How to choose poker deal

July 7, 2011

If this article conveys one message to you, it is this: don’t just go for the highest percentage. Sometimes the online poker room offering 50% rakeback is also offering the best rakeback program, but sometimes not. In fact, often not. Because there are other factors determining the value of a rakeback offer besides the percentage.

First thing to note is that the rakeback percentage is not always calculated from the total amount of rake you paid during a certain period. It’s rarely that simple. Instead, the rakeback percentage is taken from the MGR (monthly gross revenue or monthly gross rake, depending on who you ask, other sites will call it “Total Rake” or “Net Revenue” or some variation thereof, but the concept is the same regardless). And how the room calculates your MGR has a big effect on the rakeback you will get.

Is the MGR determined by the number of hands you were dealt or by the number of pots you contributed chips to? Or, as it is with still other online poker rooms, is it tabulated based on exactly how much money you contributed to each rake?

This makes a big difference. If the MGR is dependent on you putting chips into the pot (whether or not the amount matters) it is, in essence, ruling out any hand that you folded out of before paying any blinds or bets from being credited towards your rakeback. More, when the amount of each player’s individual contribution is considered, you essentially need to spend more to make more. On the surface, at least, it sounds like the better deals are the ones that credit you even for hands that didn’t cost you a dime to see.

Then again, what if you take your poker game seriously. What if you don’t want someone trying to milk the system from earning the same amount of rakeback as you, who’ve put loads of chips into the pot in a genuine effort to win some hands? Then for you a progressive rakeback deal might be better, since the rakeback percentage fluctuates for each person depending on how much of the rake they specifically contributed.

Which rakeback method suits you the best is very dependant on your reasons for playing and on your play style. If you fold a lot before even seeing the flop, then a flat rakeback program might be better for you. If you bet, raise, and bluff a lot, then I’d go for a progressive program. When you can answer this questions it is easy for you to compare the cons and pros for yourself (comparing flat rakebacks against other flat rakebacks and progressive rakebacks against other progressive rakebacks).

You should also check if the rakeback program you are choosing calculates tournament fees into MGR, this would be good, and if bonuses are deducted from the rake you have generated. The last part is common but not impossible to find a program which doesn’t do that.

Now that you have an idea what kinds of rakeback programs there are and you know what factors differentiate similar sounding rakeback offers from one another, you are ready, finally, to choose which online poker rooms to join. Our suggestion is to start with party poker rakeback.

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