What is Rake in Poker and How Casino Calculates It

It is important to figure out what is rake in poker before you head to the casino. Due to the rising popularity of poker throughout Malaysia (and even around the world), more casinos are adding poker rooms for both cash games and tournaments. 

They need to make money somehow and they do so by adding a rake in poker. In this article, we will discuss what rake is and how the amount of rake a casino will take can affect your bankroll substantially.

Rake in Poker Meaning

What is Rake in Poker Actually?

If you have ever wondered how casinos make money on poker, the answer is that they charge a rake in cash games and poker tournaments. In other words, what is rake in poker, it is important a portion of winnings the host takes from cash poker games to offset the costs of facilitating the game. 

If you have ever played live games in a casino, you might have noticed the dealer taking the chips out of the pot and setting them aside. Yes, that is the casino’s rake. In traditional land-based casinos, the rake is commonly used to pay staff salaries as well as pay for the equipment and overhead. 

For the best online casino Malaysia, the rake will cover site operational costs like support and software. In almost every poker game, whether it’s played online or live, there will be a rake; the exact amount varies from game to game. 

Furthermore about what is rake in poker, a scale in cash games usually runs between 5 – 10% with a capped maximum for each hand. Meanwhile, the tournament rakes are commonly 5 – 20% of the buyin.

When casinos take a rake in both cash games or tournaments, they will take their cut to pay the dealers, casino staff, gaming equipment, the operational costs, and of course for winning. 

How Do Casinos Calculate the Rake in Poker?

After understanding what is rake in poker, you must be also wondering how the casinos calculate it. Well, there are multiple ways for them to calculate and collect rakes. Here they are you should know:

1. Time Collection

This is raising the popularity of what is rake in poker, a player-friendly way of paying rake that is commonly used for higher-stakes games in places where it is not legal to collect the rakes. 

At the best live casino Malaysia, the MYR 10/20 Pot Limit Omaha game usually charges a rake of MYR 14 every 30 minutes, which is actually an expensive rake fee in comparison to raked pots. 

2. Fixed Fee

This type of rake that is cost per hand which doesn’t change regardless of the pot size. Unfortunately, it is quite uncommon in today’s casino industry. 

3. Pot Rake

To know more about what is rake in poker, this is the most common type of rake that you will see at poker cash games. The percentage of every pot is taken out here. The amount is typically between 5% and 10% and is generally capped at a certain amount. 

If your poker game or casino has either a higher percentage or uncapped rake, we highly suggest that you stop playing that game. Most casinos will also not take a rake when the hand doesn’t make it to the flop in poker. 

4. Dead Drop Rake

This type of rake is similar to the fixed fee rake which is also quite rare. The player on the button will pay the set cost for each hand before the cards are dealt when there is a dead drop rake. 

5. Tournament Rake

As you already know what is rake in poker, the poker tournaments advertise a tournament buyin that includes a fixed rake that typically ranges between 5% – 20% of the entry fee. On the other hand, online poker tournament rakes almost always hit 10%. 

Thi fee percentage tends to drop as the buyin will get higher as it typically costs about the similar to run a tournament of the same size field, regardless of the buyin size. Moreover, the high roller tournaments have a rake of as low as 1% and usually reached at 5%. 

An extra percentage can be taken out as a cost to pay the hosts, generally around 3%. Frequently, a MYR 10, 100 tournament will be advertised as a MYR 10,000 + MYR 100 tournament. It means that MYR 100 of the cost is rake. 

How Do Casinos Take the Rake in Poker?

Now, you have understood how casinos will calculate rake in poker. Furthermore, you also have to know how they take the rake, as there are some different ways a casino might take it, depending on the situation, such as:

Live Cash Games

In most live cash games, it is the host’s responsibility to collect the pot rake. As the hand is played, the host or dealer will remove chips from the pot and set them aside. Once the hand is finished, he places the chips in a secure box. This is the important thing you need to know about what is rake in poker. 

Online Games

For online poker games, the rake will be collected automatically by the software. While some gaming software adds the rake amount to the total before paying the winning player the remaining balance, others display the rake amount progressively between betting rounds. 

Less-Common Methods

Uncommon methods of what is rake in poker are dead drops and time collection. A dead drop is when a player in the dealer position makes the rake on the button that is collected by the dealer before the cards are dealt. 

A time collection rake is when a fixed fee is collected at the set intervals, generally every half hour. Moreover, the fee collection can apply to every player or a set amount collected from the pot. 

No Flop, No Drop

Some casinos have what is called a “no flop, no drop” policy that applies to the community card poker games like Texas Holdem and Omaha. In these games of what is rake in poker, when the hand never gets to the flop, no rake will be taken. 

Poker Tournaments

Yes, it is worth remembering that rake generally only uses to the cash games. In poker tournaments, there generally is not a rake during play. Instead, the casinos will collect a percentage of the tournament buyin to offset their fees for hosting the tournament. Generally, this amount is used on the entry fee. 

Final Words

Now that you have got the idea about what is rake in poker, you can make a deep decision on both where and how to play to further maximize your winrate.

In case you are interested in a poker system that minimizes the rake you should pay, our short and mid-stack all about poker strategy will help you do that!


Garuda Casino is the Malaysian independent online gaming authority, providing trusted online casino news, guides, reviews and information.

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