One of the most profitable niches for an affiliate marketer is with no doubt poker. If you have a poker site making money it is fairly easy, but make sure you are choosing the right commission model for your affiliate program; fixed commission, rev share or a combination of both. Use this fairly simple way of calculating which to choose.

Sending players to various online poker rooms is a lucrative business. Due to the very high competition, the poker affiliate programs need to offer very high commissions to attract new affiliates. For webmasters, this is as good as it gets.

The typical poker affiliate program offers variations of commission, making it possible for you to analyze your traffic and referred players, helping you choose the best model for you and your site. It is not always easy to know the break-even point for revenue share vs. fixed commission, but if you know your visitors, all you need is a calculator.

You need some information about the players you refer. This is sometimes hard to know, but usually you can use a rough estimate. The more information available to you, the better you will understand your players. Try to find out – or guess – the following:

Referred players average limit (player level)

Type of game preferred (limit/no-limit, stud, Omaha etc.)

Table size preferences (usually 6 or 10 players/table)

To find this information out, you can use any method available; a poll on your page isn’t a bad idea, one or a few easy questions will get many answers, making it easier to estimate the above details. There are numerous ways of getting to know your visitors, but that would be another topic, and therefore beyond the scope of this article. If you have no information about your visitors, or if you are yet to build your site, look at a few different levels (of limit games) to see the impact on your revenue. The same applies with table size and type of game, investigate and evaluate.

What you need to know about the affiliate program is the following:

Rake percentage (the percentage the poker room earns from every pot)

Revenue share (the percentage of the rake paid to the affiliate)

Average number of players on active tables (on the referrer’s player level)

Find the average number of players seated at the tables, as well as the average pot. This information is given at almost all poker rooms. If you can’t find the information in the affiliate interface, log in as a player and look directly at the tables.

Then calculate as follows:

(rake percentage x average pot x revenue share) / average seated players.

This gives you the average commission for one played hand.

Look at their fixed commissions and do another quick calculation:

Fixed commission / earnings per hand.

This gives you the number of hands the referred players has to be part of, before you make more from revenue share than from the fixed commission.

If you want to know the time each player has to spend in the poker room to make up for the fixed commission, all you need to find is the average pots per hour. This information is also available in almost every poker room. Then simply calculate:

Number of hands (from the calculation above) / hands per hour.

Giving you an estimate of the time each player has to spend in the poker room before you start earning more than the fixed commission.

Now you have a few more parameters to consider before choosing your revenue model, take your time – it is well worth it.