What is Rakeback in Poker

Rakeback in poker can be likened to a form of cashback, familiar to anyone who has ever received discounts or rewards for regular purchases. Just as cashback incentivizes shoppers by giving them back a percentage of what they spend on goods or services, rakeback operates on a similar principle in the poker ecosystem, albeit with a twist unique to the world of gaming and gambling.

Conceptually speaking, rakeback is the return of rake that players pay to a poker room. To be clear, “rake” is the commission that a poker room (or casino) takes from each pot in cash games or entry fee in tournaments. This fee is the primary way poker rooms generate revenue. Rakeback, therefore, is a system where players receive a percentage of this rake back, offering a form of reward for their loyalty and continued play at the poker room.

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This system is predominantly prevalent on online poker platforms. The digital nature of these platforms makes it easy to track and return rakeback to players, often through automated systems or promotional reward schemes. In contrast, rakeback is rarely seen in fixed casinos. This rarity is partly due to the fact that live poker operations involve higher overhead costs and rake contributes significantly less to overall revenue compared to other games of chance such as slot machines or table games. In addition, the logistical complexities involved in calculating and distributing live rakeback make it less viable for traditional casinos.

The implications of rakeback for players are profound. It effectively reduces the cost of play over time, allowing players to stretch their bankrolls even further. For regular and high volume players, this can amount to a significant amount of money, significantly impacting their overall profitability or reducing losses. Rakeback can vary greatly in its generosity, with some online rooms returning a larger portion of rake than others, often as part of a tiered loyalty program where the more you play, the more you get back.

How Rakeback in Poker Works

Imagine that you have entered the world of online poker, where each room offers its own opportunities. Among them, your attention is drawn to one particular poker room that is known for its generous rakeback program. Here they offer a standard rakeback of 7% of your buy-in, a feature designed to encourage players and enhance their gaming experience.

Let’s break this down with a concrete example. Let’s say you decide to enter a $100 buy-in tournament. According to the rakeback program of this poker room, you are entitled to a rakeback of 7%, which means that you get $7 back. This means that the cost of your entry into the tournament is reduced to $93, allowing you to get a little more financial respite or just the satisfaction of knowing that you have recouped the value of your investment.

However, the world of online poker holds even more enticing rakeback opportunities. Some online casinos are raising the bar by introducing promotions such as “Rakeback Week”. During such promotions, the standard rakeback percentage increases significantly, sometimes up to 30%. This is when the rakeback element becomes really strong.

Let’s say you’re an active player during one of these Rakeback Week promotions and your total buy-in for the week is $1,500. With a rakeback rate of 30%, you will receive an impressive $450. This substantial sum can be reinvested in future games, used to cover previous losses, or simply enjoyed as a win.

Such promotional rakeback offers not only keep the game interesting, but also create a compelling reason for players to choose one poker room over another. This strategy benefits both the poker rooms by encouraging player loyalty and activity, and the players themselves by offering them a chance to win back a significant portion of their bets.

Why it’s Important to Use Rakeback

For players looking to maximize their financial resources and make the most of their poker endeavors, the use of rakeback is of paramount importance. At its core, rakeback is not a direct way to increase winnings, but rather a sophisticated method of mitigating losses. This distinction is crucial to understanding the true value of rakeback in the poker world.

Rakeback serves as a financial airbag, subtly affecting the overall profitability of poker sessions by reducing the impact of rake – the commission charged by the poker room on each pot or tournament entry. It’s a rebate system that returns a portion of that fee back to the player. While this may seem modest at first glance, over time the cumulative effect of rakeback can be significant, especially for those who dedicate many hours to playing online poker.

The importance of rakeback becomes even more apparent when you consider it as a component of sound bankroll management. By incorporating rakeback into their overall strategy, players can significantly reduce the cost of play. This cost reduction allows them to stay at the tables longer, providing more opportunities to participate in lucrative situations.

For dedicated poker enthusiasts who spend long periods of time playing, a favorable rakeback offer is not just advice, but an imperative. A favorable rakeback offer can significantly extend the life of a player’s bankroll, giving them the opportunity to play in more games and tournaments, and therefore more chances to win. In addition, rakeback can serve as a buffer during slumps, mitigating the effects of losses and providing a psychological boost through guaranteed profits from the game.


To conclude our discussion of rakeback, its importance cannot be underestimated for players seeking to maximize their financial strategy in poker.

Rakeback serves more as a tool to reduce losses than to directly increase winnings. For those of us who play a lot of poker, a substantial rakeback offer is crucial to effective bankroll management.

The rakeback acts as a financial protection, helping to mitigate losses and maintain a healthy bankroll over time. It is an integral part of a player’s strategy, emphasizing the importance of every chip and the ability to keep the bankroll on a growth trajectory.

In my own practice, rakeback offers are a staple. However, it is important to approach such offers with caution and only partner with trusted online casinos. The value of rakeback is fully realized when it is used as part of a thoughtful approach to poker, ensuring fair play and safety of funds.

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Written by Alisa Kotsar
Over the past 7 years, Lean has diligently tracked the progress and transformations in the gambling industry. His distinctive writing style has contributed to the dissemination of important news and updates from the gambling world and clarified important trends in the industry.