When it comes to finding a great online poker site, grinders and newcomers alike are always on the hunt for a solid rewards program. Compared to traditional rewards programs, which tend to focus on retail, loyalty perks aimed at poker players (and gamers in general) are incredibly complex. In fact, a player just starting out with online games might need to Google a few terms, from rakeback to MTTs.
After all, finding a quality poker site is difficult enough—even when loyalty programs are easy to understand and you know what types of events you’re looking for. A poker player must find a provider that offers an intuitive interface, speedy deposit and withdrawal methods, a solid mobile app, and is licensed for their region. With dozens of providers at their fingertips, the average player will do some shopping before signing up.
If you’re one of these players seeking out a poker platform worth registering with, then don’t forget to take a close look at its rewards program. We’ve compiled a list of the most important features and qualities to keep on your radar.
Let’s get one thing clear: if you can’t understand how a loyalty program works, then it’s not worth your time. Every single platform offers a unique twist on rewards, which is normal. But the poker provider should go to great lengths to make their specific policy understandable and usable to players.
The company should also update players when they make changes to their existing policy. For example, PokerStars recently published an update to its current program, which breaks down which features are changing and why. The report even goes into detail about which loyalty features underperformed the prior year, offering unprecedented access to see the motivations behind loyalty benefits and offers.
Bankroll Benefits—Even When Losing
The main goal of a loyalty program is to protect and nurture a player’s bankroll. The most common form of bankroll protection is rakebacks. Rakebacks are sums returned to players from the pot after they lose, which helps mitigate losses. Regardless of a poker platform’s specific loyalty program, there should be consistent rakeback benefits offered to players.
Unique Deals, Events, & Competitions
Rakeback is a common benefit offered to loyalty players. The more they wager, the greater that rakeback is. But beyond the scope of returning some cash to players, a solid loyalty program should also release specific deals, events, and competitions for their rewards players.
Some of the most common offers are free rolls. A freeroll tournament allows players to enter without putting any money down, while a freeroll hand makes it possible for players to split the pot with an opponent. Another common offer is multi-table tournaments that are geared specifically toward rewards players.
The Perfect Status Level
We’ve mentioned that every rewards program has a different outlook. Most offer a unique approach to tiered benefits. As outlined above, the more a player spends, the steeper their rewards should be. In other words, keep a look out for loyalty programs that offer a status geared toward your specific bankroll and the amount of time you spend playing.
Some programs use a points system, while others focus squarely on weekly challenges. Certain poker sites may also blend their rewards with their casino and sportsbook sectors, offering more chances to use loyalty benefits. No setup is viewed as the ‘ultimate’ program, which means you should shop around to look for a tier or points-based formula that suits your playing style and needs.
A Personal Touch
Usually, a poker player’s loyalty tier defines what sorts of benefits they have access to. However, if you’ve joined a loyalty program—regardless of the industry—then it should be at least partly geared toward you. For example, offering rewards on a player’s birthday is a great way to excite players. But considering even the most dedicated grinders might expect to take their birthday off, a top loyalty program might offer a more flexible birthday offer.
Regardless of what type of benefits you expect from a poker site, always look for those that offer a more personalized touch. If this type of attention is on your radar, you may even want to seek out programs that connect you with a specified loyalty manager.