Poker Rake Explained
If you are a non poker player, a rake for you is probably something which you use in your garden to rake in leaves or debris. In poker, rake has a similar function. When the game came into being decades ago, a small rake was used to collect chips on the poker table. As the game evolved and began developing a language and vocabulary of its own, rake came to be known as more than just an implement on the table. The term is used to denote the fees that casinos charge from their players. Some percentage of the pot in every game goes to the casino. Usually, it is between 3% and 5%. Rake is cut from the flop pot. Usually, no cuts are made from the ensuing chips which are poured into the game.
Further on, the concept of poker rake got more complicated and a lot of factors came to influence it. New methods of calculating the rake were developed. Terms and conditions came into being. In some casinos, rake is not charged in every hand. In others, the percentage of rake varies from one round to another. The kind of game being played is another consideration while calculating poker rakes. For example, rakes in Texas Hold’em poker differs from Stud Poker or any other kind of format. There are several such factors that influence rake percentage.
One of the first kinds of raking methods used by casinos was dealt rake. In this method, the rake which was paid was divided equally among all players depending on their bets. In other words, rake was not proportional or disproportional to the bet. This crude method was further refined and the present method of weighted contribution was formed. As per this ideology, a player who bets more loses more rake to the casino when compared to a player who bets less. Although there were arguments regarding this non-uniform raking method, people realized that the method is good for the overall game and fair on the bettors as well. However, there is a section of poker players that argues that this kind of uneven raking is intended to solely increase the profits of the casino and for short term revenues. Nevertheless, this is one of the most common raking methods employed in most of the casinos.
The latest method of raking is called Essence. According to this method, rake depends on the players’ performance and betting scenario. It can also be said that the method depends on the possible outcome of the game. Rake is higher for people who play against players who are better than them. So, if a weak player plays with a strong player, rake is higher for the weak player than for the stronger player. At the outset, this system does seem unjust. However, this has one major advantage. In these days of rake backs, weaker players get more money as rake backs at the end of the month and hence, have more money to play longer. Rake backs are offered by almost every casino in the range of 20% to 50% of the rake contributed by the player. This concept is used by casinos and their affiliates to draw large number of people who either lack skills or do not wish to play for high stakes. Essence form of calculating rakes is used only in bwin.com.
Rake has now been turned into an advantage by casinos and is aimed at bringing more recreational players to play on their sites since casinos consider these players to be potential gold mines. With changing mindsets and playing scenarios of poker players, different kinds of raking techniques are being evolved by various casinos. All these methods are open source methods and can be adopted by any casino.