YOU pay the rake when you play poker

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Wikipedia, please explain the rake to us, thank you.

Rake is the scaled commission fee taken by a cardroom operating a poker game. It is generally 5 to 10 percent of the pot in each poker hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount, but not only can this percentage be anything, there are other non-percentage ways for a casino to take the rake. Some cardrooms will not take a percentage rake in any community card poker game like Texas hold ’em when a hand does not have a flop. This is called “no flop, no drop”.[1] Poker is a player-versus-player game, and the house does not wager against its players (unlike blackjack or roulette), so this fee is the principal mechanism to generate revenues. It is primarily levied by an establishment that supplies the necessary services for the game to take place. In online poker it covers the various costs of operation such as support, software and personnel. In traditional brick and mortar casinos it is also used to cover the costs involved with providing a dealer (though in many places tips provide the bulk of a dealer’s income) for the game, support staff (from servers to supervisors), use of gaming equipment, and the physical building in which the game takes place. To win when playing in poker games where the house takes a cut, a player must not only beat opponents, but also the financial drain of the rake.[2]

I’d like to take a minute to address all the poker newbies, I’ve been playing poker in New York City for only 10 years, that’s really not a long time.  But when I started playing poker in NYC it only cost me $8 per hour to play poker.

Poker is all about the math, so let’s do some math.

  • TIME is $8 per hour * 10 players = $80 per hour * 10 hours = $800 * 30 days = $24,000
    $24,000  is generated each month by one poker table.
    This was back in 2001/2002.  And is still the going rate at many casinos.
  • RAKE is $5 per hand * 40 hands per hour = $200 per hour * 10 hours = $2000 * 30 days = $60,000
    The RAKE generates $60,000  each month from one poker table.
    This is the standard at many $1/$2 casino no-limit games, so basically this is the status quo.*
  • NYC RAKE is $15 per hand * 40 hands per hour = $600 per hour * 10 hours = $6000 * 30 days = $180,000
    OMG *** durka durka *** WTF *** SMA+CMS !!! WTFx2 !!!
    SMA+CMS = smack my ass and call me shirley

I am telling you that a single poker table can fork over six figures of cash each month.

This raises many interesting questions and I will save them for Part 2.  My name is Jeremy Martin.  I have been in the poker industry since 2001.  I am not a fan of what is happening out there, and I want you to know that poker can and SHOULD be done so much better, and with so much more class.

READ The Rake: Part 2

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