How Does Rake Work on Online Poker Sites

Posted By: Date: 03/08/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

The best way to describe the rake at an online poker room is by comparing it to paying taxes. When the government takes a portion of our hard earned pay, it is used to fund the country’s expenses. When an online poker room takes a rake, it is used to fund the operations of the web site and, of course, initiate a profit for the owners of the online poker room. 

Outside of the risk/reward factor, internet poker is nothing like casino gambling. When gambling in a casino, online or otherwise, you are playing against the “house”. If the house wins, it profits. In poker, players are competing against one another. There is no profit in it for the people running the poker tables. That is where the rake comes in.

Poker rake is a small percentage of each pot taken by the operator. The cost of operation for an online poker room is significantly lower than that of a live poker room. Online sites don’t have huge utility bills and a lengthy payroll to dish out to the dealers or wait staff. Thus an online poker rake is routinely much lower than the rake at a land based poker room.

How Rake is Calculated – Each online poker site has its own rake structure. There are two major aspects that will affect the rake of any given hand. The first is the stakes of the game, second is the number of players at the table. Each level of stakes will have its own percentage of rake to be taken, dependent upon the number of players, and a specific cap on how much can be raked from a single hand.

For example, Poker.com will collect a 5% rake ($0.05 per $1 in the pot) capped at $0.50 at any fixed limit table of $1/$2 or below where there are 2 players active. If there are 3-10 players at the table, the rake percentage is the same, but the cap doubles to $1 max rake. The highest rake taken by any online poker room for a single hand is, on average, $3, going as high as $5 at some sites.

No Flop, No Drop – Every online poker site shares one common rule in the terms of its rake. It is called the “No Flop, No Drop Policy”, and it means that any hand that does not proceed far enough to see a flop will not be raked by the poker site. In essence, if every player folds, leaving the last active player to take the pot pre-flop, 100% of that pot goes to the player without a rake taken out.

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