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Expected Value (EV) Calculations

High Rake Makes Poker Games Unbeatable

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High Rake Poker Games

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What is Rake in Poker?

Rake is a fee charged by a casino to cover its operational expenses. Casinos always collect rakes, whether you are playing cash games or tournaments.

Types of Rake

Pot Rake: One common strategy is to calculate a percentage (usually between 2.5% and 10%) of the total amount in the pot for every round, up to a maximum limit.Some cardrooms may charge a fixed rake fee, independent of the pot size. Using the "no flop, no drop," the rake is not taken until the flop is dealt.

Time Collection: Usually used in higher-stakes games, time collection is a set fee collected every half-hour. The payment method can be decided by the time pot, which pays out of the first pot that surpasses a predetermined amount, or player time, which pays out to each player individually.

Dead Drop: Before handling any cards, a set amount of rake is put on the dealer button.

Impact of High Rake

Remember, more rake is unsuitable for players; it eats into your potential earnings. So, let’s explore how it affects your game:

Reduced Player Winnings: Every dollar taken out as a rake lowers the amount of money that players can win. Even the best poker players may find it challenging to be profitable in high-raked games as player winnings steadily decline.

Increased Variance: Poker as a game involves a certain level of unpredictability. Having a high rake adds to the expense of every hand. Players find it increasingly challenging to achieve a profitable outcome, resulting in increased variance and putting players with limited bankrolls in jeopardy.

Stifling of Small Edges: Skilled poker players rely on small edges to increase their winnings. However, long-term consistent earnings may be difficult when the rake is high. It presents a severe obstacle to players dependent on small edges and tactical play.

Strategic Adjustments for High-Raked Games

Consider the below points to reduce the impact of high rake:

Hand Selection: Be more selective with the hands you choose to play. The cost of a rake reduces the lure of speculative hands.

Bigger Pots: Strategically targeting larger pots can help you maximize your profits. Since the rake is usually capped, bigger pots don't cost more.

Short-Handed vs. Full-Ring Games: Since the rake of each hand is less in short-handed games, they may be more profitable.

No-Limit vs. Limit Games: While limit games have a smaller rake compared to the pot size, no-limit games allow for greater creativity.

Examples of High Rake in Action

Micro-Stakes Online Poker

Several online poker sites charge a fixed rake percentage, irrespective of the stakes involved. This percentage may be exceptionally high in micro-stakes games.

For instance, the $0.10 (10%) rake reduces a player's profits to just $0.90 when they win a $1 pot. Given the low stakes, the rake percentage is shockingly high, which presents a significant obstacle for players hoping to profit.

Live Casino Poker

Some live casinos charge their rake structure more on a time charge than a pot percentage. For example, players might be charged $10 an hour to play at a table.

When a player wins $15 on average every hour, the $10 time charge is deducted. Their effective hourly rate is now just $5, which lessens the rewards of grinding.


Winning poker players understand how rake works and adjust their strategy appropriately.
To optimize earnings, you must monitor rake percentages closely, choose which games to play, and change your playing style. Rake will be unavoidable, but you can significantly improve your win rate by making optimal decisions.


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