One of the most important thing about pools is how they base the payouts. There are 4 different types around and they each differ how they split the blocks. All pools will generally pay the same, fees being equal.
PPS pools are the best pool to mine on if you want a steady 100% (less the pool fee) of your calculated income. With a PPS pool you are paid for EVERY VALID SHARE you submit. So, every time your mining software says "accepted", you are paid a small amount regardless of whether the pool has found a block or not. The pool operator is basically hiring your hash power. Some PPS pools even pay the Dogecoin miners if the block is orphaned.
The drawbacks to a PPS pool are that they usually charge a fee of ~3%-5%. In short, a PPS pool removes the "Luck" factor for miners.
An RBPPS pool is the same as a PPS pool but it doesn't pay orphans.
A proportional pool carries no risk to the pool operator as miners are simply paid out when a block is found. No blocks, no payout! With a Prop pool the risk is all on the miners if it takes longer than expected to find a block then the miners earn less. On the flip side, if the pool is lucky (they will all average out the same eventually) the miners get more. This is in complete contrast to the PPS pool where there is no "Variance" Using made up data for simplicity, here's an example:
- A block is found after 100000 shares
- You submitted 1000 of those shares (you have 1% of the pools total hash power)
- There's 1-1,000,000 DOGE per block
Quite simply you will get 1% of the block = 0.01-10,000 DOGE. Now if the pool has a bad round (a round is the time taken to find a block) and it takes 200000 shares to find a block (twice as long) and you have submitted 2000 shares (as you've been mining twice as long), you still only get 1% of the block = 0.01-10,000 DOGE. This can also work in the miners favour too as if it takes half the time (50000 shares) to find a block and you submitted only 500 - again - 0.01-10,000 DOGE.
Basically with a Prop pool you always get you percentage of the block and you win/lose depending on the "Luck" of the pool.
The drawbacks to a prop pool are that there is often a fee although some pool ops rely on donations only and you will have to bear the variance of the block times and luck unlike a PPS pool. Also they are susceptible to "pool hoppers" where PPLNS pools are not.
Generally speaking Prop pools are are a better option than PPLNS pools if you like to move around coins and pools a lot and are only a part time miner.
A PPLNS pool is the same as a Prop pool in so much as the miner takes the risk of variance. Where they differ is how the payouts are calculated. PPLNS pools were designed to stop pool hoppers as they don't technically payout the current block, rather they payout based on an average of the shares you submit over the last x number of blocks. As a result, when you first start mining on a PPLNS you'll notice that you hardly get paid anything until a few hours later. This will ramp up over time and once you stop mining, you still get paid for a few hours... this is due to the "buffer effect" of PPLNS and pool hoppers hate this as they cant jump on a fresh, profitable round! You, as a loyal miner still get the correct amount eventually but you have to be a bit patient for the ramp up and ramp down times.
If you want a steady, reliable income with no variance the you need a PPS Pool.
If you want a steady income and don't mind loosing out if a block is orphaned the RBPPS is for you.
If you are a loyal miner, stay with one pool and feel lucky (you could earn more or less) then you need a PPLNS pool.
If you hop around a lot then a Prop pool is probably best. Worth noting though that Prop & PPLNS will ultimately pay the same to it's miners.