PokerStars Rakeback vs Full Tilt Poker Rakeback


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PokerStars Rakeback vs Full Tilt Poker Rakeback

PokerStars Rakeback (VIP Club) vs
Full Tilt Poker Rakeback


PokerStars Rakeback (VIP Club) vs Full Tilt Poker Rakeback



Two of the biggest deciding factors in picking a poker room should be the perks of being a member and how high the rake is. A small number of sites (which used to include Full Tilt Poker) offer rakeback - a partial cash refund of the fees you pay to play poker. The majority of sites have VIP clubs or frequent player programs providing bonuses, gifts, merchandise, etc, for their more active players.

Pokerstars offers an extremely comprehensive VIP program where FPPs (Frequent Player Points) are used to purchase merchandise, tournament tickets or cash bonuses. There are 7 different levels ranging from Bronze to Supernova Elite. The more rake you pay, the higher the VIP level you will earn and the more FPPs you will be given for each dollar of rake you pay as your "FPP Multiplier Rate" will increase. This means the players who pay the most rake get the highest percentage of their rake back.

Rake is returned to Pokerstars' players in a number of ways. Instant cash bonuses are purchaseable for a set number of FPPs, with bigger bonuses limited to the higher VIP rankings offering a better conversion rate from points to cash. Stellar Rewards set VPP (VIP Player Points which are earnt at a set rate per dollar of rake paid regardless of VIP level) targets and are unlocked when this target is reached with a total of $1,200 in 20 individual installments.

When Full Tilt Poker was online, and likely when it returns as Full Tilt Poker 2 or "FTP2", it offered a maximum flat rate of 27% to all its players who signed up through rakeback providers. However, one major caveat was that bonuses and the use of player points counted against rakeback. Any bonus earnings or the value of player points spent were deducted from the total rake paid and 27% of this figure was returned to the player.

The relatively complex nature of the Pokerstars VIP club compared to the flat rate offered by Full Tilt historically made it very difficult to compare actual percentages. It is unclear if Full Tilt Poker will continue to offer rakeback when it returns at the beginning of November.


The easiest way to rate the old Full Tilt Poker rakeback vs. the PokerStars VIP Program is to compare the rakeback one earns at Full Tilt to the value of the bonuses at PokerStars. Each VIP Level has its own bonuses, which are bought using FPPs. The chart below illustrates the bonuses a player can earn at each VIP Level:

PokerStars VIP Bonuses

VIP Level FPP's Required Bonus Amount
SilverStar 5,000 $50
GoldStar 25,000 $285
PlatinumStar 50,000 $650
SuperNova 100,000 $1,500
SuperNovaElite 250,000 $4,000

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PokerStars VIP Club for Rakeback



While Full Tilt's rakeback program wass quite simple, the same cannot be said for PokerStars. In order to understand how the two compare we must first break down the PokerStars VIP Program. At PokerStars, players earn VIP Player Points or VPPs for playing in qualified raked pots or tournament games. One VPP is awarded for playing a hand in which the rake reaches 40 cents. For tournament/SNG games, 5.5 VPPs are awarded for every $1 in tournament fees (for instance, in a $10+$1 tournament a player would receive 5.5 VPPs). In 2012 PokerStars changed their policy for awarding VPPs through cash games. For tables with 8 or more seats (note there can be less than 8 players at the table) there will be 6 VPPs awarded to the table for each $1 in rake collected. 6 max tables will award VPPs at a rate of 5.5 VPPs per dollar raked. These VPPs will be awarded depending on how much a player contributes to the pot. For example, at a Full Ring No-Limit game the rake reaches $3 which accrues 18 VPPs. If the pot is $200 and Player 1 contributed $20 and Players 2, 3, 4 contributed $60 we would calculate their contribution percentage. Player 1 contributed 10% ($20/$200) and Players 2-4 contributed 30% each ($60/$200). We simply multiply the percentage by the number of VPPs (18) to calculate their VPPs for the hand. Player 1 receives 1.8 VPPs (10% * 18 VPPs) while Players 2-4 receive 5.4 VPPs (30% * 18 VPPs).


There are six levels of VIPs at PokerStars. Each player starts as a BronzeStar. Players move up and down the VIP ladder solely based off the number of VPPs they earn in a month/year. The chart below illustrates the number of VPPs one must earn to must up the VIP ladder at PokerStars:

PokerStars VIP Ladder

PokerStars VIP Level VPP's Required FPP's Earned Per 1 VPP
BronzeStar 0 1
SilverStar 750/Month 1.5
GoldStar 3,000/Month 2
PlatinumStar 7,500/Month 2.5
SuperNova 100,000/Year 3.5
SuperNovaElite 1,000,000/Year 5

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As you can see, at the GoldStar level, tournament players start to hit the 27% that Full Tilt offers. At this VIP level, the PokerStars VIP club becomes a superior chose over any Full Tilt Poker rakeback deal. Once a player becomes Supernova taking the $1,500 bonus and above, most players earn over 35% rakeback! There is also the added bonus of the weekly and monthly freerolls, which can put PokerStars way over the top for Supernova rakeback. One final note, in 2010 PokerStars has made it even easier for players to maintain their Supernova status. In the past players had to earn 10,000 VPPs per month to keep their Supernova perks; however, players now only have to earn 7,500 VPPs each month to maintain Supernova.
Each level has its own perks. The main benefit of being in a higher VIP Level is to earn more Frequent Player Points, or FPP's, at a faster rate. This is possible because each VIP level has a different "FPP Multiplier Rate". VPP's are converted into FPP's by a certain multiplier, which depends on the VIP level of the player. Take a look at the table above to see the FPP multiplier rate at each VIP Level.

There are many ways to spend FPP's at PokerStars. Players can purchase cash bonuses (which are not immediate, but must be earned and cleared), purchase tickets to major live and online tournaments, enter special FPP satellite tournaments, or visit the PokerStars FPP Store where items such as flat-screen TVs, gift certificates, and even a Porsche Cayman are available. There are also weekly and monthly freerolls available to the higher VIP levels.

Starting in 2010 PokerStars introduced Stellar Awards which can earn a player up to $1,000 over the course of the year. The reward system is simple, just earn a predetermined amount of VPPs and you will become eligible to receive bonuses from $10 up to $100. Starting at BronzeStar there are five $10 awards that cost just 1 FPP every time a player earns 750 VPPs during the year. Next, nine $50 awards await for every 5,000 VPPs a player earns. Finally, five $100 awards will become available for every 10,000 VPPs a player earns. This bonus certainly helps PokerStars rakeback %, especially for those unable to earn their way to PlatinumStar and beyond.


Tournament Rakeback Through VIP Bonuses

VIP Level FPP's For Bonus Bonus Amount VPP's to Clear Rakeback
SilverStar 5,000 $50 350 14.8%
GoldStar 25,000 $285 1,995 27.2%
PlatinumStar 50,000 $650 4,550 27.5%
Supernova 100,000 $1,500 10,500 35.9%
Supernova 250,000 $4,000 28,000 37.1%
Supernova Elite 250,000 $10,000 50,000 41.3%

The table above shows Tournament Rakeback through VIP Bonuses. Using PokerStars 5.5 VPP's for tournament fees one can calculate the rakeback percentage for tournament or SNG players at PokerStars.


Determining rake back % for ring-games is not quite as simple. There are many factors which could effect how quickly a player generates enough FPPs to "purchase" one of the cash bonuses. However, to keep things simple we can assess FPP's a monetary value. At lower VIP levels (SilverStar through PlatinumStar) an FPP is typically worth $.015. At Supernova and Supernova Elite an FPP is typically worth $.016. These can vary slightly depending on which items are bought as some tournament packages give a better conversion rate. Lets look at how different levels compare to each other rakeback % wise:

Limit Rakeback Rates

Playing Level $1/$2 Limit FR $2/$4 Limit FR $5/$10 Limit FR
SilverStar 26% 18% 15%
GoldStar 43% 30% 24.5%
PlatinumStar 46.5% 32% 26.5%
Supernova 66% 45.5% 37.5%
Supernova Milestone 71% - 92.7% 48.8% - 63.7% 40.3% - 52.6%
Supernova Elite 150% 103% 85.5%

NL Full-Ring (9-handed) Rakeback Rates

VIP Level $1/$2 No-Limit FR $2/$4 No-Limit FR $5/$10 No-Limit FR
SilverStar 15% 12% 13%
GoldStar 24.5% 19% 21%
PlatinumStar 26.5% 21% 23%
Supernova 37.5% 29.5% 32.5%
Supernova Milestone 38% - 53% 29.5% - 41.4% 32% - 45%
Supernova Elite 85.5% 67% 73%

NL 6-max Rakeback Rates

VIP Level $1/$2 No-Limit 6m $2/$4 No-Limit 6m $5/$10 No-Limit 6m
SilverStar 12% 10% 11%
GoldStar 19.5% 16% 17.5%
PlatinumStar 21% 17.5% 19%
Supernova 30% 25% 27%
Supernova Milestone 29.7% - 42% 25% - 35% 27% - 38%
Supernova Elite 67.5% 56.5% 61%


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As you can see once a player reaches Supernova he/she typically earns at least 27% rakeback. In fact, you can earn up to 150% rakeback if you hit Supernova elite! Add into this not having to deal with a 3rd party and the fact that players can still clear other deposit bonuses it would seem that once a player reaches this level the benefits outweigh those of a typical rakeback program. It would appear for tournament players PokerStars is ahead of the pack once a player reaches the Supernova level. For cash games, it is a virtual toss-up at the 6-max No Limit (NL) tables while at Full Ring (FR) and Limit tables, Supernova and Supernova Elite are superior to Full Tilts 27% rakeback. The biggest problem is earning enough VPPs in a month or year to move through the ranks and to these levels. From some, reaching Supernova could take more than 6 months of hard work; however, once there the pay-off is certainly worth the wait.

In conclusion, it seems for the serious grinder, PokerStars rakeback through their VIP program seems superior to Full Tilt rakeback. It may take a while to reach the Supernova levels, but in the long run, PokerStars cash bonuses will earn you more money than a stagnant 27% Full Tilt offer which deducts bonuses and the usage of points.


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Using the PokerStars Marketing Code

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PokerStars Bonus Code

Using the PokerStars Bonus Code

The code should be typed in as shown below when you:
[  ] Register a new account   [X] Make your first deposit
Read more details on using our PokerStars Bonus Code.

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