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How do Casinos Make Money on Poker?




How do Casinos Make Money on Poker

Casinos make money on almost everything they offer, why’d someone offer something that won’t generate them money? The BlackJack, Slots, and any other game that you play, is you against the House and the house always has the edge in the long run and they won’t lose any money in the end. but in poker, you are not playing against the casinos and there is no house edge. So, how do casinos make money on poker; when they are not even taking part in it?

For this, you should be aware of the RAKE, and without the understanding of this term, which is the basic block of the poker money generation system you can’t understand the ways of generating money from poker.

What is Rake in Poker?

How do Casinos Make Money on Poker

The Poker Rake

Rake in easy words is commission, it is taken to cover the operating costs and of course, to make some extra profit for the casino because you offer the players on the poker table your services. The entry fee or the buy-in-cost in the poker terms as well as the dealing of the poker chips the Casinos makes money on poker. You need to know about the pot where the dealer drops a percentage and earns money.

The percentage of the money that the casino keeps is taken from all game pots.

The Basics of the Poker Rake

A novice doesn’t get into the details of it but the perfectionist person wants to learn more about what they are doing and that is how you will win in poker, lets understand the Rake because without knowing how the casino generates money from poker you ain’t going to become a pro.

How Is Poker Rake Collected

The collection of the rake can be done in 3 ways.

Pot Rake

It is the most common way of collecting the poker rake. It is between 3% to 10% of the pot in each hand and its maximum amount is conveyed before the start of the game.

A set amount of rake may be taken from the pot regardless of how big the pot is in some card rooms.

If you raise before the flop and beat the blinds, you win the entire pot at some cardrooms so long as you don’t take any rake until after the flop. Using this strategy, no flops, no drops occur.

Timed Rake

Timed Rake is a fee that is collected from the players by the casinos to make money on poker every 30 minutes during the game. This can be done in two ways:

  1. A predetermined amount t is collected from each player.
  2. A set amount is collected from the first pot after a certain amount is reached.

Dead Drop

An amount is kept with the dealer in a poker rake on each hand and the dealer has to collect them before any more cards are dealt on the poker table.

You need to remember one thing about the rake, it is very important to learn about it if you are serious about winning money in poker don’t just learn about the poker rake to know how casinos make money on poker but make use of it to win money in poker.

Cash Game

In the cash game, the rake is taken from all the pots and then it is handed over to the winner. Most casinos prefer the percentage to be fixed between 3% to 10% from the total number of pots, but mostly the casinos are generous in this regard and will take a percentage between 3 to 5.

Then there is another rule of the maximum rake, the casinos define it at the start of the game and tell you that we are allowed to take this much from an individual pot and beyond that, we will stop taking the percentage.

There are casinos where this maximum limit or the cap is not there but we prefer to play the capped matches because the non capped matches will make your pockets empty at the end of the night as the element of risk is too much secondly you will be paying the casino their rake or their service charges more than you would in a non-cap game of poker.

How do casinos make big money on poker? By trying to market the non-cap game, let’s look at this example.

The Cap of game one is $10 and the percentage of the rake is set to 5%, so the maximum you will pay from each pot is just $10 but in contrast to this if you were playing a game with no cap or no maximum amount then you will have to pay 3 times the amount you were paying, for example, your pot has $600 worth of chips in it then the rake you pay will be $30.


You should be aware of the fact that the small limit games can’t surpass the benefits of the higher limit ones because of the negative impacts on the rake.

For example in a game of $1/$2 the percentage of the rake will be more than 5%. In other words, it is a very high cap, but in the higher limit tables, this is less than 3% and is lower than the stakes. From a business perspective, this may seem unfair to small-stakes players, but it’s not hard to understand why. The game still needs a constant dealer presence, whether you’re playing with $2 or $100 blinds.

So at the end of the day to make it feasible for themselves the casinos will take a higher rake from small-time players or small limit players because they can’t go into the loss and the high stake players can’t be neglected because at the end of the day the casinos make more money on poker from these high limit tables.

Buy-in – Tournaments

These are completely different from cash games as the chips are being competed on by the players to outlast their competition to win the tournament. The chips have not been assigned any face value thus the rake taken from the tournaments by the casinos is different. So, how do casinos make money from poker tournaments?

The rake in the poker tournaments is paid beforehand or in poker terms, it is called the buy-in. You have to pay this amount as an entry fee. It can range from $110-$150 in small-time tournaments.

For example, a casino is arranging a tournament of $200, then they will set the buy-in at $220. the extra dollars they take from you is their commission for arranging the tournament for you and as well as cover the expenses.

Is the Buy-in similar in online and live casinos?

No, it can’t be the same. The extra money they charge from you, like the $20 is in the above example is not the same in both. In online casinos, fewer resources are required so the buy-in is a bit cheaper than the brick and mortar casinos.

Poker Rake Is Not the Only Way to Make Money

The main thing the rake does for the majority of the casinos is to save them from incurring losses and remain at the balance point, where the profit is not made but also loses are not incurred. If the rakes make the casino break even while organizing a poker event, then how do casinos make money on poker?

The main target of the casinos is to bring a crowd. The casinos are not exclusively for games there are other luxury offerings such as food, drinks, and beyond that. And not everyone is coming for poker in the crowd, some would want to play slots, blackjack, and the other games, where the house edge makes the casinos a lot of money.

The Conclusion

After knowing the model of money-making and how casinos make money from this model. You should be able to make your strategies accordingly. A lower stake game, the rake percentage is more, a different strategy than the strategy you will employ for a high stake game, where the rake percentage is more.

Go on and research more about this, learn more; the ins and outs of all this, and above all make some money and be the king of poker on the night.