Understanding the Poker Rake: A Key Player in the Game

Imagine being seated at the poker table — virtual felt or real. You're surrounded by a motley crew of players, all of them practicing the best poker faces, as they sit poised and ready to outwit one another. The chips are stacked high, the tension is electrifying. But behind the scenes, there’s another key player in the game that perhaps you haven’t even considered.

What is a Rake in Poker?

So, what exactly is this poker rake we speak of? Well, in short, it’s a fee charged by the casino or poker cardroom to play a poker game.

Think of it as the casino’s way of taking a slice of the action for hosting the game. They need to cover things like operating costs and overheads in order to keep the site or poker room running, so the rake is a commission of sorts that covers all their behind-the-scenes fees.

This skilled maestro works tirelessly backstage to ensure that every game you play runs smoothly and hitch-free.

How is Poker Rake Calculated?

Poker rake is calculated differently depending on the type of poker game you’re playing.

In any poker ring game, for example, the rake is calculated by taking a percentage of the winnings in the pot. A set portion of the pot will go to the house (the cardroom or poker site), and the remainder will stay in the pot. Generally speaking, rake is only applied to ring games.

Rake isn’t applied in poker tournaments, instead there’s a predetermined fee — between 7% and 10% — applied to play in the tournament. It’s similar to rake, but instead, the tournament fee is incorporated into the tournament “buy-in”, or “entry fee”. The poker room will collect a percentage of the tournament buy-in for hosting the tournament. This amount is usually shown on the entry fee. The rest of the buy-in goes back into the prize pool.

The percentage of rake can vary between different poker websites — in poker tournaments for example, it might be as high as 15% of the tournament fee. Or, in ring games, the pot rake could be set at 5% of the total pot winnings.

Most commonly, the pot rake is generally 2.5% to 10% of the pot in each hand, up to a specified maximum amount. This is usually capped to a maximum amount of rake that a poker room can take from a pot.

Some poker sites take a set amount of rake from the pot regardless of size. Some won’t take any rake until the flop is dealt, which means only hands that reach post-flop are eligible to be raked. For example, if you raise pre-flop and take down the blinds without seeing a flop, then you win the entire pot rake-free. That is, no rake will be applied. This is called “no flop, no drop.”


What is Global Poker's Rake?

At Global Poker, the rake is only taken during ring game play. The rake is set to 5% (up to the capped maximum amount detailed on the table below) of the total pot winnings. This cap represents the maximum amount taken (or raked) from the pot. The cap can vary based on the number of players actively seated at the table but is always set to a specific and maximum amount. Therefore, regardless of the size of the pot, the maximum amount taken from the pot is as stated in the table below.


The rake is also only taken after the flop. It is not taken if the hand ends before the flop, following the "no flop, no drop" rule. Therefore, if a player raises pre-flop and everybody folds, no rake will be applied.

How is Rake Collected?

There are various methods for collecting rake, depending on the type of poker game and the platform. Live poker games and online poker games have slight differences, as do tournaments and ring games. Below, we have listed the different types of poker rake:

Pot Rake

Pot rake is the most common type of rake and is usually applied to ring games. It is set to a maximum capped amount. Typically, pot rake ranges from 2.5% to 10% of the pot in each hand, up to a predetermined maximum amount. For example, at Global Poker, the rake is 5%. Referring to the rake table above, in a Sweeps Coin game with 10/20 blinds and 5 active players, the maximum rake collected for that hand would be SC5.5. The rake cap (maximum rake) is based on the blinds and the number of players. If there were only 2 players, the rake would be capped at the 2-player rate, resulting in a maximum rake of SC1.5 for that specific hand.

Pot rake is deducted from the final pot at the end of the hand before it is awarded to the winner.

Time Collection

A time collection fee, also known as "timed rake" or "table charge," is a fixed fee applied to each player before playing at the poker table. No rake is taken from the pot in this case. Instead, each player pays a fee to play for a set period of time. The fee is collected at intervals, such as every 30 minutes or every hour. This fee is separate from the normal collection of rake and is individually applied to each player. The fee amount is typically determined by the poker house.

Table Charge

Table Charge is another type of fee imposed on poker games. It is usually collected by the casino or poker room for hosting the game. The table charge is a fixed amount per table per hour, covering the table cost and dealer wages. Regardless of the number of players, the table charge remains a specific and predetermined amount. The seated players generally agree to split the fee equally among themselves for that hour. Table charge is typically applied to games where no rake is deducted from the pots won.

Dead Drop

Dead Drop is a method of collecting a guaranteed fee for hosting a poker game. Instead of a table charge applied to the entire table, a Dead Drop involves all players at the table agreeing to a fixed rake before the hand is dealt.

In a Dead Drop scenario, a set amount of rake is placed on the dealer button before the cards are dealt. This ensures that the rake is set at a predetermined amount per hand, enabling the house to collect the hourly payment. Unlike a flat table charge divided among all players, the Dead Drop imposes a specific amount for the person on the button per hand. This guarantees that each player at the table contributes the same amount of rake, regardless of the hand outcome.

No Flop, No Drop

Some poker rooms do not apply rake until after the flop has been dealt, following the "no flop, no drop" rule. In other words, if a player raises pre-flop and wins the blinds without seeing a flop, they take the entire pot without any rake deduction.

Poker Tournaments

Rake is typically applied only to ring games. In poker tournaments, there is no set rake during play. Instead, the rake is usually factored into the "buy-in" or "entry fee." This applies to both live and online poker tournaments, and the rake amount is displayed as part of the entry fee. The poker room collects a percentage of the tournament buy-in for hosting the tournament, while the remaining amount goes into the prize pool.

At Global Poker, tournament fees range from 0% to 10% of the tournament buy-in.

Live Poker Games

In live poker games, the dealer collects the pot rake at the beginning of the hand. Once the hand is played, the dealer removes the chips from the pot and sets them aside on the table. After the hand is completed, the dealer securely places the chips aside in a designated box.

Online Poker Games

When playing poker online, the rake is generally collected automatically through the game's software. Some game software displays the rake between rounds, while others deduct the rake from the winning pot before awarding the remaining amount to the final player.


Rakeback does exactly what it says on the tin; it gives a percentage of rake back to players in the form of a loyalty program. These programs generally award players either in the form of loyalty points, or in real prizes that go straight into their poker account.

Global Poker offers a 30% ring game giveback scheme, called The Vault. The Vault is a loyalty bonus feature awarded to ring game players every time they play a Qualifying Hand.


For every Qualifying Hand (where rake is taken) played in ring games, a Gold Coin and Sweeps Coin Vault Bonus will be added to the Vault in your Profile. It’s always there to view and you can claim and play at any time.

All you have to do is play Global Poker ring games! Whatever the result at the table, The Vault means that every time you play, you’ll get more from your game.

Learn more about The Vault.


The main difference between online poker and live poker lies in the way that rake is collected from players.


Rake in online poker is collected in one of two ways:

  • Pot Rake — a small percentage of the pot is taken as the rake. Pot rake is generally only applied to ring games, and it usually lies between 3.5% and 5%, capped at a maximum amount.
  • Tournament Fees — in online tournaments, the rake is factored into the tournament fee. When players register for a tournament, a portion of their buy-in goes toward the rake. The fee is usually a fixed percentage of the buy-in amount, such as 10% or 15%. It’s also collected automatically via the game software.


Live poker games collect rake a little differently, mainly due to the physical nature of the game. Unlike game software, the dealer usually physically collects the rake before the hand is complete, or before play, if there is a Time Collection, Table Charge or Dead Drop in place.

As we mentioned previously, in a live poker game rake is collected either by:

  • Time Rake, Table Charge or Dead Drop — a fixed fee for a specific duration spent at the table.
  • A Percentage of the Pot — similar to online poker, however in live poker the percentage is often higher than you would find in an online game, and is also unit dependent on the chip denominations in play on the table.
  • Tournament Fees — much the same as online poker, live poker also sets a tournament fee, which is typically a percentage of the buy-in amount.

Overall, the basic concept of rake remains the same in both online and live poker, it’s just the method in which they both collect tends to differ. It’s also worth noting that rake structures can differ between poker sites and poker rooms, as do the maximum caps.

Source : https://globalpoker.com/rake/

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