Pay less rake

This article was posted on August 15, 2007

Online Texas Hold'em is a game that requires players to find some sort of a long-term edge, something that they can apply time and time again, over the course of several hands, preferably on each and every single hand that they play.

Advantages like these are not easy to spot, and even when a player manages to locate such edges, applying and reapplying them can be a time consuming and tricky process that requires a lot of patience, attention and skill on the part of the player.

Some edges however, are easier to locate and apply than others. One such edge would be rakeback.

Every online poker room makes its money by taking a small percent off each pot that is won at their tables. Contrary to what it looks like for the untrained eye, the rake is not paid by the winner of each particular hand; it is paid by all those who actively take part in it. Bad news for you: even if you lose, you pay rake.

The rake is not much, the industry standard is 5% up to a maximum of $3, but if you play several hundred hands/day (or even a couple thousand ones, if you're multi-tabling) add it all up and you'll be scared of how much you really spend on the rake alone.

Naturally, in order to establish a lasting edge for yourself, you need to do something about the rake. One way or the other, you have to pay less of it.

There are several ways to reduce the rake, by far the best of which is signing up for a rakeback deal.

Before we go into that though, let's see how you can reduce the rake by rudimentary means.
Playing in tournaments instead of cash games is one way to pay less. A tourney only features a fee, which you pay when you register, and there's no rake taken on every individual hand, as there is in a cash game.

Tournaments however, especially large MTTs, are very difficult to beat, and on top of that, you may say you prefer to play in cash games where there's instant gratification as you see the chip-stack grow in front of you.
All right, cash games it is then. If you're a beginner, try to avoid short handed cash games. Skill gets a bigger role here than luck and on top of that, due to the increased speed of the game, you'll be paying more rake/hour than you normally would.

Heads-up games are basically short handed ones taken to the extreme, and in the same time, the worst possible choice, rake-wise.

If you think the rake is something that's really taking a toll on your bankroll though, apply for a rakeback deal and take the bite out of it for good.

Rakeback deals will give you 30-60% of the rake you pay in a poker room, back. Think about it like this: that is money that you never would've seen otherwise.

If you have a good strong rakeback deal backing you up, no longer do you have to avoid certain tables, or make decisions based on how much rake you pay.

Every winning poker player plays with rakeback, trust me on this one. For these guys, it doesn't make any sense not to pick up money lying in the street, and it shouldn't make any sense to you either.

Once signed up for the deal, you don't have to do anything special to set it in motion. Just play your game the way you like it, and collect your extra-dough once a month. With rakeback, even if you're but a break-even player, the game will take on a whole new dimension for you.

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