashback, which is incorrect. There is a difference between both.
Cashback is a system, where players exchange collected points at a poker room for cash prizes, based on their VIP status. Whereas rakeback is usually a fixed and beforehand agreed percentage, that all players receive, regardless of their VIP status.
Other ways of rewarding players
Poker rooms are being very creative with ways to reward their players, to attract new ones and keep the old ones, and to provide additional value for playing their games. A common reward system today is “missions; a set of tasks that a player must finish in order to receive a prize. One popular way is also the “wheel of fortune”; a player, after completing a certain requirement, is given a chance to spin the wheel of fortune and win a random prize. Another great way of rewarding players is also tournament tickets, where players, instead of cash prizes, receive tickets of various amounts to enter tournaments. These tickets are usually of a higher value than cash prizes and add a level of excitement, as players are given the opportunity to play tournaments that they usually don’t play and have a chance of making a big score.
PokerPro suggestions for the best added value for players
We are offering a variety of poker rooms with amazing bonuses and promotions. It is our goal to provide you with the best conditions, best promotions, and bonuses so you can kick-start your poker career!
Our suggestion at this very moment would be any poker room operating under GG Network or the world-famous partypoker. They all offer amazing games with a lot of recreational players as well as value-packed rewards and promotions!
We have outlined the basic mechanisms of rewarding poker players in the world of online poker. If you have been reading carefully you may have figured out that all these rewards are ways of poker rooms rewarding you for playing at their games and giving you back a certain percentage of the paid rake.
But the fact remains: you are not playing poker only against other players, but also against the poker room itself, that collects rake for the services provided. Therefore it is of vital importance (both, for new players and the seasoned poker players) to choose the right poker room that offers great ways of rewarding players, because, by this, you will greatly increase your chances to play and progress in the world of poker!
And the mission of PokerPro is to present you with the best poker rooms available, negotiate the best deals for you and help you achieve your dreams!
Good luck at the tables!