What Is A Rake In Poker?

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Written by: Matt E.

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A rake is a fee taken by a cardroom operating a poker game, or the poker site that is running your online poker game. There are many different types of rake, but the most common in cash games is usually calculated as a percentage of the pot in each poker hand, with a small portion of the pot taken out up to a certain limit.

In tournaments, the amount of the rake is added to the buy-in total and taken before the tournament begins. Sometimes this amount is 10% and I've seen some poker rooms take upwards of 25% rake for tournaments. So if the buy-in is $300 then you would need to pay $330 to buy into the tournament with a 10% rake.

The rake is the primary source of income for the cardroom and is used to pay for operating costs, such as salaries, rent, taxes, and other expenses.

How Does the Rake Work?

The rake is usually taken out of the pot after the hand is completed. The rake is usually calculated as a percentage of the pot and is usually capped at a certain limit. For example, a cardroom may take out a 5% rake up to a maximum of $5 or something along those lines. This means that if the pot is $100, the cardroom will take out $5, and if the pot is $500, the cardroom will take out $5. Every card room has different rules and percentages for their rakes. This goes for online as well as live poker.

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Types of Rakes

Fixed Percentage Of The Pot

The most common way that the rake is taken is through a fixed percentage of the pot. This is usually taken on a sliding scale, with a capped maximum amount that can be removed from the pot regardless of its size. This is known as pot rake, and it is taken directly from the pot.

In a live casino, the dealer manually removes chips from the pot while the hand is being played and sets them aside to be dropped into a secure box after the completion of the hand. When playing online, the rake is taken automatically by the game software.

Fixed Amount Regardless of Pot Size

Another way that the rake can be taken is through a fixed amount, regardless of the size of the pot. This is known as a dead drop and is collected by the dealer before any cards are dealt. This is much less common in functioning card rooms.

Time Collection Rake

Time collection is another method of taking the rake, where a set fee is collected every half-hour during the game. This form of rake is collected in one of two ways: either through a set amount from each player or from the first pot over a certain amount.

Tournament Rake

In poker tournaments, the rake is collected as an entrance fee. This may be displayed as part of the buy-in or as a separate fee.

Monthly Subscription

Finally, some online cardrooms charge a monthly subscription fee and do not rake individual pots or tournaments.

Benefits of Rakes

The rake is an important source of income for the cardroom and helps to pay for operating costs, such as salaries, rent, taxes, and other expenses. The rake also helps to create a healthy competitive environment, as players are incentivized to play more hands in order to increase their chances of winning. Finally, the rake helps to keep the game fair, as it prevents any one player from having an unfair advantage over the others.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, a rake is a fee taken by a cardroom operating a poker game. It is usually calculated as a percentage of the pot in each poker hand, with a small portion of the pot taken out up to a certain limit. The rake is an important source of income for the cardroom and helps to pay for operating costs, such as salaries, rent, taxes, and other expenses. The rake also helps to create a healthy competitive environment, as players are incentivized to play more hands in order to increase their chances of winning. Finally, the rake helps to keep the game fair, as it prevents any one player from having an unfair advantage over the others.

Written by

Matt E.

I've been immersed in the world of poker since 2003. Poker is hard. It has undoubtedly been a roller coaster of experiences for me over the years. My poker journey spans from playing at .01/.02 NL tables to engaging in intense sessions at $5/$10. Poker isn't just a game to me—it's a passion. Outmaneuvering opponents in this test of mental strength and strategy offers an unparalleled thrill. To deepen my understanding of the game and to assist others, I initiated this blog. It aims to elucidate the ever-evolving technologies, strategies, and legal landscapes of poker, especially in the online realm. We're now in the age of solvers, but both online and live poker continue to thrive. A quick visit to a local $1/3 game would be ample evidence of its vitality. Regardless of your proficiency level, from novice to expert, I hope my blog posts offer you valuable insights. Feel free to engage with me through messages or by commenting on my posts. Cheers!

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