What’s A Rake In Poker: All You Need to Know! 

whats a rake in poker

When it comes to the intricate world of poker, you might have heard of the word “rake” at some point around the table. Every passionate poker player must know the significance this word holds and how it influences the dynamics of any game. Rake is a small part of the winnings; in this comprehensive guide, let us discuss the various types of rake, how rake affects poker games, the role of rake in the poker ecosystem, comparing rake across different poker rooms and different strategies for minimising rake impact. Let’s dive deeper into the details of what a rake is and what you need to know about it!

What’s a rake in poker?


As you might already know, in poker, players wager against each other rather than against the house; thus, it is purely a player-vs-player game. Therefore, the question remains: how do casinos generate revenue?  ‘Rake’ is the way to go. Casinos generate essential income through rake to offset the costs of stimulating the game.  

So next time you are at a live game in a casino courtroom, notice that the dealer always takes a  few chips and sets them aside. That is the commission fee taken from each hand played by the house. In poker terms, this fee is called ‘rake’ and facilitates the poker room and its operations.  

There are diverse types of rakes, each having its means of collection; let us have a glance at  each:  

1. Pot Rake  

This is the most common and simplest form of rake. In this form, the dealer merely takes a small percentage from the pot on behalf of the house, typically restricted to a predetermined amount.

2. Time Collection  

It is also called a ‘time charge’. In this method, players pay a set fee regardless of the number of hands played for every hour spent at the table.  

3. Dead Drop 

Unlike the more common methods mentioned above, dead drop involves charging a fixed fee from specific positions at the table, typically the button position. This method streamlines rake collection while maintaining a steady and efficient revenue flow without disrupting the natural flow of gameplay.  

4. Tournament Fee  

While other cash games involve extracting money from each hand, in a tournament setting, a certain portion of the buy-in contributes to the prize pool and the rake. Understanding this method is essential for estimating the value of participation.  

Also Read: What Are Nuts In Poker? (Meaning, Advantages & How To Use)


Deduction in winnings  

The most apparent impact of rake is the direct reduction of profit. With each hand, a portion of the pot is signed off, ultimately reducing the prize you will take home.  

influencing strategies 

Rake majorly influences your strategic moves at the table. If the rake structure is high, you must adopt tighter playing styles; similarly, lower rakes call for aggressive and speculative plays.  

Long term impact 

It would be best to be careful when it comes to long-term success in poker, as over time, even smaller rake amounts can add up to heftier losses.  



1. Revenue Generation  

Rake collection is how poker rooms operate. The rake pays for rent, staff salaries, and other miscellaneous expenses.  

2. Finding the right balance  

It is crucial for poker rooms to find the appropriate balance when charging rake so that they can make a good profit without driving players away with large rake amounts.  

3. Impact on the Poker Industry  

Rake assists in funding events, tournaments and promotions to keep up with the excitement and attract players.    


The rake charges vary across different online sites and poker rooms, affecting how players might feel about the overall experience. Factors like how rake is collected, how much is collected, and bonuses differ from platform to platform, making a significant difference in where you decide to play and try your luck.  

Rake Structures and Calculations 

To grasp the impact of rake on your profitability and gameplay, you must understand how it is calculated and structured. Some common ways used to calculate rake are listed below:  

  • Percentage of pot: A small percentage, usually 2-5%, is taken as a rake; this percentage can differ depending on poker room policies or the stakes being played.  
  • Capped Rake: To avoid extreme rake amounts, certain poker rooms set a maximum amount to be taken per hand. Thus, the rake remains proportionate to the pot size.  

Also Read: What Beats What In Poker? Poker Hand Rankings Explained


Strategies for minimizing rakes impact

Comparing and understanding various platforms’ rake structures, policies, percentages, and caps will help you make informed judgments and strategies. 

Don’t forget to make the most of the available loyalty programs and rake backs to reduce the negative impact of rake. Periodically assess and optimise your participation in such a program to take advantage of it.  

Choosing stakes and games where you have a higher edge than the rake being taken will minimise the impact on your profitability. You need to strategise and invest in games where the rake is lower than the amount you can win and take home.  


Rake is an essential factor in poker that directly influences a player’s profitability. Implementing appropriate strategies and understanding how rake works will help you master your gameplay. Comparing rake policies, leveraging rake programs, and adapting your plan according to the stakes will help you optimise your earnings. With the right consideration, you’ll be able to minimise and manage the impacts of rake and use it to your advantage. 

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