One of the biggest selling points for Carbon Poker and Aced was that they offered players 35% rakeback paid daily. That will change on February 1st when all players are moved to the VIP program. The VIP program is an improvement for low volume players already on the VIP plan but all players on rakeback will either have the same or worse rakeback returns on the new system.
Players have been asking about what better options there may be for flat rakeback. Players outside the US have several flat rakeback options. Microgaming and Boss Media are non US sites that still offer flat 30% rakeback to players. There are also many competitive VIP programs at Party Gaming, iPoker and Ongame, among others. Players in the US have limited options. Here are some of the pros and cons of Carbon Poker versus the competing US facing sites.
Revolution Gaming is the largest US facing network. The US friendly skins on the network are Juicy Stakes and Lock Poker.
Advantages: The biggest advantage Revolution Gaming has over Merge Gaming is that they have 50% more traffic. This makes the tournaments and cash game selection better, especially at higher limits. They also still allow rakeback, which uses the player friendly dealt method. There are also no rakeback deductions. This is a huge draw for US players as it is the largest rakeback percentage allowed in all of online poker. Juicy Stakes also offers a creative Gold Card promotion.
Disadvantages: Lock only pays 20% of net revenue to affiliates. This is half of what Carbon Poker and Aced pay. The cashout situation on Revolution Gaming is terrible for US players. Lock and Juicy Stakes consistently rank at the bottom in terms of cashout speeds. Even players outside the US can wait over a month at these two rooms, although non US players have the option of playing at faster paying Revolution skins such as Intertops, Red Star Poker and Poker World. Players that do not play Texas Holdem and Omaha will not find their game on Revolution Gaming. They do not even offer stud tables or any other exotic games.
The Bodog Poker Network is the second largest US facing network. The traffic on the Bodog Poker Network has been trending slowly upwards. This may change after the Super Bowl but the outlook is still great on the network.
Advantages: Bodog and Bovada are well recognized brands. The experience and marketing of these companies is among the best in the online gambling world. This helps players feel safe playing there. There is a large game selection and even a decent number of non holdem games. There are also some large weekly tournaments. Bodog has also forced the issue of poker ecology and has been rewarded with above average game quality. Cashout speeds are also respectable.
Disadvantages: Bodog uses what they call a Recreational Player Model. This annoys some players. There are virtually no player incentives, only a points for tournament tickets exchange. There are also no waitlists and no usernames. This has caused some trust issues with players, but on the other hand some players like these features.
Winning Poker Network
The Winning Poker Network is the fourth largest US facing network. Winning Poker Network is closely related to the massive sports book group BetCris. Bookmaker is the US facing side of this business. They are one of the most reputable groups in online gambling and have as much experience as anyone when it comes to online gambling.
Advantages: Rakeback is still allowed on the network. The games are also loose and plentiful at $ .50/$ 1 and below at No Limit Holdem. The group also offers the Online Super Series that helps draw tournament traffic to the network. Cashouts to US players are as fast as it gets. They routinely rank #1 in our US payment processing report.
Disadvantages: There is little traffic at mid or high No Limit Texas Holdem, there is little Pot Limit Omaha traffic and there is no traffic outside of those two games. There are also rakeback deductions. Also, many of the cash games are on a Bad Beat Jackpot rake system. This means that there is extra rake in those games. Many serious players hate Bad Beat Jackpot tables, although their promotion called TheBeast offsets some of this for high volume players.
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