Want to know more about poker rake? You’ve come to the right place. Poker is played slightly differently than some of the other casino games that you may have played before. Here, instead of playing against the house, you are competing against other players.
The problem with this form of play is that casinos don’t have financial leverage over players that they otherwise would have through house edge. So, instead, they charge a commission fee for every bet made in a poker game. That fee is called a poker rake, and it is completely legal to charge players a commission.
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Common Types of Poker Rake
There are different types of rake in poker, and each is collected differently. The rules regarding poker rake may also differ between casinos and/or the game you are playing.
- Pot Rake: The most common of them all is a pot rake. During a real money game played either online or via live streaming, the dealer will remove between 5%-10% of the overall pot after every hand. If you are playing poker online, rake will automatically be removed by the casino software. However, there are conditions to when and how casinos will collect poker rake. The general rule is that no rake is collected on hands that don’t make it to the flop round in the game.
- Dead Drop: The following form of rake collected is called the dread drop. This puts the player in the dealer’s position and requires that the player who holds the dealer chip put down an agreed bet amount before any cards are dealt. The dealer chip will rotate between players, and the rule is that all players must bet more or less the same amount when it’s their turn. A dead drop is one of the rarer forms of rake and is typically found at high stake casinos or poker tables.
- Timed Collection: Timed collection rake is another form of poker rake. The clue is in the name itself. It refers to a commission fee or poker rake collected every 30 minutes during a standard poker game, either online or live. It involves collecting a fixed amount from every player on the table. But, it can also be collected as a percentage from the overall pot.
- Fixed Fee Poker Rake: The next type of poker rake is called a fixed fee poker rake. This one is also quite self-explanatory. In a fixed fee poker game, each player is required to hand over a fixed amount for each hand that they play in the game. But, players are advised not to measure their bets against the current size of the pot. Instead, they are asked to bet more than the average.
- Tournament Rake: Poker tournament rake describes a fee collected from each participant in the tournament. The tournament fee is usually stated with the buy-in amount on the casino’s website. E.g. $100 tournament fee and $20 buy-in. The $20 buy-in will be collected as a poker rake and will go to the house. The $100 will then be contributed to the overall pot.
How a rake is calculated and how much is collected will vary depending on the game and the size of the pot. In real money online casino games, a rake is calculated based on how much money is in the pot at that given time. Fortunately, this amount is capped. So, for example, a $0.01 poker rake might be collected for every $0.20 in the overall pot. The capped amount being $0.20. In tournaments, a poker rake is a pre-determined amount of money that is deducted from the buy-in.
The odds will always be against you in casino games, especially in games like poker, where the rake rule applies. In order to win at this particular poker game, you have to beat other players for a high enough win rate so that you also beat the rake and win some money.
Now, we have a few suggestions on how to can use the rule to your advantage and optimize your chances of winning. There are two possible options: The first is where you try to avoid playing games that have small pots. And secondly, we advise you to avoid heads up pots. We explain more below.
Avoid small pots
The percentage you’ll have to pay as a rake is usually tied to the size of the pot. And, as mentioned previously, some casinos and online poker rooms impose a cap on these rake amounts. Always choose to play a casino that has a rake maximum. The logic here is that the bigger the pot, the lower the rake percentage will be.
This is part of a strategy used by casinos to encourage high rollers to participate in high rake poker. Although the money you have to pay to get in is high, players are consoled by the fact that should they win big, casinos are not allowed to increase the rake amount and deduct more money from their winnings.
Avoid Heads Up Pots
Heads up pots are games where only two players participate. This kind of game should not be your first choice because the overall pot to be won in games of 2 are usually much smaller than games where there’s several participants.
Also, the house has a massive advantage over you in heads up pots because regardless of how much money is in the pot, the house takes its 5%. And, 5% of a small pot could be a significant amount of money that may lessen how much you win greatly.
A rakeback is a loyalty scheme offered to players by a poker site and functions similarly to a cashback bonus at a casino. A rakeback is when you are offered a portion of your rake money back as a way of saying thank you for choosing that particular casino site.
It’s also a way for poker sites to ensure return business. You can use your rakeback returns responsibly by using it to supplement your winnings or use it as consolidation when you lose. It is, therefore, best to not withdraw your rakeback money and use it as a means to make your money go further instead.