You may have wondered how casinos, poker rooms and online poker sites make their money. They do not charge you to play or sign up so if you are new to the game, then you may not have heard of the poker rake.
What is a poker rake?
A poker rake is a set fee that a casino/poker room/ site charges for the privilege of you playing there. This is how casinos/poker rooms and poker sites make most of their money.
What are the different types of poker rake?
Tournament rake – if you are playing in an online tournament you can see what the site is charging you for the privilege of being able to play. It is generally 10% of your buy in and is usually signified by a plus sign after the buy in. For instance, a $10 tournament will normally charge $1, which is why you will often see $10 + $1.
If you are playing a tournament at a casino or card room, they may charge you a side fee like the sites. However, it is more likely they will take a cut of the entry fee so you never actually see them take a rake. If you want to know how much they take just ask. They probably will not advertise it, but it is your right to know what they are taking.
Cash rake – cash rakes are much harder to calculate. However, you do not need to worry as the site, casino or card room will do it for you. In most cases, casino/card room rakes are higher than sites because they have larger overheads. In a card room, you should be expecting to pay roughly 5-10% per hand capped at a few pounds.
When you play online you tend to see the rake in a side pot every hand so you can see how much they are charging. Most sites cap their rake between $2-3 on the lower stakes games and $5 on the higher stakes games. On average, they rake between 3-5% per hand.
Pokerstars offer very competitive poker rake charges and have the biggest variety of poker games on offer online. If you are not already a customer of Pokerstars you can also get $20 free to play with by signing up using the link below.