The only way to efficiently battle the effects the poker rake has on your bankroll is through rakeback. Rakeback is usually offered by special sites called rakeback providers, who strike deals with the poker rooms to give them the right to offer rakeback in exchange for player traffic. The setup is OK for the rooms, as they give up a part of their revenues to attract much needed active players, and it’s good for the rakeback provider too who can come up with an attractive offer this way. He too however will have to settle for much reduced commission percentages.
The biggest winners in this whole setup are the players who get 30-135% of their rake back, and may even end up being paid to play (if they sign up for a prop deal).
Rakeback works just like a first deposit bonus. I’m sure you know what a first deposit bonus is. Whenever you sign up to a poker room you get such a bonus, which usually comes in the shape of a percentage match on your first deposit. The bonus doesn’t land in your real money account right away. It needs to be unlocked/redeemed first. Some poker rooms do transfer money to your real money account right away, but this money needs to be redeemed as well: you won’t be able to cash it out till you fulfill the turn-over requirements.
In order to unlock your bonus money, you need to play in real money cash games and tournaments and generate revenue for the poker room either in the form of the rake (at cash tables) or the tournament fees in tourneys. For every dollar of the rake you generate, you unlock a certain percentage of your bonus money. In other words, every time you generate $1 of rake, some of it comes right back to you in the shape of the bonus money you unlock. What is this if it isn’t rake reduction?
Rakeback works in a similar fashion, however there’s one essential difference between sign-up bonuses and rakeback: rakeback never expires. While sign-up bonuses are unlocked completely after a while (or they simply expire), rakeback stays with you for the entire time you play at the poker room which gave you the deal. Even if they stop offering rakeback, you’ll still enjoy your rake rebate for as long as you play there.
Most rakeback deals give you around 30% of your rake back. Special deals called poker prop deals, offer much higher percentages. Many of these prop deals give you over 100% rake back, which means that you are actually getting paid to play at such poker rooms.
There are certain restrictions though that all prop players have to live by, but generally speaking, a prop deal is still an extremely profitable setup for most online players.