Rakeback is a controversial topic in the online poker industry, but it’s also part of the Internet poker nervous system, so it’s essential to understand how it works. Some poker affiliates love it, some hate it. Whatever side of that argument you’re on, though, you have to agree that it’s essential for today’s poker affiliate to at least be educated about Internet poker rakeback and understand how it can help (or hurt) your online poker affiliate business.
So today we’ll start exploring some of the basics of online poker rakeback, and in the days to come, we’ll go into a bit more detail about these the more detailed aspects of rakeback and how to leverage it for SEO and your online poker website.
First of all, what is rakeback? A simple question, but one not everybody has a clear idea of. Simply put, rakeback is a payment in which an online poker player gets back a portion of the “rake”, or the poker room’s cut, that he or she has paid to an online poker room. (This is also sometimes called a “rake rebate”, as PokerNewsDaily’s Dan Katz explains in this helpful guide to online poker rakeback.)
So, rakeback is essentially a way for players to play poker at a discounted rate. The appeal is obvious: If you’re winning, it makes things even better; if you’re losing, it eases the pain. Serious players tend to like it. That’s why “rakeback” is such a highly searched-for online poker term. If you’re planning to set up your online poker site to go after more serious online poker players (as opposed to novices), then you need to know about rakeback, and set up some content (or even an Internet poker minisite dedicated to the topic). Most high-volume poker players only play at rakeback sites, since it’s such a reliable source of supplemental income.
There are three major types of rakeback: There’s average contribution, where the rake is evenly divided among the players who contributed to the pot. There’s also weighted contribution, where players get a rakeback share that’s proportionate to what they contributed to the pot. Then there’s dealt rakeback, where the rakeback is divided only among the players who were dealt cards in that specific hand.
Rakeback has gotten very big in recent years. A lot of sites have sprang up years offering third-party rakeback services — and the SEO for this term shows it. Just type “online poker rakeback” into Google and see for yourself. The problem is, not many of these sites look reputable. And savvy players will understand this. So, as an online poker affiliate, there’s still room to offer reliable and well-thought-out rakeback content as your niche. And we’ll explore how to do just that in an upcoming blog post.
In the meantime — what are your thoughts on rakeback? Have you had much experience with it? Has it been good for your online poker business, or bad?