PokerStars Rakeback Equivalent and VIP Program
PokerStars is the largest online poker room today. There are constantly over 100,000 users connected and playing at most times during the day. They have the most tournaments and cash tables by far compared to any other online poker room. But even after saying all that, there are still some things about PokerStars that some people think are lacking...and that's a Rakeback program. PokerStars DOES NOT ALLOW rakeback - it's not offered by PokerStars directly and it is not offered by 3rd parties.
Many other poker rooms offer a built in rakeback or larger bonuses which can really help a new player grow their bankroll. These extra incentives can be very rewarding for the professional grinder, and can even turn break even players into winners at the game. Every professional knows the importance of rakeback and bonuses, so if you can get this elsewhere, why play at PokerStars? Well, what if I told you rakeback was possible at PokerStars? Interested? Keep reading...
PokerStars has one of the best (probably the best) VIP Club compared to any other online poker room today. By playing you earn Frequent Player Points (FPP's) and these FPP's can be exchanged for special items, merchandise, electronics, entrance to tournaments, books, DVDs, or even a Porsche Cayman S (yes, the actual car!) As you rack up more FPPs you can spend a few here and there and get some nice stuff, but this isn't what makes the PokerStars VIP Club so special. By playing at PokerStars and moving up in levels, you can start earning special cash bonuses which are equivalent to or better than other poker rooms which offer rakeback! Yes, by playing at PokerStars you can earn anywhere from 7% up to 78% rakeback!
Update – On January 1, PokerStars changed their VIP terms. It is now even easier to raise your VIP level! SilverStar and GoldStar requirements have been lowered. So it takes less time to earn equal the perks! If you weren't sure if you would be able to commit to raise your VIP level before, now may be the time to take a second look. A new VIP level, ChromeStar, has also been added as a bridge between BronzeStar and SilverStar to give new players even more incentive to get started.
This is in addition to the standard deposit and reload bonuses offered at PokerStars, including our own exclusive bonus of 100% up to $600, plus $1,000 in free prize money up for grabs every single month (in the form of freerolls and money-added tournaments)! You could use this to start your bankroll and journey up to the Supernova Elite VIP level!
PokerStars VIP Club - Starting off at BronzeStar and Understanding the VIP Club System
All PokerStars players are automatically enrolled into the VIP Club and start off at "BronzeStar". To move up in levels, which offer greater and greater benefits, you must earn VIP Player Points (VPP's) by playing real money poker games. VPP's are awarded in the following manner:
Full Ring (7 players or more per table) - 6 VPPs are awarded per $1 in rake colleceted:
- VPPs are divided equally per player that was dealt in.
- At a 100nl 9 seated table, with 8 players dealt in and a rake of $3, the total VPPs awarded would be 18, with each player collecting 2.25 VPPs.
Shorthanded (6 players or fewer per table) - 5.5 VPPs are awarded per $1 in rake colleceted:
- VPPs are divided equally per player that was dealt in.
- At a 50nl 6 seated table, with 4 players dealt in and a rake of $2, the total VPPs awarded would be 11, with each player collecting 2.75 VPPs.
VPP's are also awarded for tournament play at the rate of 5.5 VPP'S for each $1 in tournament fees paid.
This is the set rate of earning VPP's and never changes. You cannot spend VPP's, or buy and trade them, they are simply the measure to determine what VIP level you belong in.
Now at the same time, you are also earning Frequent Player Points (FPP's) which are credits that can be spent in the VIP store, as mentioned above. At the BronzeStar level, you are earning FPP's at the same rate as VPP's. It's a one-to-one relationship. However, as you move up in levels, you can earn FPP's faster, from 1.5 times faster all the way up to 5 times faster! We won't look at rakeback percentages at the BronzeStar level, since you'll most likely be moving up quickly to the next levels, so we'll discuss those VIP levels next.
Here are the PokerStars VIP Levels, the VPP's required to get to that level, and the rate of which you can then earn FPP's:
|PokerStars VIP Level
||FPP's Earned Per 1 VPP
You can view your VIP level information at any time by visiting the Cashier and clicking on "VIP Status". This provides you with an up to the minute count of your VIP Player Points (VPPs), your current VIP level as well as how many VPPs you need to reach the next VIP level.
So, for example, if you were a BronzeStar member, and played a $20 +$2 Sit-n-Go, you would earn 11 FPP's, since 5.5 VPP's are awarded for every $1 in tournament fees paid, and at the BronzeStar level, we earn FPP's at the same rate as VPP's. Now if I was at the Supernova Elite VIP Level, I would earn 55 FPP's for playing that same tournament, since I get to apply 5x multiplier to my VPP's at this VIP level. And of course, I can buy more swag with 55 FPP's than I can with 11. So you can see how you can really accumulate a lot of FPP's as you move up in levels, and those FPP's are worth money, since you can purchase goods or real money bonuses with them! So, now let's look at the next levels and how the rakeback works.
PokerStars VIP Rakeback - SilverStars, GoldStar, and PlatinumStar
Again, as you move up in VIP levels, the rate at which you earn FPPs will increase (but VPPs will not). Depending on how active you are and the games/stakes that you play, your VIP level may increase or decrease. Everyone automatically starts at BronzeStar, and if you play A LOT you can eventually earn yourself the Supernova Elite status, which is the highest level. If you've earned enough VPP's to move up in level, you will stay at that level until the end of the following month. For example, if I just joined PokerStars (I'm a BronzeStar) in July, and in July I've earned 1,500 VPP's, then I will automatically be a part of the SilverStar VIP level until the end of August, regardless of my level of play IN August.
ChromeStar - ChromeStar is the first VIP level you can rise up to. Many people can achieve this in one day! You become a SilverStar when you collect just 100 VPPs in one month. At this level, you'll gain access to some exclusive freerolls: the $100K Privilege Freerolls and Weekly $5,000 VIP Tournaments. You'll earn FPPs at the same rate as at BronzeStar. Your VIp Stellar Rewards will be increased to a maximum of $100 per calendar year.
SilverStar - SilverStar is the second VIP level you can rise up to. Many people can achieve this in one day! You become a SilverStar when you collect 500 VPPs in one month. At this level, you earn FPPs 1.5x faster than at BronzeStar. You will get access to special SilverStar items, including the $25 SilverStar Bonus for 2,500 FPPs. This SilverStar bonus isn't a very good purchase and it is recommended to wait for the higher levels before spending your FPPs on cash bonuses. This bonus only yields a value of $0.011 per FPP ($25/2,250 FPP's), but many other purchases at this level can yield a value of $0.015 per FPP. You can earn between a 13% and 16% PokerStars Rakeback at this level, depending on stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store. (We will get to some of the math later in this document.)
GoldStar - By playing more you can move up to become a GoldStar. You do so when you collect 2,500 VPPs in one month. You earn FPPs 2x faster. You will get access to special GoldStar items, freerolls, and bonuses. These freerolls are HUGE! You can take part in the weekly $20,000 freeroll, or monthly $100,000 freeroll! You can also purchase the $75 GoldStar cash reward for 6,250 FPPs. The GoldStar bonus is better than SilverStar, but it is recommended to wait until at least PlatinumStar to claim bonuses. But even at the GoldStar level, you can earn the equivalent of 17% to 21% PokerStars Rakeback, depending on stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store.
PlatinumStar - The next level is a PlatinumStar, which you become when you collect 7,500 VPPs in one month. As a PokerStars PlatinumStar you earn FPPs 2.5x faster. There are additional items from the FPP store that you can purchase when you become a PlatinumStar, including major tournaments like the WCOOP and the WSOP. You have access to all the freerolls as a GoldStar. You can also purchase the $200 PlatinumStar cash reward for 15,400 FPPs. You will earn about 20% to 26% PokerStars Rakeback at this level, depending on stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store.
In general, we can estimate the value of a FPP at these levels at $.015 - unless you redeem all your FPP's for tournament buy-in's, in which you could maximize the value of each FPP at $.016. This valuation is based on the article at 2+2 which breaks down good purchases at the VIP store (where you get higher value from your FPP's), plus the value of participating in the available freerolls to VIP members. But in terms of estimating a rakeback percentage for these levels, these levels are standardized at $.015. Once you reach Supernova and Supernova Elite, we assume a value of $.016 for all FPP's.
PokerStars VIP Rakeback - Supernova and Supernova Elite
Supernova - If you really grind a lot and want the best rewards possible, then you will want to become a Supernova. A PokerStars Supernova is someone who earns 100,000 VPPs in one year. It doesn't matter how or when you do this, just as long as you reach the 100,000 VPP mark before January 1st. (You will keep your Supernova status the following year as long as you earn at least 10,000 VPPs each month). Supernovas earn FPPs 3.5x faster.
There are many items in the FPP store that are exclusive to only Supernovas, including a concierge service where PokerStars will try their best to get you anything you want that isn't in the VIP store, or otherwise reimburse your for something you've purchased. There are very few restrictions, and this PokerStars Concierge service requires its own article. Utilizing the PokerStars Concierge service is one of the best things you can do with your FPP's, hands down.
You also have access to all the Gold/PlatinumStar freerolls, and also a special weekly Supernova $50,000 weekly freeroll! You can earn some serious cash by becoming a Supernova and cashing in these weekly freerolls! However, probably the most attractive perks of Supernova are the HUGE cash rewards! You can purchase the $600 Supernova cash reward for 40,000 FPPs. There is also a larger cash reward or $1,600 that can be bought after clearing 100,000 FPPs. This works out to a $.016 per FPP rate, slightly higher than the $.015 the $600 bonus gets you. However, if you are pressed for cash and only have 40,000 FPPs, the $600 bonus is still a great value. At the Supernova Level, you can earn anywhere from about 28% up to 51% rakeback! Of course, this also depends on the stakes and games, and what you redeem at the VIP store. But this also depends on what milestone bonuses you can reach within the Supernova level.
In addition to the $1600 bonus, as long as you keep your Supernova status and keep grinding, the bonuses get better and better. There are special VPP milestone bonuses, every 100,000 VPPs starting at 200,000. These were also raised in 2012, giving PokerStars VIP members even more value:
* $2,600 at 200,000 VPPs
* $2,800 at 300,000 VPPs
* $3,000 at 400,000 VPPs
* $3,200 at 500,000 VPPs
* $3,600 at 600,000 VPPs
* $4,200 at 800,000 VPPs
Each special milestone reward costs only 1 FPP!, so as the bonuses get better, they virtually cost nothing! As you reach these milestone bonuses, your effective rakeback percentage improves. At the highest Supernova milestone bonus, which we'll call "Supernova7" and you reach 800k VPP's and the $4,200 bonus, you can earn up to 51% PokerStars Rakeback! If you think these bonuses are nice, wait until you see what is offered if you reach the top level...
Supernova Elite - You should be proud if you can call yourself a Supernova Elite. SNE's are the ultimate grinders, and they get the best rewards anywhere. There is no other VIP club or reward system which even comes close to comparing to PokerStars Supernova Elite. However, don't think it will be easy. You become a Supernova Elite if you earn 1,000,000 VPPs in one year. Yes, that is one million VPPs. (You will keep your Supernova Elite status the following year as long as you earn at least 50,000 VPPs each month). Supernova Elite isn't for the casual poker player, it is for the serious grinder who is obsessed with being the best. How long it takes you to earn 1 million VPPs depends on your commitment and stakes you play, but has been done in as short as 2.5 months! So what are the perks of being a Supernova Elite? You earn FPPs 5x faster and get all the special treatments as a Supernova, except a little more.
As a PokerStars Supernova Elite you will receive the following bonuses:
* Free entry to the WCOOP main event ($5,200 value)
* $1,200 in Stellar Rewards
* $1,220 in VIP Tournaments
* Discounts on event packages, such as EPT, LAPT and APPT
As well as the following Milestone Rewards
* $20,000 bonus at 1,000,000 VPPs
* $9,200 bonus at 1,250,000 VPPs
* $9,200 bonus at 1,500,000 VPPs
* $9,200 bonus at 1,750,000 VPPs
* $19,200 bonus at 2,000,000 VPPs
* $9,200 bonus at 2,250,000 VPPs
* $9,200 bonus at 2,500,000 VPPs
* $9,200 bonus at 2,750,000 VPPs
* $19,200 bonus at 3,000,000 VPPs
All of these special bonuses cost just 1 FPP; their purchase is merely a formality. You will earn anywhere between 57% and 78% PokerStars Rakeback with these bonuses! Yes, that's right, 150% is achievable!
So as you can see, even though PokerStars doesn't allow direct affiliate rakeback, you can still potentially earn WAY more than you could from other rakeback programs. Just adding the bonuses together, if you happen to make it to 3,000,000 VPPs, you will have earned $150,000! in cash bonuses and tournaments rewards! This works out to about 57-62% rakeback. And if you continue to keep your SNE status your cashback percentage will be as high as 71-78%. How's that for rakeback?? A few recommendations:
- Don't use the cash bonuses until you are at least a PlatinumStar
- It may be easier to start building your bankroll elsewhere (if you aren't rolled for 50nl)
- Be rolled for at least 50nl before attempting to achieve Supernova
- Studies show that the $1/$2 Fixed Limit 9-Max games yield the highest rakeback percentages
Calculating Rakeback at PokerStars
Calculating the rakeback percentage is actually not that difficult. Here is the equation:
Rakeback Per $1 Dollar of Rake (Rakeback Percentage) = VPP's earned per $1 of rake taken * FPP's earned per 1 VPP * Cash Value of 1 FPP
The number of VPP's earned per $1 of rake depends on the game and stakes of that player. But let's say you are a SilverStar Sit-n-Go player, playing $30 + $3 Sit-n-Go's, this would be your calculation:
PokerStars Rakeback Percentage = 5.5 VPP's (5.5 VPP's are awarded per $1 in tournament fees) * 1.5 (the FPP multiplier at SilverStar level) * .015 (our estimated FPP value for levels under Supernova)
PokerStars Rakeback Percentage = 12.375%
Now, as you can see, this rakeback percentage can swing if you play ring games rather than tournaments. And the stakes and number of players also can determine your VPP's earned per $1 of rake collected. Let's say you play 10-max $1/2 Limit Holdem, and the rake is always $1, each player, on average, contributing $.10, and receiving 1 VPP. This means, your game would deliver 10 VPP's per $1 in rake. Now, if this same game always collected exactly $.40 in rake, with 10 players, meaning each player on average only contributes $.04, then your rate would be a whopping 25 VPP's for $1 in rake collected. If every game you played was like this, your rakeback percentage would look like:
PokerStars Rakeback Percentage = 25 VPP's * 1.5 * .015 (our estimated FPP value for levels under Supernova)
PokerStars Rakeback Percentage = 56.25% !!!
Haha, ok, but not every game would exactly rake $.40, but you get the idea.
More About PokerStars Rakeback, VIP, and FPP's
Read more details about PokerStars Rakeback based solely on cash bonuses (rather than incorporating some of the other, better value prizes in the VIP Store) and using PokerStars FPP's to concretely achieve a 50% rakeback deal via the PokerStars VIP Club. Also check out this article that compares Pokerstars Rakeback to Full Tilt Poker rakeback.
PokerStars Marketing Code
If you sign up to PokerStars, use our PokerStars Marketing Code of "flopturnriver" and you'll receive the maximum bonus available and automatically get access to our exclusive money-added tournaments and PokerStars events, including our online poker league, the FTR Gauntlet! We offer our members $500 in free money tournaments every single month! This, of course, is in addition to the rakeback percentage you are earning from the PokerStars VIP Club, giving you even more value, and reason to check out PokerStars.
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