The VIP/Cashback system is a promotional tool that sites can provide to their players to reward their loyalty for playing on the site and makes it possible to do different tiers depending on the revenue, unlike Rakeback, which is usually a fixed percentage. VIP/Cashback systems are basically all the same, just with different names depending on what site or network you are playing on.
VIP/Cashback was created when many sites wanted to stop offering rakeback to their players, as the sites were in a so called “rakeback war” with each other giving higher and higher rakeback to the players to attract them to play on their site. Despite being created to avoid giving direct rakeback to players, VIP/Cashback systems do more or less exactly the same. The main difference lies in that VIP/Cashback systems usually have multiple tiers, making it possible to reward high revenue/loyal customers more than new sign ups that doesn’t pay a lot in rake. This makes it possible to reward the best customers more and give them a true VIP treatment. VIP Systems are very common in Bitcoin poker rooms, where they reward the players that despite the low rake still pay a lot of money to play poker.
When you play online poker, you will automatically pay rake as a fee to use the service of the room. Sites have to charge this fee as players are playing against each other and not the house, making it the only way they can make money of the poker players. The sites charges between 1-5% rake of each pot, but with rake caps so players don’t pay too much to play.
This means that you will pay a decent amount of money to play online Bitcoin poker and participating in a VIP/Cashback system is a great way of getting some of those Bitcoins back. You will receive VIP/Cashback payments no matter if you are a winning or a losing player, so there is no reason to not join the program and earn some extra money.
Instead of getting the money directly back, most sites that uses a VIP/Cashback system gives points to players for the rake that they pay, which they can exchange to real cash, tournament buy-ins or similar. VIP/Cashback systems rewards players from 5-50% depending on the VIP tier reached and the rake paid.
When you have joined a room that offers a VIP/Cashback system to its players, you will start to earn points towards it as soon as you start playing. Every single hand that sees a flop in online poker is raked and every time you pay rake, you earn points. You will then be able to exchange those points into cash at the rate that the poker site have decided. The amount of points earned for each chip paid in rake varies a lot from site to site, so you will have to read the sites rules for the promotion to understand how it works exactly. Many sites offers players multipliers for earning points as soon as they have raked a small amount and the multipliers becomes bigger the more rake you have paid. You will then rise in VIP levels and get more benefits as you increase your revenue at the site.
The methods used to determine how much rake you contribute with varies a lot. There are several different ways of calculating the rake you pay and it depends on the site you play on.
The most used method to allocate rake is the contributed rake system. The contributed rake system allocates the rake that each player contributed with to each player, meaning that if a player pays 0.2 chips in rake in a hand, he receives VIP points worth 0.2 chips. On the other hand, if a player does not pay any rake and therefore haven’t contributed with anything, he will not receive any points for the hand. This method has increased its popularity over the years in poker rooms as it rewards the players that plays a lot of hands more and doesn’t reward the players that don’t like to play a lot of hands. The players playing a lot of hands are usually the hobby players that plays for fun, so rewarding them is also in the poker sites interest. The contributed method is seen as the most fair way of allocating rake by most poker players and this is also the reason that most sites today offers it.
The second most used system for dividing the rake among players is the dealt method. As the name suggests, the dealt method shares the total rake paid in a hand with all the players that were dealt cards, no matter if they participated in the hand or not. This means that if you are playing on a table with nine players that are dealt cards and the hand sees a flop with three players only who ends up paying 2 chips in rake, the 2 chips in rake is divided among all nine players despite only three paid anything in rake. This will give each player a 0.22 chips share of the rake, without having paid any money. The dealt system is therefore not optimal for players that plays a lot of hands as they will pay much more rake than the tight players, but still only get the same share. The dealt method is on the other hand perfect for tight players and grinders as they will earn much more points towards their VIP system then they would have done with a contributed rake system. Because of this, many sites have in recent years switched from dealt to contributed rake system, to reward the players that play more hands.
The rake allocation methods mentioned above only applies to cash games, because when you play a tournament or a sit ‘n’ go they already have a fixed fee which will all go towards the VIP system. So when you play these variants you don’t have to worry about which rake allocation system is being used.
When you join a site that offers a VIP/Cashback system to its players, you will either automatically join the system or you will have to opt-in to participate. If you have to opt-in to the loyalty system there will usually be a menu where you can do that, but if you cannot find that you can always just contact the site support who will be able to assist you instead. If a site doesn’t offer a VIP/Cashback system, they might offer rakeback instead, so if you are in doubt you can always ask support about this as well.
Once you have been confirmed that you are participating in the VIP/Cashback system, you simply just need to start playing poker and you will earn points automatically. Depending on how the sites system works, players will usually be able to exchange their points to cash or other equal value things such as tournament buy-ins whenever they want to. When you exchange your points for cash, the money will be added directly to your poker wallet and you will have more money to play poker with. Always read the terms and conditions of the VIP/Cashback system, to know exactly how it works, as it varies a lot from site to site.
It all depends on the site you are playing on if you can get other promotions at the same time as you are on the VIP/Cashback system. Some sites will offer you a first deposit bonus that needs to be cleared before you can participate in the VIP/Cashback system, while others will give you the bonus on top of it. Promotions such as rake races, rake chases or leaderboards are usually promotions that players can participate in while being on VIP/Cashback system, as they are based on how much rake a player can generate or who can play the most of specific game.
Always check with the site what you can participate in on top of your VIP/Cashback system, so you can decide if you should participate in it or if you can get more value out of not participating.