What is Rake?
Rake is the money that card-rooms and casinos take from poker players in order to keep the poker room running, and to turn a profit.
Poker players generally think of Rake as a kind of “small administration fee” for card-rooms and casinos to play their dealers and make profit.
In most cash-game hands (generally when 2 or more players see a flop), and for poker tournament entry, the house takes a small administration fee known as “rake” from the pot, or from the player when registering from a tournament.
In each cash-game hand, “rake” is collected from the pot (a small % of the pot – capped at a specific $ amount) and kept by the house. Similarly when players enter poker tournaments they pay an additional entry fee (the rake) to enter the tournament.
Cash game Poker Rake
Poker rooms and casinos deduct a small % of money from each pot that is won (generally only if a flop is seen) – this is known as cash-game “rake”.
The rake percentage taken by poker card-rooms in cash games varies widely in land-based card-rooms and casinos, in illegal / private games, and also online.
If you play online poker the rake at micro-stakes and small stakes is generally a much higher proportion of the pot than it is at mid-stakes or high stakes – effectively making it tougher for micro-stakes poker players to build their poker bankrolls online – as “beating the rake” is tougher.
Tournament poker rake
When you buy in to a sit-and go (SNG), multi-table tournament (MTT) or a poker satellite tournament (a qualifier tournament which awards tickets to winners for a larger buy-in tournament) – the buy-in is usually represented as two numbers – eg $10+1
the first number refers to the part of your buy-in which goes into the prize-pool, to be shared among those who make it ITM (in the money). The second number is the tournament rake taken by the house. In tournament poker generally the rake for 1 buy-in is around 10 to 12% of the total buy-in amount.
A $10+1 tournament with 100 players would generate $100 in rake for the card-room – resulting in a tournament with a total prize-pool of $1000.
What is Rakeback?
Rakeback is something that can make a huge difference to the profitability of poker players – especially online. Essentially poker rakeback is a refund of a portion of the rake which has been collected by the house (the card-room or casino running hte poker games) from a player over a given time period.
With a poker rakeback deal in place, poker players can receive a refund of very significant percentages of the rake which they have contributed to the poker room in a given week, or month.
A Rakeback offer might offer rakeback from 20% to 40%, however but sometimes players can get an even better offer, especially when combined with bonuses and promotions.
If you rake $1000 in one month, you will get $350 back with a 35% Rakeback deal.
The more you rake, the more you get back. For high volume players profit from rakeback can add up to thousands of $/€ annually.
Are there ‘under the table’ Rakeback deals that feature good value?
Some under the table deals out there, but be extremely wary : These deals often turn out to be scams. Because they are not official deals, the party who gives you such a deal does so on the basis of an informal mutual agreement, (meaning neither party carries any responsibility in a setup like this whatsoever, and the party offering the rakeback deal may back out at any time.
Can I get Rakeback on my existing account on poker site X?
Unfortunately you probably can’t. There are poker rooms though that will convert your existing account to a rakeback account under the right circumstances. Contact us about any such move you intend to make, and we’ll will do our negotiate with the poker room on your behalf.
I heard about cashback. Is that the same as rakeback?
From the player’s perspective it is. From the poker room’s perspective it’s not. Rooms that had a network-wide policy against rakeback offered cashback as an alternative in the past, however this practice is not very common.
How do I get the money I earn through rakeback?
Poker rooms usually transfer the amount due automatically into your poker account on the last day of the month (however some poker rooms pay rakeback in the middle of the month, or weekly)
If the transfer is not automatic (it usually is), the money may be transferred via Neteller or via direct poker room deposit.
Some sites pay out rakeback in crypto (usually Bitcoin), which is paid into your player account and can be transferred to a hardware wallet or crypto exchange.