What is Rake in Poker?

As you may have guessed, in this article we will examine an overlooked question in the game of poker an poker rake to be more exact.

Poker Rake?
Poker Rake?

Just what is rake in poker? How does it affect the players and the game?

Read on to find out more about this and to learn more about the best online poker sites with the lowest rake in the world.

The rules of the game

Before we look at what rake is in poker, we should quickly revise our knowledge of the game.

The rules of poker are very simple, although there are many versions of the game.

In arguably the most popular form, Texas hold ’em, players must first buy-in to play.

Then they are dealt a hand, typically of two cards. Betting then takes place between each new card landing on the table, from the first three (the flop) up until the final amount of five (the river).

Players aim to make certain combinations of matching cards or suits and out bet each other in the process.

The winner is the player with the strongest hand. Examples include three-of-a-kind or a straight flush.

The winner then collects the pot of total bets.

So, what is rake?

In the following paragraph, we will look at the nature and meaning of rake in poker.

Rake can have implications for the player during and after the game, so it is wise to be aware of the meaning of rake.

To briefly summarize, the rake is the name given to the amount of money taken by the card room that operates each poker game.

Generally, this commission fee is a scaled amount. It usually consists of 2.5 to 10 percent of the total pot in each poker hand, capping off at a specific predetermined amount.

A casino may also take the rake through other non-percentage methods.

Why does the House take the rake?

Poker, as we have seen, is a game that pits player against player. In this way, it differs from other casino games, particularly card-based ones.

For example, in blackjack, or 21 as it is sometimes called, the players are in direct competition against the house.

This means that in any losing hand, the pot goes to the dealer directly.

This is how the house takes its earnings from the game.

In poker, however, the players do not play against the house, and there is no house dealer typically involved in the game.

This is where the rake comes in. By collecting a small percentage of the pot, known as the rake, the house can take its earnings for hosting the game.

Of course, this poses another challenge to the players. In order to win when the house takes a share, each player must outdo opponents, as well as the financial cut levied by the rake.

This adds a new challenge to the game.

What is the purpose of the rake?

You may wonder why the house collects the rake at all. There is a reason, though.

Running a casino, be it online or brick and mortar, carries a certain level of maintenance costs.

Online, this might include operational fees, such as software, support, and licensing.

Offline, this will include the overheads of dealers’ wages as well as the price of renting or maintaining the casino site itself.

Therefore, the casino charges the rake as a way to cover the various costs of hosting the game.

But can I avoid the rake?

Even with this practical knowledge, the rake may still seem a little unfair.

You may be thinking, “Why should the house take the winnings that I earned? After all, I won them through my skill and good fortune!”

There are certain card rooms that do not collect a rake in a poker game, such as Texas hold ’em.

This is usually the case when there is no flop to a hand. In gaming terms, this is known as ‘no flop, no drop’.

You can always seek out these games if you want to avoid the rake.

Poker sites with Rakeback

Some poker operators offer players a form of loyalty bonus that is the opposite of rake, namely rakeback.

As it sounds, it simply means that the operator gives back some of his “Rake” to us as players.

For example, at the time of writing, William Hill offers up to 64% in rakeback to its poker players and Redkings up to 30% in rakeback!


We have now examined the nature of and the reasons for the rake. As with all casino games, and card-based games in particular, it pays to know the ins and outs of the rules and costs.

Knowing the rake that the house claims from each pot in a game of poker can be a game-changing fact.

So when you next find yourself in a game of poker, such as Texas hold ’em, remember this.

Keep it in mind with your strategies during the game. You might just find it gives you the advantage you need.

Last but not least, why not choose a poker operator who gives back some of his rake to you as a player?

Rake FAQ

What is rake in poker?

Rake is part of the pot that the house takes when playing poker online.

How much Rake does the house take?

A decent poker operator takes between 2.5% and 10% of the pot at each game round.

If you come across poker operators that charge more than that, we recommend that you do not play there.

Which poker operator offers the lowest rake?

William Hill has the lowest percentage of all secure online poker clients. Their rake is 6.67% at tables with a maximum of 25 players.