Rakeback: A Beginner’s Guide

Introduction to Rakeback

Firstly, let’s look at rake. You know how the gambling sites make their money right? The rake is charged on pots in cash games or on top of a buy in a multi table tournament. Every pot or tournament played by an individual contributes to the site’s revenue in the form of rake. You play a $10 tournament and they will probably charge $1, win a cash game pot and they will take a percentage too. Rakeback is kickback from the website to you as an incentive to play more. It is essentially commission paid back to the player. There are two main forms which we will cover here.

Contributed Rakeback

The player’s rakeback is proportional to the pots they are involved in. For instance, if you are involved in a pot that is $25 and the rake is $2, you will receive a percent of this back in form of contributed rakeback. The percentage is dependent on the agreement but often around 25% so you will receive $0.50 for that pot.

Dealt Rakeback

This is where the rakeback from a pot is split evenly by those on the table. For instance, a pot of $25 on a 9 handed table, the rake of $2 with 25% agreement is split between the players, entitling you to approx. $0.22c. The scheme is more beneficial for the tighter player as it rewards you whether or not you are directly involved in the pot. Remember, nit poker is losing poker in the modern era. It’s more profitable to adopt a solid TAG or LAG strategy these days.

Who is Rakeback for?

Anyone can sign up for it. Players who put in lots of volume and play regularly will gain the most. It can turn a break even player into a winning one, and a losing player into a break even one with sufficient volume. It also makes a winner, a much bigger winner. In short, it is free money and every poker player should be involved in a scheme.  There are millions of players playing that are turning down free money. There are no minimum requirements so every poker player should be on one.

rakeback

Do You Play Turbo SNGs?

If you’re playing lots of turbo sngs you absolutely need to get on a rakeback scheme. There are lots of sites out there that offer rakeback schemes so be sure to find the highest rakeback deals. Turbo SNGs are notorious for high rake so signing up to a rakeback deal will mitigate this and help your ROI. It’s also worth pointing out that there are players around the world that are playing thousands of turbo sngs on rakeback deals. They don’t need to play high or even medium stakes due to the currency conversion.

Conclusion

Now you understand what rakeback is and what it is, it’s time to sign up for it. It’s essential to any and all poker players. Whether you are playing recreationally or professionally, you want to make money from poker and rakeback is a way of contributing to this, for free. If you are making full use of your poker tracking software and employing bankroll management, you’ll find yourself moving up stakes in no time with the addition of a rakeback scheme.

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Sick of a Short Stack? Try the Stop and Go Poker Play

Stop and Go Poker

Tournament poker is a minefield. It requires multiple skills to navigate your way through it, chip up and ultimately bink a win. Unfortunately, tournament poker also involves you playing a short stack sometimes. It’s not what we want but its inevitable, you will get short stacked in tournaments. Getting your stack back up to average or better can be challenging. You have to know push/fold strategy and either run good to hold up to get back in the game.

One move that can help you chip back up is the stop and go play. It’s a highly effective tournament move when exercised properly. This article will explain what the stop and go poker play is and when to use it , so you are better prepared next time you play a low to mid stakes poker tournament.

What is the Stop and Go Play?

It is where a player calls a raise from the blinds, committing a decent amount of his stack and then shoves the flop. The idea behind this is that if you re-shove pre-flop, you have less fold equity as most raising hands will have lucrative price to call. By flat-calling pre-flop and shoving on the flop, you reduce the chance of getting a call slightly. Your opponent is only going to make a pair around 30% of the time. Secondly, if they have a small pair, they may fold when all overcards flop.

The stop and go play is a great move for low stakes tournaments as you can increase your stack a significant % without actually being all in and called.

Example Hand

You are short-stacked with 2,000 chips. The blinds are 150/300 and you are in the big blind holding:

Everyone folds to the cut-off who raises to 800, they fold to you in the big blind.

If we re-raised all in here, our opponent would certainly call. He only has to call 1,200 more for a pot of almost 3,000. However, you decide to flat call.

You move all in on the flop of:

Consider the situation for your opponent. He has to call 1,200 for 2,950. If he has anything less than a jack, he may pause for thought. Consider a hand like pocket 5s. If he thinks we have hit or have a higher pair, he is drawing very slim to just 2 outs and have around 8% chance. Or, he may have an ace high hand like A-10 and fold too. Our opponent folding has resulted in:

  • Avoiding an all in pre flop showdown
  • Winning the pot without contest
  • Increasing our stack almost 50% without being all in and called

Key Points to Remember

The stop and go play is great but you need certain ingredients in order to pull it off, otherwise you are just giving away precious chips. You need to do it when you’re short stacked (there’s no point doing this with a decent stack). It must be done out of position so you can act first after the flop. You also need to make sure that the pot is heads up.

Risking this play against multiple opponents is a disaster. The more people in the pot, the greater chance someone has hit and will call you. It’s also better best to do this with hands you think are questionable and are either a coin flop to your opponents, or behind. There’s no value to this play if you actually have a premium hand like ace king or pocket aces.

You are best served doing this at low to mid stakes. Most high stakes tournament players are familiar with this move and will make the post flop call more liberally. It also works better on the softer sites, allgamblingsites.com offers a great sportsbook review service and it’s well known that sportsbook sites that offer poker are notoriously softer.

Final Thoughts

The stop and go poker play is a great tactic to use in tournaments. It’s another way to steal blinds and antes and keep yourself going. By employing this move, you may have a few more chips for your next all in and give you a platform for the rest of tournament. It’s a fun move to use and also feels good when you pick it up without a call.

If you enjoyed this article, perhaps you’d like to read our poker tournament strategy tips or small ball articles. Alternatively, if you are interested in some poker support, fill in your email below and we will be in touch.

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Spin and Go Poker – Guide and Tips

What is Spin and Go Poker?

A super-fast paced form of poker, spin and go poker is probably the most exciting, convenient and thrilling poker format available online. It is played on PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the world. It is played between 3 people, randomly drawn, featuring 500 chip starting stacks and hyper turbo blind levels.

Spin and Go Poker Prizes

You must win the SNG to win any money. This is the exciting part, first prize ranges from between two times your buy-in to 12,000! Prizes up to $1,000,000 can be won. The prize is randomly selected at the start of the SNG. They cater for all levels, with buy-ins ranging from 25c to $1,000. See table below for prizes and frequency for $5 and $10 stakes.

Prize Pool Multiplier$5 Buy In 1st Place Prize$10 Buy In 1st Place Prize Frequency
12,000$50,000$100,0001 in 1 million
240$1,000$2,00030 in 1 million
120 $500$1,00075 in 1 million
25$125$2501,000 in 1 million
10$50$1005,000 in 1 million
5$25$5085,000 in 1 million
3$15$30444,012 in 1 million
2$10$20464,882 in 1 million

The incentive to to win such high amounts for low buy in draws in recreational players and makes spin and go poker very profitable for the few who understand how to play them correctly.

How to Win at Spin and Go Poker

A simple, basic strategy is to try to chip up early, attack often from button and small blind and understand your calling ranges. You also need to know what hands are profitable to shove as within a few levels it’s push/fold poker. Most inexperienced players make the mistake of waiting for a strong hand before going all in. This is a huge flaw in this format. To counter it, one need’s to be opening wide and often to accumulate as many chips, risk free, as possible. These basic tips can be summarised as follows:

  1. Min raise as often as you can from button and small blind
  2. Do not call raises from small blind
  3. Understand your calling range from the blinds. (Likely to be A8+, KJ +,all suited aces and all pocket pairs)
  4. Learn push/fold strategy

Due to the fast-paced nature of this format, there are less complex post flop decision making. With experience and proper training, most decisions will come automatically. One of the poker resources we highly recommend using is PokerAid. Their software is developed primarily for spin and go poker. The software is truly remarkable, grouping your leaks and quickly highlighting solutions. This innovative way of learning is a much faster and fun way of learning and improving at poker than traditional studying. The software even prepares quizzes for you to help with challenging scenarios. Once you’ve finished a session, upload the data to PokerAid and you will be blown away. It is the best software for these SNGs. See video below:

Poker Aid is the ultimate spin and go poker training software. Their pricing is based on your buy in level and fantastic value for service. If you are playing up to $20 stakes, it costs just 74c per day, if paid yearly.

Volume is Key

In order to turn a decent profit and have chance to earn lots at spin and go’s, you need to be prepared to put in the volume. A spin and go can be completed in less than 5 minutes so it’s not for the feint of heart. You can multi table them too so just think about how many you can play? These SNGs are littered with poor players making huge errors. In normal SNG poker, patience is rewarded until it’s push/fold late on. This is a concept lost on many players playing these. I’ve seen players folding for ½ their stack at low stakes. I tried a short session of these a few months ago and won 4/7 from memory. You can access this in our poker training video library.

Conclusion

Spin and Go poker is one of the most popular forms around at the moment. It draws in a lot of donkeys and there is potential to make a lot of money with the right strategy and decent volume. It may not be deep stacked poker or opportunity for triple barrel bluffs, it is a format that allows you to push a big edge. With Poker Aid software available to help you improve your game further, there is no reason to not give it a try. Who knows, perhaps you’ll be a spin and go pro?

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Sit N Go Poker – The Pros & Cons

What is Sit N Go Poker?

A Sit N Go is a tournament with a predefined number of entrants, usually 9 or 18 but can be up to 180. Like a regular tournament, the top positions occupy the best cashes. It combines tournament strategy, survival, hand selection and the ability to play short stack well. Let’s look at reasons for and against playing Sit N Go poker.

Pro – SNGs are Convenient

Being able to play a tournament in an hour is far more convenient than playing one lasting 8. You have plans to go cinema tonight? Don’t worry you can still play a SNG. They rarely last more than 75 minutes and turbo SNGs are available too which take even less time.

Pro – Multi-Tabling is Easier with SNGs

You can increase your ROI easier with SNGs playing a few tables. If you are a competent player and looking at your ROI and hourly rate, you will quickly see you need to be playing several tables. Due to the relatively simple and predictable nature of a SNG, it is far simpler to multi table a sit n go than any other poker.

Pro – SNGs Improve Your Discipline

You will notice after playing many SNGs, that a defined strategy and hand selection will become imperative, particularly early on. This will improve your discipline before the flop and allow you to hone a strategy that works for you.

Con – Hard to Make Lots of Money from SNGS

We all play poker to make money, but unless you are playing many tables or playing decent stakes. It’s questionable how much money you can make. If you are ambitious and want to earn lots of money, SNGs may not be for you as you need a lot of volume to see tangible earnings.

Con – SNGs Don’t Have Much Technical Poker

You’ll see Sit N Gos develop into short stack poker mode quite quickly. That’s great if you are happy to play short stack poker. But if you are looking to develop as a poker player and master post flop poker than Sit N Go poker isn’t for you. The strategy is mostly around push/fold and very little technical post flop poker is required.

Con – SNGs Can Be Boring

This may be a contentious “con” but I find sit n go poker quite boring. The predefined nature, the same opponents, the same pay-outs. Where cash games and tournaments are dynamic and engaging, sit n go poker is more rigid and predictable.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Our poker training video membership has a video on spin n go poker if you are interested, just email us at info@texasholdemquestions.com to find out how to view it.

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