Rake

  • Rake is a percentage of each postflop pot in cash games that is taken by the house or site as a fee for playing there. Buy-ins for tournament style games are usually raked too and taken as a percentage of the buy-in fee on top. Rake is usually capped to a maximum amount in relation to the maximum buy-in or the potsize.
    Rake is the form players pay for their priviledge to play in a game of poker and can be seen as the fee paid for playing.

    In cash games each postflop pot is raked according to its size until a certain cap. Preflop pots are usually rake free to give incentive to play more due to better odds without the house already taking a piece of the profit. The rake in cash games is always taken out of the pot so effectively all players in the pot contributed to it, but in the end the winner has to pay it from the pot they were scooping.

    In tournaments the rake is deducted or better added on to the buy-in price of the tournament as a blanket fee for all hands played in the tournament. It is usually 5 to 15 percent of the buy-in value.

    In live poker sometimes the cash game is raked by time played, meaning instead of raking the pots, the house is taking a scheduled fee every 30 minutes or every hour from each player dealt-in.

    Rake is always a critical topic in poker due to the nature of cutting into the winnings of poker players, but also being the only stream of revenue for the operators. With online poker numbers declining the profit margin for operators has shrunken with less cash-in revenue and so the rake was increased by most operating companies to the negative of the players, either by slashing rakeback numbers or straight up increasing the rake. This is a controversial debate between players and operators in regards to the long term conservation of the business of online poker.

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