Online Poker Bonuses vs Casino Loyalty Programs

November 24th, 2012 Poker Systems

Everybody loves free money. Earning these rewards by playing poker can come through online poker bonuses or by receiving “comps” through your local casino. Let’s compare online poker bonuses against what you might receive from your local poker room loyalty program.

Online Poker Bonuses

Virtually every online poker room offers a deposit bonus when you open a new account. Receiving the bonus gets you back upwards of 30% of the rake and tournament fees you pay into your account. Take a simple example of playing 50 $10+1 Sit & Go’s in a month and you could receive up to $15 back for just a few hours of play. If you multi-table cash games the amount of bonus money you receive can spike into the hundreds of dollars.

Since every room offers bonuses, once you clear one, you can move on to the next room. You can also circle back to your favorite rooms as they offer occasional reload bonuses as well.

Clearing a $600 bonus online can take you less than two months.

Casino Loyalty Programs

Casino loyalty programs such as Caesars Total Rewards or MGM’s M-Life offer cash back to their poker players. Almost all programs offer comps to their cash game players at a rate of $1 per hour. Time played in tournaments generally receives no comps. If you are a live grinder who puts in around 30 hours per week, congratulations you have earned $30 in comps. Over that time you have probably contributed hundreds and hundreds of dollars to the rake as well as tipping the dealers for each hand you win.

Let’s take a simple example and see what percentage you get back. Let’s assume you win two hands per hour. The average rake is generally a maximum of $5 per hand. So 30 hours multiplied by $10 in rake paid equals $300 total rake paid. That equates to 10% cash back. Certainly different, but we haven’t included other factors.

Let’s consider the rake paid by other players. When your opponents win, rake is taken from their win. That’s less money you can win from them in a future hand. What about online rake you say? Online rake is generally 5% up to a cap of somewhere between $1 and $3. Live it’s 10% up to $5. Simple math shows how much more you pay.

One more factor we can look at is what you can buy with your comp dollars. You won’t be receiving cash. You have to use it at the casino where you can purchase a lovely piece of pizza and a soda for $10. What a deal!


When it comes to receiving money back for your poker play, stick to online poker and the bonuses they offer. You can earn cash back and earn it at a much faster rate. Plus you can even play in your underwear. Nothing beats that.

Play online and receive a Party Poker Bonus of up to $/£/€500.

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