Friday, November 30, 2007

Benefitting from Poker Loyalty Programs

Written by Kelli Smithgall

The main premise of a Online Poker or Casino Loyalty Program is to make players feel they made a good choice in their particular poker site. As far as Poker Loyalty Programs, there is a vast majority of different ones in the world of online poker. Loyalty programs are set up in online poker rooms as a way of giving players back portions of the money they have spent; some programs you sign up for and some are automatic enrollment.

The following are different types of Poker Loyalty Programs:

* Poker Rakeback Programs

* Raffles - Lotteries

* Frequent Player Points

* Special-Hand Bonuses

* Reload Bonuses

* One-Off Promotions

* Bad Beat Jackpots

* Pay-for-Play Offers

* Refer-a-Friend Bonuses

Rake-Back Programs

Many poker rooms do not openly advertise rakebacks or proposition player deals. Another way however to obtain this deal is to visit a rakeback website. Highly reputable online poker rooms will advertise and offer to their players these loyalty programs. Usually once a month a percentage of a player’s money they used will be given back to them.

For low stake players, the rake is low and not much is received back. The player will find it harder to climb the rakeback system in order to earn higher percentages.

High stake players receive plentiful rakeback because they can pay up to thousands of dollars each month so the rakeback makes great bankroll.


Raffles and Lottery programs are luck of the draw promotions and can be awarded to players off of cash or tournament entries. Some are free entry and others may be part of a players contributing rake.

Frequent Player Points Programs

This program is similar to a rake that is contributed by a player, but they earn points. Points may be redeemed in a poker room’s points shop, used for buy-ins to tournaments or converted into cash. Programs are often run by levels where each level means a higher gathering of points per hand and its run for a certain time period. This has an effect on the amount of points the player will earn in the future.

Special-Hand Bonuses

This is a great program for low stakes players who want a little more kick to their poker game. The program award players prizes when they hold certain hands like high pairs or different straight flushes.

Reload Bonuses

Reload Bonuses are given so players will be loyal to a poker site. The bonuses occur as a fixed sum or a percentage of the players deposited amount when a players redeposit money to a poker site. These bonuses are either automatically awarded or awarded as a part of a player’s point’s promotion. Winning players who do not have to reload usually do not utilize this bonus program.

One-off Promotions

A One-off Promotion is a promotion that occurs only one time. Say you are a player at a certain poker site, and then you are given one free entry in a freeroll qualification to win an entry into a highstakes tournament like “Aussie Millions” or “Absolute Dream Package”.

Bad Beat Jackpots

Qualifications for Bad Beat Jackpots vary from poker site to poker site. It may include a minimum hand rank required in order to be considered a bad beat or a stake level. Sometimes the Jackpot is distributed among other players in the game. Most of the time the winning Bad Beat hand is a hand of at least a full house with jacks, queens and king or both hole cards (cards dealt to each player face down at the beginning of a hand).

Payouts are different depending on the poker site. The losing hand usually receives about 50% of the Jackpot sum and then 40% is shared between the winning hand and the other players in the game. The next jackpot prize gets the remaining 10% to get it started.

Low stakes players benefit from these jackpots because they do not have to put too much money in to play a “losing” hand and win a large payout. Whereas it may not be that beneficial to high stake players to lose a hand in order to receive the jackpot.

Pay-for-Play Offers

Pay-for-Play Offers allow players to begin a new table or having their rake reduced while playing at a full table. It’s based on a fixed number of hours to play per month with an hourly or per hand payment. Pay-for-play offers are great for all players, no matter what game or limit they compete at. The downside is that the amount a player can earn is usually quite low, and it can be boring to sit and wait for people to join your table.

Refer-a-Friend Bonus

The Refer-a-Friend Bonus is exactly that, you refer a friend to a poker site and after that player signs up and deposits money to play, you get a bonus.

The following are a few Poker Sites offering some of the best Poker Loyalty Programs

* Absolute Poker

* Full Tilt Poker

* Party Poker

* Ultimate Bet

* Doyles Room

* Everest Poker

JuJungle Poker

* CelebPoker

* Ladbrokes Poker

AnAnd my personal favorite; Bodog Poker

The important factor in finding a good Loyalty Program at a poker site is to do your homework and compare different poker site loyalty programs before you sign up. Figuring out which sites would be more conducive for adding that extra playing benefit for playing at their site will make your poker playing all that more enjoyable and profitable.

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