Rake is the fee taken by a poker site.
In a tournament the rake is quite clearly stated after the buyin: A $1+$0.10 tournament has a $0.10 rake (10% commonly).
To find cash games rake, one usually has to navigate deep in to the cardroom’s website, where one will find a list of limits stating something along the lines of:
$0.05 taken per $1.00 in every pot, or $0.01 per $0.20, for NoLimitHoldem. Note they both are 5% rake, which seems most common, though I have seen 6%. Some sites simply state “5% rake”.
Alongside the rake% will be a ‘cap’ or ‘maximum’ $ per hand raked. This is proportionally higher to big blind size at the lower stakes i.e. a cap at $0.01/$0.02 may be $1.00 (50 big blinds) but a cap at $25/$50 may be $5.00 (0.1 big blind). Some sites don’t even have a cap!
This measely 5% $1 cap adds up to in to an incredibly large $amount over quite a short period of time. To calculate just how much, use your $Raked stat in Holdem manager or Poker Tracker. One can convert this $rake figure in to rake bb/100 as follows:
Rake bb/100 = [ ($rake/bigblind)/handsplayed ] *100
From our experience Rake bb/100 across the different sites for NLHE 6max:
|$10NL, $25NL, $50NL rake =||9bb/100 to 13bb/100|
|$100NL, $200NL rake =||5.5bb/100 to 8bb/100|
|$400NL, $600NL rake =||2.5bb/100 to 3.5bb/100|
|$1000NL, $2000NL rake =||2bb/100 to 1bb/100|
I.E. As a $10NL professional player you have to be winning at least 13bb/100 from your opponents just to make up for the rake you lose when playing. That is a lot! You really are doing quite well if you break even at lower stakes.
The lower stakes pay relatively more bb/100 rake because of the cap, as explained above. Sites with no cap will have bb/100 rake the same accross stakes (and also higher).
Given the best long term poker player win rates after rake are around 4bb/100, and considering these players are likely to be running better than average over those 1million+ hands, getting that rake back becomes just as important as playing well, especially at the lower stakes!
Here is a list of the best sites that offer you rakeback: Poker sites