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Poker news | Aug 09, 2023

How Do Casinos Make Money on Poker?

By RTR Dennis

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Poker is a classic card game that has found a special place in the hearts of players worldwide. Whether you're seated at a casino table or engaged in online poker, the thrill of the game is undeniable. But have you ever wondered how casinos manage to make money from hosting poker games? In this article, we'll break down the various methods that casinos employ to profit from poker.

Table Games and Casino Games

When it comes to casino games, there are two main categories: games where players face off against the casino (like slots or roulette), and games where players compete against each other. Poker falls into the latter category, known as "player versus player" games. This distinction is important because it shapes how casinos make money from poker.

The Rake: Making Money on Poker

Now, you might wonder, "If players are competing against each other, where does the casino's income come from?" The answer lies in the "rake." Rake in poker is a small fee that casinos take from each pot in a poker game. Imagine the total amount of money in the pot during a poker hand. A small percentage of that total is collected by the casino. This is the casino's way of making money from poker games.

Cash Games and Tournaments

There are two primary formats for playing poker in a casino: cash games and tournaments. Cash games involve players exchanging their money for chips and playing with those chips. In each hand, a small portion of the pot goes to the casino as the rake. Tournaments, on the other hand, require a fixed fee to join. A portion of this fee is used to create the prize pool, while the rest goes to the casino.

Online Poker Sites and Casinos

In today's digital age, you don't have to be physically present at a casino to enjoy poker. Online poker sites have gained immense popularity, offering a convenient way to play poker from the comfort of your home. These online platforms follow a similar revenue model to traditional casinos. They also utilize the rake, ensuring that a fraction of the pot goes to the house, thereby generating income for the platform.

Poker Tournaments and Fixed Fees

Tournaments often include additional options like "rebuys" or "add-ons." These are ways for the casino to increase its earnings. A rebuy allows players to get back into the game if they lose all their chips. An add-on grants players more chips to play with. Each time players opt for a rebuy or add-on, the casino collects extra money.

Why Online Casinos Are Popular

Online poker rooms offered by internet casinos have gained substantial popularity due to their convenience compare to brick and mortar casinos. You can participate in games without leaving your home. Similar to physical casinos, online poker sites generate revenue through the rake. A percentage of each pot goes to the platform, and this accumulation contributes significantly to the casino's income.

Diverse Revenue Streams

Casinos employ diverse strategies to maximize their income from poker. While the primary revenue source is the rake, they also offer additional amenities to players, such as food, drinks, and accommodations. By providing these services, casinos ensure they generate revenue beyond the poker table.

The Impact of Big Games

High-stakes poker games, where significant amounts of money are at stake, can attract both professional players and curious spectators. These games create a buzz and draw attention, ultimately benefiting the casino's revenue. The rake collected from big pots in high-stakes games can contribute substantially to the casino's income. To put it in simple terms, the greater the size of the pot the greater the rake generated.

Creating a Community and Ensuring Loyalty

Casinos recognize the importance of building a sense of community among poker players. Many casinos organize poker leagues and offer rewards programs to foster player loyalty. Regular players are more likely to return to the casino, generating consistent revenue over time.

Leveraging Player Mistakes for Profit

While poker is a game of skill and strategy, players can sometimes make costly mistakes driven by emotion or inexperience. These mistakes contribute to the casino's profits. Poor decision-making, like chasing losses or mismanaging a bankroll, can lead to players losing more money, which benefits the casino.


Casinos use different strategies to make money from poker games. They earn most of their income from the rake, which is a small amount taken from each pot. By knowing how players behave, providing extra services, and building loyalty, casinos can make a steady profit from poker. Players love the game, and casinos take advantage of this by making money and staying popular as places to have fun.