Online Poker Sites – Breaking Down Rakeback and VIP was created by ACTUAL online poker players for the poker community. We, like any profitable online player know that a good rakeback or VIP program can make all the difference when it comes to your bottom line.

Becoming a winning player is a tough journey on its own, and players need to take advantage of every opportunity to add money to their bankroll. It’s shocking to us that so many players end up settling for poker sites offering no rakeback, poor VIP programs or no Rake Races, SnG Leaderboards or other Cash Races. They are literally missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of extra money every month that they deserve.

Our goal at RakeMonkey is to breakdown the best offers that the rakeback and VIP world has to offer. The team at RakeMonkey are avid – and very real – poker players ourselves and take advantage of the same things we promote to players on this site. Our goal is to keep players in action and help they build a long and prosperous online poker career.

Choosing a Rakeback Deal or VIP Program

Choosing between rakeback and a VIP program seems to be today’s leading question when it comes to choosing an online poker room. There’s no simple answer to this question, and it is dependent on the room’s VIP/rakeback offers and the game and stakes that a player chooses to play. It’s also important to gauge which players will be grinding cash games, MTT’s or making money playing sit and go’s.

Few rooms offer both VIP and Rakeback programs, and many now are leaning towards the VIP option. If a room does offer a VIP program and a rakeback option, players usually have to choose one or the other when during the sign-up process. However, some rooms may let players switch from VIP to rakeback and vice-versa, even once they’ve deposited and begun playing.

Few rooms offer VIP and rakeback in conjunction with each other, but some may. In this situation, players may not get all the perks offered in a site’s VIP program if they have rakeback, as well.

Poker Room VIP Programs – ALL THE RAGE in 2017

VIP Programs for players have become more popular in recent years than traditional rakeback. Like rakeback, most VIP programs offer players monetary rewards for their real-money cash game and tournament play.

Generally, VIP Programs are based around tiered reward levels that increase based on the amount players play. As players earn more VIP Points, their VIP levels increase and so do their rewards.

Most VIP Programs offer a points-to-cash exchange or cash bonuses for earning VIP points and gaining levels in their programs. VIP Programs also offer other rewards and promotions, such as exclusive tournaments or prizes and many rooms offer a VIP Points store for players. Items at most stores include luxury items along with poker books, videos and clothing.

Some rooms offer lucrative rewards at the higher levels, such as concierge service, seats to live tournaments or tickets to sporting events.

What About Rakeback?

Raking pots is how online poker sites make money. In real-money cash games and tournaments, the poker room will take a percentage of rake out of the pot or charge a tournament fee for each player who enters the tournament.  Rakeback was always the way to get some of that money back….

However, as mentioned above, poker sites are moving to VIP program models to not only ensure their own survival as a room but at the same time reward players who actually put in good time at the tables, whether it be SNG’s or MTTs – or just straight up cash games.

Best Poker Sites Still Offering Rakeback

PPI Poker (2017 Review) – A newcomer onto the scene, was established by poker players and run by some of the best executives in the iGaming industry. With fresh software and a crazy amount of cash games and tournaments, PPI should be here to stay for years to come. They also offer 35% INSTANT rakeback that is credited once you leave your table.

Americas Cardroom (2017 Review) – ACR is still the top poker site for Americans that we recommend here at RM. Although they have a nice share of non-USA players, the site has enjoyed long-term success because of their HUGE guaranteed money tournaments, great customer service, AMAZING software and of course, 27% rakeback! Get your account today.

There are two main methods that online poker rooms use to determine a player’s rakeback. Dealt and contributed. Each method can be slightly different depending on each room’s policy, but generally fall under the same guidelines.

Dealt rakeback rewards the same amount of rakeback to all players dealt into the hand while the contributed method compensates players on the actual amount of rake they put into the pot. Both methods calculate tournament rakeback the same as the percentage of rakeback which is a percentage of the tournament fee.

Deposit Bonuses and Rakeback/VIP

Almost every online poker room in the world offers players a first deposit bonus offer to players who sign-up. Depending on the rules of the room, the amount can be deducted from your rakeback or VIP earnings or it can be earned on top of the bonus.  However, some rooms such as Bovada don’t offer added incentives like rakeback anymore, but rely on sizable deposit bonuses and fast cashouts to attract more a more loyal player base.

VIP Points programs are normally used to unlock bonus amounts for players. Generally, as players earn VIP points, their bonus will be released in increments. For instance, if a player earns 100 VIP Points from his real-money play, he or she will unlock $10 of his deposit bonus. This is just an example, but is normally the way most VIP programs disperse player bonuses.

Most sites will deduct from a player’s VIP rewards or rakeback while their deposit bonus is being earned. However, the full amount of the bonus is not usually deducted from rakeback or rewards, so players usually end up coming slightly out ahead.

Cashing Out Quickly Through

Our cashier and interface allow players to view their personal rake statistics and cash out anytime. Players will always have 24/7 access to their rakeback funds and will not have to worry about getting paid.

Our partner, Poker Affiliate Solutions is one of the most trusted names in the rakeback industry dating back a decade. PAS handles rakeback, and VIP rewards payments of over 20,000 players per month.

In addition to rakeback and VIP programs, we offer monthly promotions such as freeroll tournaments, rake races and rake chases. So, there is always extra money to be earned on top of your individual deals.

Is Online Poker Legal In Your Region?

Online poker and online gambling for that matter have varying degrees of legality throughout the world. While some markets are fully regulated with operators being licensed, some countries have a legal grey area where the activity is neither legal nor illegal. In others, online gambling is expressly illegal.

It’s vital for players to verify their local laws on online gambling before decided to gamble online. While there are few territories that actually enforce penalties (even countries where the activity is expressly illegal) on individual players for gambling online, it is best to be aware of local gaming laws.

Regulated Markets

In these countries, online gambling in some form is regulated. In most of Europe, some form of online sports betting, casino and poker play are regulated in most of the European Union. Most EU member states have their own regulatory agencies which license companies to operate in their respective countries.

Regulated markets provide governmental oversight and accountability for sites that break rules and can help players in disputes.  Websites like keep people up to date on the latest online poker regulation through the United States and abroad.

Un-Regulated “Grey” Markets

In a large portion of countries, online gambling is neither expressly legal nor illegal. The best example of this would be in Canada, where the government does not endorse nor forbid online gambling. Canadians can deposit using most methods and their ability to gamble online is basically unimpeded.

Illegal Markets

Although online gambling is becoming legal and regulated in many countries worldwide, many nations still explicitly prohibit the activity. China, Vietnam and other Asian nations are the most notable to ban the activity. Not only is operating an online gambling site illegal in these countries, it is also against the law for a player to deposit and play at an online gambling site.

Still even in these jurisdictions, enforcing these laws against individual players is tough. Prosecution is rare, and many players still actively gamble online with little repercussions.

USA Online Poker

The US was once the largest online poker market in the world, but according to portals like, the Department of Justice actions have curtailed the number of online operators brave enough to offer their services to US citizens.

Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which criminalized companies that offered real money gambling services to US citizens. Many sites left the market immediately while others, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker continued to offer their services to US citizens.

That all came to an end in April 2011, when the DOJ indicted the owners and executives of Full Tilt, PokerStars and several payment processors. These also froze bank accounts and assets. Both rooms were forced to leave the US market immediately.

However, despite all this, online poker is not illegal in the United States. While it’s also not expressly legal federally, the Federal Wire Act was amended by the DOJ in late 2011 to only apply to sports betting. Online poker and casino games were essentially given the green light for state regulation.

Nevada had already passed laws to legalize online poker before the federal ruling and since that time two more states have legalized internet gambling on the intrastate level. Delaware and New Jersey not only legalized online poker, but online casino games, as well.

Ultimate Poker, run by Station Casinos became the first legal regulated online poker room in the United States when it began real-money play on April 30th, 2013. Currently, at least a dozen states have discussed the possibly of regulated online gambling. Several federal bills have also been introduced to Congress.

US online poker players should not be fooled by some of the talk they hear from friends that, “online poker is illegal.” There are many reputable online poker rooms that accept US players still available, and many offer some of the best rakeback and VIP rewards programs online.



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