The increasingly large number of poker sites on the internet has led to a very competitive marketplace. Sites have to work very hard to attract and retain players, as there are so many other options for players if they’re not satisfied.
There are many different methods that poker rooms try in order to attract new customers and keep their existing ones happy. Good customer service, quality software, and a decent range of games are all examples of what players can expect. A generous sign up bonus will also help to encourage new customers to join.
All of these benefit players, but there is something out there that is even more rewarding and that is rewards itself. Most sites have some form of loyalty scheme in place to reward players, some are quite simple, while others are more complicated. Either way, it always great to get some extra value just through playing online.
In this article we look at poker loyalty schemes and rewards in more detail.
How Do Loyalty Schemes at Poker Sites Work?
The basic concept of loyalty schemes at poker rooms is pretty straightforward. Their main purpose is essentially to reward players for their playing activity, so as a general rule, the more you play the more you’ll be rewarded. There are many different ways in which sites use loyalty schemes to reward their players, but the principle is always very similar.
Every time you play for real money, at either cash games or tournaments, you’ll earn some form of points. These points can then effectively be exchanged for some kind of reward. Typically, these rewards come in the form of cash but certain sites do offer other kinds of rewards as well.
Weekly & Monthly Rewards
At some sites the loyalty schemes are very straightforward and simply involve you being credited with your rewards automatically on a weekly or monthly basis. At the end of each week, or month, your rewards will be calculated based on how much you’ve played and how many loyalty points you’ve earned. You’ll then be given the appropriate reward.
With schemes like this the rewards you receive will almost always be cash that’s added directly to your account. In some cases, though, you’re awarded a bonus which you then have to clear by continuing to play.
Another commonly used type of loyalty scheme is the rewards store. With these, rather than automatically be credited with a reward based on how many loyalty points you’ve earned in a week or month, you can exchange your points for rewards at any time you choose.
Sites that offer this type of scheme typically have some kind of online store where you can cash in your points at. Cash bonuses are usually available, along with bonuses that you have to clear. The bonuses that you have to clear by playing even more generally represent better value. At some sites you can even exchange your points for other products, such as electronic items.
The big advantage of schemes like this is that you can save up your loyalty points and can later exchange them for one of the bigger rewards. This can be very beneficial for avid gamblers, as the more points you exchange the better value you get.
Why Poker Sites Have Loyalty Schemes
The idea behind loyalty schemes is that they’ll encourage players to play more frequently or at least more at a particular site. Sites work on the simple premise that the more value they provide to players, the more likely they are to play. It’s worth it for them to provide incentives like this, as they make more money the more their players play.
Every time you play for real money at a poker site you’re paying rake, which is how they make their money. If you’re not familiar with rake, it’s the money that poker sites take as their payment for providing the games. They take a very small percentage from each pot in cash games and a small percentage of each tournament entry fee.
Loyalty schemes are a way to give some of that rake back to the faithful players. Both parties benefit, as the players get some extra value and the sites get more action on their site. Although players that frequently bet at higher stakes tend to get the most value, even those that just play from to time can benefit from loyalty schemes as well.
Other Rewards & Promotions
There are other ways that poker sites reward their players too. These include reload bonuses, rakeback, leaderboards, and special promotions. Reload bonuses are the most straightforward and are similar to sign up bonuses in that you can earn them by making a deposit. These bonuses are just set in place for existing customers rather than new ones. Some sites offer regular reload bonuses, such as on your first deposit of each month, while others just offer them periodically.
Rakeback essentially is a simplified loyalty scheme. Rather than earning loyalty points for your playing activity and then getting rewards based on your points, you simply get paid back a fixed percentage of the rake you have paid on a weekly or monthly basis. Rakeback was widely available for several years at poker rooms but many now prefer to use different rewards methods instead.
Leaderboards can work in a range of different ways. Their main focus is to encourage players to earn points by playing games over a specific period of time and the players that earned the most points get some kind of reward or prize. The way in which the points are awarded differs from site to site.
For example, a room may run a sit and go leaderboard where you earn points for every sit and go tournament you enter and extra points for winning tournaments or finishing in the money. Another room may do something similar for multi table tournaments. There are all kinds of ways that leaderboards can work and they’re often a great deal of fun as well as another opportunity to make some extra money.
Best Poker Sites for Rewards
Some poker rooms are more generous than others when it comes to the rewards that they offer. It’s, therefore, a good idea to check out what sort of extra value is available when deciding where to play, particularly if you play a lot. This is something we can help you with, as we have compiled a list of recommended sites that are best for rewards.