Poker news | Jul 01, 2021
What is Poker Rake?
By RTR Dennis
What is Poker Rake?
Online poker sites make their money by automatically taking a cut of each pot played. This is called the 'Rake', also known as dead drop when players all pay the same amount to the pot. The House takes an entry fee to cover its costs of providing you with the software and poker game, and of course to make a profit too. Now you know about it, you’ll notice it disappearing from pots (usually only when a flop is seen). Some poker rooms have a 'no flop, no drop' policy, this means if not flop is seen, then there will be no fixed fees to pay.
Beside the regular Rake that is taken out of the pot, there might be an additional % of Rake that is taken to feed a jackpot that you can play for. Standard Rakes are usually a small percentage of the amount in the pot, capped at a certain fixed dollar limit. Typically, it is 5% pot rake. Often this is capped at $3/€3/£3 but some poker sites offer no cap. So even playing just a couple of hours a day can soon accumulate and become a large amount of rake paid. And you could be paying tens of thousands of $$$ a year in rake!
Why do you have to pay Rake?
So you can claim Rakeback of course, some online poker rooms offer a percentage of your rake paid back when playing! But seriously the Rake is the only way that the house (host casino) earns money directly on Poker. The house is not wagering on the outcome of the game, so it has no vested interest in any particular result. Plus, it does not have the “house advantage” that it typically has in other forms of gambling (e.g. Blackjack, where you bet against the house/dealer, but they have a statistical advantage). Therefore, the use of Rake is primarily revenue that is going to the casino from players playing poker games such as Texas Hold em. A part of it is used to maintain and develop the poker software you are using, and another % will be reinvested in marketing, attracting new poker players to make deposits.
How is Rake Calculated?
There are a few different methods that an online card rooms use to calculate how much you have to pay in rake;
If you are dealt cards in a hand then you are deemed to have contributed to the pot and therefore you are allocated an equal share of the rake taken. This is regardless of whether you fold straight away or not. If for example the rake taken on a particular table is $3 and there are six of you playing, then your rake consideration is $0.50.
Examples: Party, PokerStars
You simply get allocated the weighted proportion of the pot that you contributed, this could be on cash games and tournaments. For example, if the pot was $60, the rake taken is $3. If you put in $2 then your rake consideration is (2/60 * $3) or $0.10.
Examples: Unibet Poker
Real Player Value
RPV is a method of calculating player value based on the set amount of net deposits that a player makes, in addition to the rake and fee generated at cash tables and poker tournaments. Usually RPV is made up of 50% gross rake and 50% source based rake. There is no exact equation to calculate this. It is worked out directly by the rooms using various algorithms and some smoke and mirrors too probably!
Examples: Betfair, Bet365, PaddyPower
What is poker rakeback?
Rakeback is when you, the player, get a percentage of the rake that you have paid given back to you as cashback. Note this is nothing to do with your winnings of losses. It’s purely dependent on the rake you have contributed to the table. Sometimes you can get that Rakeback directly from the room and sometimes it can some from an affiliate like us who refer players to the poker room or even reduced rake when playing online.
Players can get up to 80% of their rake money returned to them through a rakeback affiliate like RakeTheRake.