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Poker Dictionary (106) > Rake

Paying Rake in Online Poker

The 'rake' in online poker s a fee or commission charged by the poker room for hosting the game. Poker rooms don't have an interest in who wins games - if they did there would be fingers getting pointed! In cash games they take small contributions in each hand played from each player. Online this is usually between 2-4% of the pot, so every pot of £100, the house would take between £2 and £4. In live card rooms, it can be considerably higher, often between 5-10%.

In tournaments there is a fee that goes along the entry amount that contributes to the pot. The amount is usually 10% so a $20 tournament online would have a fee of $2 and would be represented like this: $20 + $2, where the $20 goes to the prize pool and $2 to the house.

This is the way that card rooms and casinos make money through poker. Instead they would take this predetermined amount from each pot or the fee on the tournament entry. The money generated pays for the maintenance and the set up to host the game. In a live environment, the rake pays in part for the dealers.

In a casino, the rake is usually taken from the pot, so they would manually remove chips for the house. This isn't the only way in which rake can be taken. it can also be taken through time collection (every X hours a fee is collected from each player), Dead drop in which an additional fee is put next to the dealer button (by the player on the button) and tournament entry fees. Before playing in any card room, regardless of whether it's online or not, you should check out the rake amount that will be charged. It will be represented as a percentage of the total pot.

The reason for knowing the rake is that you should be using this to work out your rake leakage. For example, if you play 10 double up games and win 5, lose 5, you will be at a loss as you will have contributed a tournament fee against each game. This means to stay profitable you would need to win at least 6 out of the 10.

How does Rakeback Work?

Rakeback is a fairly new concept in which card rooms allow players to earn some of the rake they contribute back. Of course, players will have to play to play and earn this. Rakeback can be as high as 40% in some places so it's well worth looking into.

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