General Rakeback Questions
What is rake?
: This is the amount of money taken out of each pot by the poker room that is hosting the game. The pot has to reach a minimum amount before the rake is taken out. Tournament entry fees are also a form of rake. For example, if a tournament buy-in is $10 + $0.50, the entry fee, or rake, is $0.50. Rake can vary greatly from site to site, so this is a factor you should take into consideration when deciding where to play.
What is rakeback?
: An affiliate gets paid by the poker room for signing up new players. When the poker room collects rake, they may pay a certain percentage of this to an affiliate. Affiliates came up with the idea that if they could give the players a percentage of their affiliate earnings that the player has generated for them, then they would be able to attract many more customers. Rakeback affiliates are giving the players rakeback, which is a portion of the money poker rooms pay them to bring in new players. Although it is arranged through an affiliate, some poker rooms pay the rakeback directly to the player on their behalf.
What is a kickback?
: An affiliate gets paid by the poker room for signing up new players. When a player plays a certain amount of hands or pays a certain amount of rake, they may pay a one-time (CPA) payment to an affiliate. Affiliates came up with the idea that if they could give the players a percentage of their affiliate earnings that the player has generated for them, then they would be able to attract many more customers. Kickback affiliates are giving the players a kickback which is a portion of the money poker rooms pay them to bring in new players. The kickback may come in the form of gifts/prizes, points that can be redeemed for merchandise, or money.
Can I get a kickback and rakeback?
: Something to be aware of - while there are a few poker rooms where you can get both a kickback and
rakeback, this is the exception to the rule, and can only be done through an affiliate that offers both at the same time. Otherwise, you need to be cognizant of the fact that once you get a kickback at one poker room, you won't be able to get rakeback there. This isn't a big issue on networks that have multiple skins, but you may later regret getting a kickback at a stand-alone site like Full Tilt. You should always do your research before signing up at any
poker site, but be especially cautious with stand-alone rooms - you only get one shot at them.
How do I get rakeback or a kickback?
: Except for those very rare circumstances where a poker site offers rakeback for any player that signs up directly with them, you must sign up through an affiliate
. Don't go to the poker site and sign up, and then go looking for an affiliate. Make sure you follow all the affiliate's directions, which usually advise you to clear your cookies so you won't be inadvertently tied directly to the poker site or to a different affiliate.
What is MGR?
: MGR stands for Monthly Gross Revenue. Gross Revenue is calculated as the sum total of a player's contribution to the rake less any bonuses or other promotional amounts given to the player, processing charges, chargebacks, or any un-collectable revenue attributable to the player. The higher your MGR, the more money you will earn from rakeback. If your MGR is $1000 and your rakeback percent is 25%, your rakeback would be $250.
How is MGR calculated?
: Different poker sites will determine your MGR in different ways. There are 3 different ways this is calculated.
The first is called the dealt method. As long as you are dealt cards you will earn MGR on the hand (as long as the pot is raked). For example, if you are playing with 10 players at the table and all of them are dealt in and the pot is raked $1.50, you will earn $1.50/10 or 15 cents for this hand. Once again, you only have to be dealt in to earn MGR on the hand; you do not have to actually contribute to the pot. The formula for this is: ($ amount raked) / (amount of players dealt in) = MGR
The second method is average contributed. This means not only do you have to be dealt in, but you also have to contribute to the pot in some way (even if you fold the small blind). An example of this would be, if 10 players are dealt in the hand, but only 6 contribute to the pot (including you) and the pot is raked $3.00, you will earn $3.00/6 or 50 cents in MGR. The formula for this is similar to the above: ($ amount raked) / (amount of players contributed to the pot) = MGR
The third method is weighted contributed. This means not only do you have to be dealt in, but, once again, you will have to contribute to the pot in some way. The difference between this method and the “average contributed” method above is that your MGR is calculated in direct proportion to the amount of money you put in the pot. For example, 10 people are dealt in the hand and 8 of them contribute to the pot (including you), but after you have contributed $20 to the pot total, you fold on fourth street (along with 5 other players), 1 person folds on the turn, and 2 people see the showdown. The final pot is $240 and is raked $3. Since you contributed $20 to the $240 pot, you will earn $20 / $240 or 8.33% of the $3 rake, which is 24.99 cents. The formula is: ((amount contributed to the pot) / ($ amount of pot)) * ($ amount raked) = MGR
Many sites deduct any bonuses from your MGR before calculating your RB. Some sites deduct other things as well, such as fees for deposits and certain cashouts, freeroll overlays, and purchases from point shops.
Can I get rakeback on a site I already have an account with?
: The general rule is that you cannot receive rakeback if you already have an account with a certain site. There are a few sites that allow this, though; this is something that should be discussed between you and an affiliate.
How can one find a reputable affiliate?
: There are a lot of reputable affiliates advertising on 2+2; you can find their banners around the site, and many of them have support threads in this forum.
If you are looking for rakeback or VIP offers at any poker site, we have a form that will send your request automatically to all of our advertisers:
Rakeback/VIP requests click here
No, there is no rakeback at Poker Stars, but their VIP program is considered by many to be a good substitute for high volume players. If you have questions about the program, there are a couple of threads that are a good place to start:
Official 2011 Supernova pursuit thread
Official 2011 Supernova Elite pursuit thread
Also, you can get a little extra by signing up through an affiliate. Some rakeback affiliates offer regular freerolls for their players, and there are kickback affiliates that have kickback offers.
Full Tilt rakeback is a standard 27% (calculated using the average contributed method), and while you have to sign up through an affiliate, it is paid directly to your account by FT every Friday for the preceding Tuesday-Monday.
Why didn't I get my FT RB this week/why is my MGR negative?
: As detailed earlier in this post, most poker sites deduct different expenses from your MGR before calculating RB. FT has many deductions.
What does FT deduct for/how much do they deduct from my MGR?
So if they deduct everything, I should spend my points and bonuses are a waste of time, right?
- Spending FTPs - deducted from your MGR at a rate of $4/1,000 FTPs. Or if you prefer, $1.08/1,000 FTPs from your rakeback. Every FTP purchase is deducted, including tournament tickets - with one exception. Bonuses purchased from the Black Card store - there is no deduction for spending the FTPs, and they are deducted like any other bonus.
- Bonuses - deducted directly from your MGR as you clear the bonus. IE, when you clear $20 of you bonus, $20 comes off your MGR for that week, or $5.40 off your rakeback.
- Deposits and withdrawals - unfortunately, there is no magic formula here, FT won't tell you, and affiliates can't tell you because FT won't tell them. Why? Who knows. The most we know is that they are generally a flat fee, and vary.
: No, but this is a common misconception. As mentioned above, deductions come off your MGR, or rake, not your rakeback. So a deduction only costs you 27% of the amount deducted.
Can I get rakeback on my existing FT account?
: Possibly. RakebackPros, who are either closely tied to or are part of FT, are able to give rakeback to many accounts who did not sign up through an affiliate. Email FT and RBP and let them know you want RB. They'll let you know if you are eligible or not, and if you are, it's just a waiting game. You can find more info here:
** Official thread for discussion of RB for existing FT accounts and RakebackPros
Unfortunately, many players find that FT has tracked them to an affiliate even though they are sure they went to the site directly. But if they tell you that your account is tied to an affiliate, regardless of whether you believe it should be or not, you aren't going to get RB through RBP. Wait, though! Don't give up hope, there's always:
How does the Iron Man program work?
Full Tilt Iron man hints/advice
Mid and End of year Iron man bonus
How does the Black Card program work?
FTP Black Card Thread
Poker Stars vs. Full Tilt
We get questions about which site has the best RB/VIP program; this varies depending on your stakes and volume. Many thanks to jcrowe1 for providing what is currently the best comparison around:
Graph Comparing FT and Stars Rakeback (BC Ters Included)
The following affiliates have had serious problems paying players in the past according to players or investigations. Some affiliates are out of business but the first one reincarnates.
- his site is Poker Bonus Races
Poker Site Cheating Scandals
Absolute Poker - Absolute Detectives
, Absolute Poker Cheats
Ultimate Bet - Original threads
, Reaction to UB's conclusions
Thanks to Pokeraddict for his contributions to this FAQ.