Earning rakeback is a great way to build your bankroll and move up in stakes. Most poker rooms will give players a certain percentage of their rake back on a weekly/monthly basis while others will use VIP systems to handle bonuses and rakeback. PokerStars, along with their VIP store and great customer service has the best VIP program found online today. Their VIP program is based on VIP Player Points commonly referred to as VPPs. As players play in real money cash games, tournaments, or SNGs they will earn a certain number of VPPs which can be used to purchase bonuses, tournament tickets, electronics, and other prizes. Using the VIP bonuses in this way can function in lieu of a PokerStars rakeback program.
VPPs are automatically awarded to players based on the amount of rake paid in a cash game pot or the fees paid in SNGs and tournaments. In tournaments or SNGs players will receive 5.5 VPPs for every $1 in fees they pay. For example, a $20+$2 SNG will yield a player 11 VPPs while a $5+.50 will pay out 2.75 VPPs to those involved. Cash games are a bit more difficult to determine as VPPs are distributed based on the number of seats at the table, the number of players at the table, and the amount raked from the pot. From there your VPPs will be converted into Frequent Player Points (FPPs) based on your VIP Level. As you climb the VIP ladder you will begin earning more FPPs per VPP.
PokerStars has a handful of VIP Levels including BronzeStar, SilverStar, GoldStar, PlatinumStar, Supernova, and Supernova Elite. If you are new to PokerStars you will automatically be a BronzeStar member. Those at higher VIP Levels will be able to receive a better PokerStars rakeback percentage. For example, SilverStar players might expect anywhere from 8% to 26% rakeback while PlatinumStar members should be able to receive 17% to 46% depending on the games and stakes they play. Try to avoid the temptation of purchasing one of the smaller VIP bonuses. Instead, new players should make sure to use the PokerStars bonus code to get a 100% up to $600 initial deposit bonus. Clearing the $600 deposit bonus will increase your PokerStars rakeback and help you boost your bankroll in a hurry.
The reason your PokerStars rakeback will be higher if you wait until you reach the PlatinumStar level is because you will earn more FPPs per VPP and the bonuses available to you will be bigger. Players at the GoldStar level can purchase up to a $300 VIP bonus (for 25,000 FPPs), PlatinumStar members can buy a $650 bonus (50,000 FPPs) and Supernova members can earn bonuses in excess of $3,000 for just 50,000 FPPs. Once at the Supernova level you will earn 25% of more rakeback. Big time grinders can earn a large amount of rakeback by reaching the Supernova Elite level. These members will earn more than 50% rakeback as well as many other prizes and perks.
The one problem with the PokerStars rakeback system is you will have to clear the VIP bonuses. In order to turn the bonus into real money players will have to earn a certain number of VPPs. This is what makes other sites a bit more appealing in the rakeback race. However, players should factor in the softness and variety of games at PokerStars as well as a customer service group which is second to none. As long as players are willing to be patient and wait until they reach at least the GoldStar Level they should be able to match the rakeback percentages available at other major poker sites. Remember the PokerStars bonus code which will aid your bankroll as you move up in VIP levels.
New players just starting out may find this overwhelming, but there is something for you as well. By using the PokerStars bonus code STARS600, you will collect an extra $600. This means if you deposit $600, PokerStars will give you $600 for free! All new players should definitely take advantage of this deal.
Players can find all pertinent information by clicking on the cashier section in the PokerStars Lobby. Once there you can view your VIP Status, take a look at the VIP Store, and check up on any pending bonuses. If you have any questions about your VIP status feel free to contact PokerStars support.