Poker VIP programs are designed to keep players happy, loyal and active. In the hyper-competitive online poker industry, player loyalty is an important concept. Every site knows how easy it is for you to take your money elsewhere, so almost every site has some sort of VIP or rewards program. The whole point of it all is to give you an incentive for sticking around and playing poker.
The Most Valuable VIP Programs are Found at:
200% up to $1,000
Intertops runs a simple loyalty program based on frequent player points (FPPs) earned by playing in real money games. As you play poker at Intertops, your account is credited with FPPs and you are advanced through a total of 50 loyalty levels. Each loyalty level also has multiple tiers within it. As you advance through each tier within the 50 loyalty levels, Intertops pays out cash bonuses and other rewards.
100% up to $100
USA poker sites are not exactly known for offering super-generous loyalty programs, but Ignition does offer a simple loyalty program in which you can earn loyalty points for playing in real money games. Those points may then be exchanged for free tournament entries.
If what I describe brings to mind those silly “rewards programs” cashiers always try to sell you on when checking out at the pharmacy, put those thoughts aside. Poker rewards programs are actually extremely valuable and useful. You participate in them by default when you play poker anyways, so you might as well make the most of it.
On this page, I’m going to compare the best poker VIP programs and make a few recommendations based on their objective value. It can be difficult to compare VIP programs because they all use different metrics to determine what you get. Even so, I’ll do my best to give you a good idea of how worthwhile the rewards schemes are at different sites.
High volume grinders are obviously going to benefit the most from any VIP program. If you’re more of a casual player, I wouldn’t place as much importance on the VIP program or worry too much about the rewards given out at higher levels. If you do plan on putting in some serious volume, it is definitely worth taking a close look at the various VIP programs that are out there.
Comparing the Return on Your Rake
The most effective method to compare the value of VIP programs is to calculate how much of your rake is returned to you in the form of rewards. Every rewards scheme is based on some sort of frequent player points system. The speed at which points are earned is always somehow determined by how much rake you pay as you play poker.
This allows us to determine how much rake is paid for each dollar in cash and other rewards returned to the player. The higher the return-on-rake percentage, the better the VIP program is for players. The chart at the top of this page ranks poker sites by how much rake is returned to players in the form of cash and other prizes.
However, you should keep in mind that the above chart shows the maximum return percentage. One poker site may have a lower overall maximum return, but if that return applies equally to everyone regardless of play volume, it may be better for you. Smaller stakes players should pay especially close attention to this distinction.
That’s why I have also included breakdowns of various VIP programs below. The chart above serves as decent reference point, but you should take a look at the information below to get a better idea of which rewards program is best for your style of play.
The VIP program at William Hill is a bit more complex but we can still analyze the program to see what it’s worth as a percentage of your rake. William Hill Poker uses WH Points (WHPs) and Club Points (CPs) to keep track of your status in the VIP program and pay out rewards.
WH Points are earned in cash games and tournaments at the following rates:
- 10 WHPs per €1 contributed in rake in cash games
- 10 WHPs per €1 paid in tournament entry fees
As you earn WHPs, you move up through 7 levels in the VIP program. Each level in the VIP program comes with a unique multiplier that determines how many CPs you earn at the same time while playing in real money games.
|VIP Level||WHPs Required||CPs Multiplier|
The number of WHPoints you earn each month determines your level in the VIP program. Point totals are calculated daily, so you can move up multiple levels in a single day, week or month.
As you earn WHPs, you also earn CPs at the same time. Both are accumulated in the same manner by playing in cash games, but you earn CPs a little faster based on the multiplier. For example, someone at VIP level 7 would earn 2 CPs for every WHP earned.
You can redeem CPs for cash rewards and tournament entry tokens. Cash rewards are deposited straight to your account and do not have to be cleared like normal bonuses. The chart below shows how many CPs are required for cash payouts and displays what each cash reward is worth as a percentage of the rake paid.
|Cash Reward||CPs Required||1||2||3||4||5||6||7|
As the chart shows, this works out to a return on your rake of about 10% to 26.7% depending on your VIP level.
The BetVictor VIP Programme revolves around Action Points (APs). You earn APs in ring games and tournaments based upon the total amount of contributed rake:
- 2 APs per $1 contributed in rake in ring games
- 2 APs per $1 paid in tournament entry fees
APs are also used to determine your level in the VIP Program. There are five levels, and each level is reached by earning the following number of APs in any single month:
- Bronze: 0 APs
- Silver: 250 APs
- Gold: 500 APs
- Platinum: 750 APs
- Diamond: 1,000 APs
APs can be redeemed at any time for cash rewards deposited straight to your account. The redemption rate is set at a flat 5 APs per dollar. This looks great at first glance, but you may only convert a certain percentage of APs earned each month. Therefore, you end up being forced to earn more APs than you really need to redeem. This lowers the effective return on your rake.
Each VIP level subjects you to two limits on redeeming APs for cash. First, you may only redeem a certain percentage of your APs in any single month. Second, each level except for Diamond imposes a limit on the dollar amount of cash back rewards you can redeem in any single month.
Here’s an overview of the limits, maximum cash back and the return on your rake:
|Level||Max APs Converted||Max Cash Back||Rake Return Rate|
|Bronze||25% of points earned||$12.50 per month||10%|
|Silver||37.5% of points earned||$37.50 per month||15%|
|Gold||50% of points earned||$75 per month||20%|
|Platinum||62.5% of points earned||$125 per month||25%|
|Diamond||75% of points earned||Unlimited||30%|
Example: If you’re a Bronze level VIP and earn 250 APs in one month, you would be allowed to convert 25% of those APs for cash back. This would leave you with 62.5 cashable APs. You could then redeem those 62.5 APs for a cash back reward of $12.5.
In total, the return on your rake at BetVictor ranges from 10% to 30% depending on your level in the VIP program.
888 Poker’s VIP program features two types of points that are earned as you play in real money games. First of all, you earn Status Points (SPs) at a rate of 2 SPs per $1 paid in rake or tournament fees. At the same time, you also earn Reward Points (RPs). The number of RPs that you earn per SP is determined by your level in the VIP program.
Status Points are used only to determine your level in the VIP program while Reward Points are redeemed for cash at an exchange rate of 0.010. The higher your level in the VIP program, the faster you earn RPs and the higher your rake return percentage.
The chart below shows the number of SPs required per VIP level, the RP multiplier per VIP level and the effective return on your rake at each level. You can see that the rake return percentage is pretty low at the lower levels, but it’s easy to move up in levels. You would only have to pay a total of $250 in rake to achieve Silver status.
|VIP Level||SPs Required||RP Multiplier||Rake Return %|
|VIP Diamond||300,000 annually||13.5||27%|
Example: You earn 500 points to achieve Silver level. This means you have paid $250 in rake so far in the month. The multiplier is 2, so you would have 1,000 RP points to convert. Converting 1,000 RP points at a rate of 0.010 would give you a cash reward of $10 for a total return of 4% on your rake.
In the end, the rake return percentage at 888 Poker ranges all the way from 2.5% to 27% depending on your level in the VIP club.
The VIP Club at Ladbrokes awards Status Points (SPs) and Ladbrokes Points (LPs) in return for playing in real money cash games and tournaments. The number of Status Points that you earn each month determines your current level in the VIP club. For every Status Point you earn, you also earn a certain number of Ladbrokes Points depending on your level. You can then redeem LPs for cash prizes paid straight to your account.
Status Points are earned at a rate of 10 SPs per $1.00 paid in rake. The chart below shows how many Status Points are required for each level and how many Ladbrokes Points are earned per Status Point based on your current level.
|VIP Level||Status Points Required||Ladbrokes Points Multiplier|
|Emperor||125,000 within a 3 month period||2.2|
Once you have earned enough LPs, you can redeem them for cash rewards from the VIP store. The following chart shows how many points are required for reward and the effective cashback return on your rake for each VIP level.
|Cash Reward||LPs Required||Knight||Baron||Viscount||Earl||Marquess||Duke||King||Emperor|
As you can see, the cashback percentage at Ladbrokes ranges from 6% to 41.3% depending on your level in the VIP program and amount of LPs you redeem for cash.
32Red has the most straightforward rewards program of them all. Every player at 32Red Poker receives 30% rakeback in the form of cash deposited directly into their accounts. There are no complicated loyalty schemes to figure out or VIP levels to account for. Just play poker and you get back 30% of your rake.
The way it works is you earn 30 “Redbacks” for every $1 you generate in rake and tournament fees. You can then redeem your Redbacks at any time at a rate of 100 Redbacks per dollar. In short, this works out to a return of 30%.