How Do Casinos Make Money On Poker?

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Casinos generate revenue from different games, be it roulette, blackjack, baccarat, or slots. The revenue comes from ‘drops’ put in by players. However, poker is an exception. The game isn’t played against the house. Rather, players win and lose against themselves. So how do casinos make money on poker tables?

The answer to this question is ‘Rake’. Before you say a word, we’re not talking about your garden tool.

In poker, “rake” is the entry fee that casinos charge at every cash game pot or tournament. If your cardroom is pretty ideal for players, then you can make money from poker.

However, rake in poker is not as simple as taking a small fee every time a player wins. There are variations which you have to consider.

Therefore, we have explored this subject in detail in this article. You will find out in detail how casinos make money on poker tables.

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How Do Casinos Make Money With Poker Rakes?

Poker rake is the scaled commission fee taken by a cardroom operating a poker game from every hand in a poker game.

It is where casinos create an edge and make money on poker tables. In other words, poker players pay you for their participation.

In most casinos, the rake is a fixed percentage that ranges from 2% to 10% of the total pot. Both of these extremes can be quite rare.

In most games, you’ll make a rake of 3% to 5%. So the rake is taken out of a great majority of pots before they are handed over to the winner.

However, poker rake is not the same in every casino. Different things come to play, from your location and what your customers are playing to how much you decide to charge. Also bear in mind there are different types of poker rake.

Types Of Poker Rake

The following are different types of rakes that can make money on the poker tables.

Pot rake

Pot rake is one of the easy ways for casinos to make money on poker games. This is because you will be able to take a small portion of the pot when the game is completed.

Every time a player wins the pot, you will take anywhere from 5% to 10% of the pot as long as the hand makes the flop.

Fixed fees

Even though pot rake is the most popular way of making money on poker games, some casinos charge a fixed fee.

For instance, you can charge a fixed fee to sit at the table. That is to say, you will not take money from the pot when the game is over.

Timed collection

A timed collection rake is a more defined way to make money on poker. It is a set amount that the casino collects from each player for a set amount of time spent at the table.

For instance, you can charge each player $50 for each hour that the table is active. The good thing is, that players must pay this fixed amount regardless of how many hands they played or whether they won or lost.

Dead drop

Dead drop poker rake is another way traditional casinos make money on poker games. However, in the dead drop rake, it is the player on the button that pays before the hand begins.

This is quite different from the pot rake where the winner pays. The amount of dead drop rake is relative to the stakes of the table.

However, since the button rotates after each hand, the dead drop rake creates an equal playing field for all players. So, they must all pay roughly the same amount to play, regardless of how much money they make.

Tournament fee

Poker tournaments are tournaments where players compete by playing poker for chips and try to outlast others in the event to reach the money stage.

But chip pots don’t have monetary value, so you can’t get your rake the same way you do in cash games.

However, the tournament rake is paid beforehand as a part of the buy-in. For instance, the average rate for online tournament fees is equivalent to 10% of the buy-in. But you can drop the percentage of the rake, depending on the buy-in.

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Poker Cash Games: CAP vs. No CAP Rake

It doesn’t matter the type of poker game you have, in a cash game, the rake is taken out of a great majority of pots before they are handed over to the winner.

This could be a fixed percentage, between 2% to 10% of the total pot. However, you can decide to charge a rake of 3% to 5% for poker games.

There is usually a maximum cap on the amount of rake that can be taken out of any single pot. This is determined by the rules you set for your casino.

It’s not uncommon for people to sit with very deep stacks and if two of these players end up in an all-in situation, not having a maximum rake cap could cost them a lot of money. Even so, some casinos follow the no-cap rule.

For the sake of clarity, let’s look at a quick example. If a customer is playing a $1/$2, they can end up in an all-in situation, putting all of their $300 up against another player with a similar stack.

Assume the rake is set at 5% with a $10 cap, you will rake $10 for each pot. However, if your casino does not have a rake cap and the total pot is $600, as in this example, you earn $30, which is three times the amount you will make on poker in the first scenario.

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Differences Based On The Stakes

Moving forward on how casinos make money on poker tables, it is important to note that most small limit games are actually better than the higher ones in terms of rake.

For instance, in a $1/$2 game, you’ll usually get a rake of 5%+ and a fairly high cap.
However, higher limit tables usually pay a rake of around 3%, and the cap is also lower relative to the stakes.

Although this may not appear to be fair to small-stakes players, it’s easy to see why. You have to view it from a business standpoint.

Players are occupying a table, no matter the amount at stake. So, you have to offer your services at a higher rake for small lower limits.

Beyond Rake: How Do Live Casinos Make Money from Poker Games?

Although rake is the primary source of income from poker games, it is not the primary source of income for live venues. You can break even while benefiting from a large tournament.

But does this really make any sense? Of course, it does, when you look at the big picture. 

To begin with, tournaments are frequently excellent feeders for cash games, which is great news if your casino has a large poker room.

Online Casinos & Poker

Making money online is no more a secret. Online casinos have a wide range of poker games from Texas hold ’em and stud poker to the ever-popular five-card draw.

You can let your customers play against the computer or compete in real, high-stakes tournaments with professional dealers, with both virtual and live dealer options available.

So casinos make money on poker tables through online casino and poker. You can make money from tournament fees, pot rake, subscription fees, flat fees, and so on. In addition, sometimes you can offer Rakeback prizes and rake-free games for your players to keep them coming back.


How does the casino make money in poker?

Casinos make money on poker tables through rakes. Poker rake is the scaled commission fee taken by a cardroom operating a poker game from every hand in a poker game.

How do casinos make money on card games?

The casinos make money from ‘drops,’ or money put in by the players. As long as players visit the slot machines, the casino will receive consistent revenue. Also, the ‘handle,’ which is the payout that a player puts back into the slot machine in the hopes of a bigger win, is the second source of income.

Is poker a good way to make money?

Only the most successful tournament players are able to cash enough to maintain an ROI of 10% or 20%  (or more), with the majority of profitable players sitting in the 5-10% range. That means that even good players lose money more often than they win money in tournaments.

Do casinos pay poker players?

Some people get paid by casinos to play poker. Every day, their paycheck is on the line, though. These kinds of players receive an hourly wage from casinos to ante up at poker tables.

Is owning a casino profitable?

Gambling is a good business or at least a profitable one. A casino has a number of built-in advantages to ensure that it, and not its customers, will always win in the end.

Do casinos always profit?

A casino has a number of built-in advantages that ensure it, rather than its customers, always wins in the end.


Casinos, like every other company, are driven to generate a profit. The house advantage, whether through statistical logic or bad human spending habits, increases the house’s probability of winning over the players’.

Casinos have different ways to make money on poker tables from pot rakes and fixed fees to tournament fees. Casinos will continue to make large profits as long as players are ready to keep playing.

Therefore, take time to explore them as detailed in this article.



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