Monday, 12 May 2014

How Rakeback Affects Your Winnings

Even though, most readers already know what this is all about, I think this is a topic where someone probably has a different way of looking at it. In this post I'd like to make sure that we're on the same page.

 What is Rakeback?

There are two main ways of how it can be calculated.
Rakeback can either be a fixed percentage of the rake you pay. The percentage of the rake you will get back is usually settled up with the poker room before joining it.
Or it is a (rake-)volume-based rate that will be renewed after a specific time period. Most poker rooms use this form of rakeback nowadays. While playing you are achieving a so called VIP-Status. And your VIP-Status will determine your rakeback percentage. This means that the more rake you pay in a specific time period, the more of the rake you will get back.
In order to take fully advantage of your pokerstites' rakeback programm, you should put in some time to truly understand the rakeback system of your poker room.

What does Rakeback mean for you?

Rakeback is a constant add-up to your winrate.
Example: Let's assume you are a Supernova player at PokerStars who is grinding at the 100nl Fullring Tables and you're playing enough to reach the 200,000 VPP a year. In order to do that you have to play 910,000 hands.

Thus, the value of the you're rakeback in total is 15K$*. On 910K hands this increases you're winrate by 1.65bb/100. (15000$/910k hands*100~1.65)

This doesn't mean that a lot of rakeback makes you a winning player. But it shows you how your rakeback deal and the number of hands you play affect your total winnings and winrate.

*For those of you who want to know how I get to 15K$:
11.2K$ FPP Value+1,2K$ VIP Stellar Rewards+2,6K$ Milestone Bonus

PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $2.00 BB (9 handed) - PokerStars Converter Tool from

saw flop | saw showdown

Hero (MP2) ($201.50)
MP3 ($122.68)
CO ($173.20)
Button ($200)
SB ($384.99)
BB ($208)
UTG ($207.14)
UTG+1 ($342.83)
MP1 ($199.62)

Preflop: Hero is MP2 with K, Q
3 folds, Hero raises to $6, 3 folds, SB raises to $20, 1 fold, Hero calls $14

Flop: ($42) 10, J, 10 (2 players)
SB bets $28, Hero calls $28

Turn: ($98) A (2 players)
SB bets $52, Hero calls $52

River: ($202) 6 (2 players)
SB bets $284.99 (All-In), Hero calls $101.50 (All-In)

Total pot: $405 | Rake: $2.80

Results below:
SB had A, A (full house, Aces over tens).
Hero had K, Q (royal flush).
 Outcome: Hero won $402.20

Against an aggressive opponent, I like defending KQs in position against a 3bet. Since I would flat this flop with JJ/Tx/(KK+) there is no need to raise anything. Turn and River are no-brainers.