When trying to decide which Cardano stake pool to delegate to alot of people will overlook small stake pools as they think they wont get any returns from them or they will get less rewards than some of the bigger pools.
I have already done a video on this topic and the video is posted at the bottom of this post for people whi just want to skip straight to the video.
Will I get less staking rewards from a Small Pool?
There is a difference in the type of rewards you get from a small Cardano stake pool vs a big pool but over the longer term they are generally the same or even better with the small pool with a bit of luck in the slot lottery.
For anyone not familiar with the slot lottery there is a lottery before every epoch to decide how many slots (basically blocks) each pool will get in the upcoming epoch and rewards are given to a pool based on the number of blocks they mint in an epoch. Every pool is given tickets for the lottery based on their pool stats but the most important one is the active stake in the pool.
Big Cardano Stake Pools
Bigger Cardano stake pools generally get consistent blocks and rewards once the pool is not saturated. When a pool goes over 64m it is saturated and delegators earn less rewards so if you choose a big pool make sure you keep an eye on the total stake in the pool. The saturation level will also change to 32m in March 2021.
Small Cardano Stake Pools
I generally consisder a pool under 5m Stake a small pool, even up to 10m is still considered small but once you go over 5m you are generally getting consistent blocks and regular rewards.
With small pools you get less consistent rewards but when they do come they they are generally alot bigger. The reason for this is when the small pool does get blocks there are less delegators to share the rewards. You will get some epochs that give 0 rewards and some that are 20% +.
Example of Small Pool
- epoch 233 produced its first block
- Active stake was 287k ADA
- Gave delegators a 23.29% APY which was the same as 4-5 epochs from a regular pool.
The pool then missed a few more epochs and epoch 237 was 17.52% APY which was over 3 epochs worth of rewards in one.
On balance any delegators of this pool who stuck with it would have got better rewards than a big pool. This isn’t always the case but this is what is possible with a small pool.
The Catch for Small Cardano Stake Pools
Some small pools get caught in a cycle that stops them from growing.
The problem they face is that they need people to delegate to their pool so they can get blocks but in order for people to trust the pool and delegate to them they want to see blocks first. If you see a pool owner that is visible in the community and trying to give back then consider giving them a chance and delegating to them.
Summary of Small vs Big Cardano Stake Pools
Small pools can give you just as good of returns as big pools and by delegating to small pools you are really supporting the work that pool owner is doing in the community. There is a sweet spot when small pools start generating blocks that delegators can see really good returns too which can even end up been higher than big pools for a while. Over the long term as the small pool grows the returns should average out to the expected average of 5% – 6% APY
Yes the pool in the example above was my pool 🙂 As I write this post we are just under 2m stake so we are very close to regular blocks and that sweet spot now.
Below is a video I done covering this subject where I talk through some of the information above and a bit more
Thanks for your informative website and this post. I’ll likely be making a third wallet as I buy more ADA and will stake that third wallet to your pool.
Thanks Josh, appreciate you choosing my pool for your next wallet. Great to hear the website is a help too
Hi Paul, thanks for the great content you’ve really helped me understand the concept of Stake Pools. I have staked my ADA to your pool and would like to get further information on potential rewards for my delegated ADA?
Thanks Sim I appreciate that. In general most pools will average out at 5% – 5.5% over the year. Some epoch will pay higher than other but generally averages out over the year. I built some calculators here which you can check too – https://www.cardanowithpaul.com/calculators/
Fantastic! Thanks Paul 😀
Hey Paul Ive only got 3287 Cardano but I have staked them to your pool, thanks to all of the information you put out. Hoping we take it to the moon! thanks.
Thanks for choosing my pool Robert, that still a good amount
A lot is two words. I notice you use the two words a lot.
Thanks for the correction
I made a deposit of 45k cardano in your pool. Successfully.
Thanks Taniv appreciate you choosing my pool
Hi Paul. Thx for the info you are putting out there. It help a lot. I have a question. If i stake for 20+ years, what’s gonna happen to the staking interest when all ADA have been mine? Is it possible to stake for 20 years with 5% APi?
The future rewards rate isn’t know yet as it will depend on the adoption of the blockchain. I go through all of the reasons in this video here – https://youtu.be/QqzOS7W9APs
Hello Paul, and a big Thumbs-Up for you. Your videos are extremely concise, informative and incredibly educational. Your presentations have provided for me the confidence and ability to navigate the Crypto landscape, from purchasing ADA on Binance , to setting-up The Daedalus wallet, and ultimately delegating to your staking pool. The information you have provided helped to instill the confidence needed to successfully perform the aforementioned without trepidation.
I wish to personally thank you Paul and hope you will continue to provide this valuable information so that all may benefit from your expertise. Thank you again.
Thanks for joining Edward, great to hear it is useful
Great work. Your posts and youtube videos are clear and you make things easy to understand.
I just delegated all I have to your pool!
Thanks for joining
Hi Paul love your content keep up the great work ill be staking to your pool shortly !
Hey Paul, thanks for all of your posts and informative videos.
I’m trying to delegate to your pool but I’m running into a problem. At the first try, I found out that I only delegated 2 Ada. I tried to delegate the remaining Ada in my wallet to the same pool but it’s not letting me. It shows as “You are already pending delegation ‘my’ wallet to [PAUL1] stake pool. If you wish to re-delegate your stake, please select a different pool”
Could you let me know how to delegate additional Ada to the same pool?
I appreciate your high quality contents. Thanks.
When you delegate it delegates the full wallet. The 2 ADA is a deposit to the network which you get back when you stop staking. Thanks for joining
Hi Paul – new to the club. Staked into Paul (2). Got a little in there just waiting for coinbase to clear more for me to contribute. Looking forward to the journey!
Thanks for joining Jeremiah
Hey Paul you are a great guy with great content… always ! Appreciate the time and effort you put into the Cardano $ADA… my biggest holdings and plan to retire on it once I hit 20K ADAs… what’s a good amount to hold? I’m at 15K right now.. also, I plan to move to Ireland 🇮🇪 when I do.., any recommendations as far as countryside? Thank you Paul 🙏
Thanks Jose, the magic number is different for everyone and thats one of the reasons I built the calculators to help people see what works for them –
20k is a good number. Over west in Ireland is nice 🙂
Is your first pool too big at this point? If I want to stake with you, do you recommend using Paul 2? Thank you.
PAUL1 is still fine with the saturation level at 64m but as it will change later in the year I’m recoending PAUL which is pool 2 to anyone new. Thanks