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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


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.


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


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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Many players earn a living wage from rakeback alone. Use the calculator below to estimate the size of payments you’ll get over a given period of time. The calculator will compute your expected daily, weekly, and monthly cash back depending on the stakes and tables you input.

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