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!
But don’t fret: We scoured all of the poker rooms that have reasonable player volume, to find the ones that give the best total rakeback, and we have developed relationships with these sites to offer you even more rakeback!! Not in the form of indirect promotions like freerolls, leaderboards or impossible to win race races (unless you grind 10 hours a day or play high stakes). Instead, we give you cash paid in to your account.