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US Facing vs. Non-US Facing Rake Comparison

By Taylor Cuccia, Rakeback.com Contributor

In this edition of poker rake comparisons, we pit major US facing sites against major non-US facing sites in a world-wide rake battle.  Using some of the most common poker games and stakes as comparisons, we will determine which group of sites offer more favorable rake for which games.

us-flag              globe

Numbers shown below are aggreagates of rake data from the following major sites from each category:

US Facing:

Non-US Facing:

Note that these rake figures are averages, and each player’s style will affect their rake paid.  In general, tighter players will pay less rake than loose players.

No Limit Holdem

6-max

Stake 6-Max NLHE (bb/100)
US Facing Non-US Facing
25nl 9.79 9.69
50nl 8.95 9.14
100nl 7.78 7.69
200nl 5.76 5.60
400nl 3.82 3.85

In 6-max NLHE, US Facing sites take 50nl and 400nl while non-US facing sites take 25nl, 100nl and 200nl.  Advantages on either side are very slight, so despite non-US facing sites winning 3 of the 5 stakes, the 6-max NLHE category is a wash.

Full Ring

 

Stake Full Ring NLHE (bb/100)
US Facing Non-US Facing
25nl 7.22 7.22
50nl 7.42 7.00
100nl 6.59 6.32
200nl 5.10 4.78
400nl 3.69 3.45

Besides a tie at 25nl, non-US facing sites win every stake for full ring NLHE, and thus take the category overall.

PLO (6-Max)

Stake PLO (6-Max) (bb/100)
US Facing Non-US Facing
25plo 20.96 19.65
50plo 17.92 17.33
100plo 14.55 14.00
200plo 10.19 10.06
400plo 6.63 6.49

Non-US facing sites pick up a full sweep in the 6-max PLO category, thus taking the category.

Tournaments

Buy-In Level Tournaments
US Facing Non-US Facing
<7 11% 11.25%
<60 11% 10%
<500 8.5% 8.5%
500+ 8% 7%

Shifting to tournaments, US facing sites show a quarter of a percentage point advantage for the lowest buy-in level.  Non-US facing sites show one percentage point edges for the under 60 and over 500 buy-in levels.  The groups tie for the under 500 level.  With their advantages being bigger and at higher buy-in levels, non-US facing sites get the nod for the tournament category.  

Other Factors to Consider

  • These numbers do not factor in rakeback.  As with direct site comparisons, rakeback may make it better to go with a poker site with a higher pure rake.
  • Traffic also needs to be considered.  According to Pokerscout, 15 of the top 16 and 26 of the top 30 traffic sites are non-US facing.

Overall Winner

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With wins in every category besides the draw in 6-max NLHE, non-us facing sites are the overall winner in our world-wide rake comparison. 

What it Means

Clearly if you are in the US, you have no choice except to play at US facing sites.  However, our analysis shows that from a rake standpoint, those with the option to choose US facing or non-US facing sites are better off sticking with those sites not accepting US players in general.  

However, if you can find a smaller US-facing network with a good Rakeback deal and quality games, it can still be well-worth it.

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