Know the different ways for the house to collect the poker rake

It is a well-known and accepted saying that there is no such thing as a free lunch. People have learned to accept and deal with the fact that utilizing and enjoying something means having to pay for it in some form or another. Sure, public parks are seemingly free and anyone can lie on the benches or picnic on the grass, but these are not actually free, as our taxes pay for their establishment and upkeep. In most cases, people are not averse to paying these charges as long as the benefits they get outweigh the costs.

This is also true for entertainment and gambling, as with the case of the poker rake. In the case of a poker room where the house does not bet, and therefore get the chance to win, against the players, the poker rake is how it makes money as it is the fee that makes up its revenues. This can be a percentage of the pot or a fixed amount, depending on the room rules. It must also be kept in mind that receiving or taking this is illegal, even in private games, without the requisite licenses.

The poker rake may be taken through several ways. The most common way is the pot rake wherein a certain percentage, usually anywhere from 2.5% to 5%, of the pot is kept by the house. This can be taken at the end of each hand before every pay out, or after each wagering round.

There is also the table charge or time collection, which is a fixed charge every specific time interval, say half hour. The collection may be a fixed amount for each player, or a fixed amount from the first pot beyond a limit.

The dead drop is when each player takes turns on paying the rake, usually when he gets the dealer button.

In tournaments, the entrance fee serves as the rake and this is normally mentioned along with the buy-in amount. A similar concept is employed in some online poker portals, where the rake comes in the form of subscription charges.

Not charging rakes has sometimes been used by some sites as a marketing ploy. This can be effective under certain circumstances but is not good for the long-term financial sustainability of the site.

A better way for both parties seems to be the rakeback. This is a loyalty program based on comps points used to encourage continued playing by giving back to the players a portion of what the house has received as rake. This may be a set amount per player or based on their contributions to the total pot.