Casinos are solely an entertainment hub for punters, but they also want to profit in the process. They could achieve this through the house edge in some of their casino and slot games. However, poker doesn’t have a house edge since you’re never playing against the house.
So, how do casinos make money off poker? Let’s find out in our article below.
Does Poker Have a House Edge?
Poker doesn’t have a house edge since the players play against each other, not the house. So whether you play poker at an online slots site like Wizard Slots or at a physical casino, you can win money from other players, or they can win from you. Note you never win money directly from the casino.
In addition, the casino doesn’t care who the winners or losers are. Their role is to deal cards and track the game.
Instead, the casino implements a rake on every poker game.
What Is The Rake In Poker?
Rake is a percentage the casino takes from the cash pot or entry fee at tournaments. Think of rake as a tax that the casino takes or a fee for facilitating the game.
Rake is the pot’s 2% to 10% fixed value, heads-up depending on which poker variant you play. There’s usually a maximum rake available which varies from casino to casino. However, most games allow a rake ranging from 2% to 10%.
There are different types of rake possible depending on the stakes in the game. For example;
Pot rake is the most common type of rake. The dealer calculates it as a percentage of the cash pot after every hand. So, for example, if one of the players wins a hand, the dealer collects a 5% to 10% percentage of the cash pot. Then, the dealer distributes the other chips to the winner.
Note that some casinos have a no-rake policy for hands that don’t reach a flop - the second round of betting where 3 cards are dealt.
Dealt rake is more widespread across online casinos. According to the dealt rake, all the players with cards need to pay into the rake. For example, if the total rake is £10 in a 10-handed game, then every player pays a £1 fee.
Playing style has little effect on the total amount with a dealt rake in place.
Contributed rake or shared/average contributed rake is where the players who put money in the cash pot pay rake. So, the dealer divides the total rake evenly among those players participating.
Contribute rake is preferred among players who foresee several flops.
Weighted Contributed Rake
This type is one of the fairest rakes in the category. Dealers calculate it by assigning each player a percentage of the cash pot. For example, take 3 players. One is the big blind with a £10 bet but goes on to fold pre-flop. The other two players see and play a heads-up, thus increasing the pot to £100. Therefore, the first player is responsible for 10% of the rake.
This rake factors in how much risk every player puts into the equation. Therefore, most poker players prefer weighted contributed rake.
Is Poker Profitable For Casinos?
Rake sounds like a good source of income for casinos. However, the profits are less compared to other casino games.
Sure, casinos may earn rake commissions during poker tournaments, but most casinos would require huge poker rooms to achieve this. So, it would be better for them to focus on games like slot machines and table games like blackjack since these have the potential to earn them more per round.
*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.