Should you play online poker or live brick-and-mortar poker games? It’s the ultimate debate in the poker world. Some players insist that there is no substitute for physically being at the casino. Others say the convenience of the Internet game has no parallel. The brick-and-mortar boosters talk about the presence of physical tells. They wonder how you can possibly play effective poker without being able to read your opponent. The online guys claim there are ways to read players even online. They go on to talk about all the built-in cuts to their win rate that they no longer have to deal with, including no more tipping, no more travel expenses and no time lost heading to and from the casino.
There are plenty of arguments on both sides, but the factor that may tip the scales in the favor of the online game just could be the rakeback. Although some live poker rooms offer a player’s card which gives a few dollars back to the player, it doesn’t compare to the amount that can be earned through a good online rakeback deal.
The way a rakeback deal works is simple. In a normal casino poker game, a percentage of the pot is taken out by the casino. This is known as the rake and it’s the edge the casino gets for spreading the game. The rake is the bane of the poker player’s existence. Typically, a rake is up to five percent of the pot, to a maximum of $4. In a big stakes game, this amount doesn’t hurt a player’s win rate too badly. In a low stakes game, where variance is high and pots are lower relative to the maximum rake, it can make the game seem unbeatable, even to a gifted player.
Now the online player has a way to beat these games, by getting part of his rake back. To get the rake back, the online poker player simply finds an affiliate site that offers a refund of rake for signing up with one of their approved poker sites. Some of these sites offer as much as 50 percent of your rake back. The rake return is deposited into your poker account once a week or once a month, depending on the site. This is an edge that the online player has over the live player that cannot be disputed. A player with a win rate of one big bet an hour can see an unbelievable jump in his profit margin when moving from live to online by cutting out tipping, adding bonuses, and now, adding rakeback.
It may be true that there is no substitute for being able to see and read your opponents. But there is also no substitute for free money. It’s all about the rakeback.
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