How much rake do you pay?

How much rake do you pay?

You most likely use HoldemManager or PokerTracker and know the number pretty well. This means you know your personal rake. But what about the rake other players pay? What’s the average rake a player pays? Do you pay “more” or “less” than the average player, and why?

When looking at the total numbers – that’s something many poker player especially recreational players do not notice – rake has a huge impact on your winrate.
Yes, it’s just a couple of cents you pay from time to time when you win a pot, you might say, but these small amounts end up getting huge after hours of play.
In the following blog entry i would like to take a closer look at No Limit Texas Hold’em $0.50/$1 and answer some of the above questions.
The numbers below are taken on 17.July.2013 from Given these numbers, what do we see?

No Limit Hold’em $0.50/$1 (17. Jul 2013)

After 100 hands of play, the average rake payed at FullTiltPoker is about $7.39. This means, regardless if you win or lose 100 hands cost you about $7.39 on average. That’s not that bad when compared to the $10.15 at Pacific Poker (888). But you can get a cheaper play at example given PartyPoker ($6.95) or PokerStars ($6.48).

When just looking at total rake in $/100 it would be stupid to play at FullTiltPoker or Pacific you might think. Well the total rake doesn’t capture the whole picture. It might be worth to pay more rake when there’s a chance to win more money.
That’s where the average pot size comes into play. iPoker seem to have the highest average pot size in our comparison ($18.65)  followed by PartyPoker ($17.34). PokerStars has an average pot size of $11.04. In other words: The average pot you win at PokerStars is just 60% of an average pot at iPoker. The games at iPoker seem to be soft while the games at PokerStars seem to be tight.
PokerStars, which had the lowest total rake in $/100 and thus looked appealing to play at in the first place, doesn’t look that promising anymore. Paying less rake is just a consequence of smaller potsizes, a smaller amount you can win.

Lets continue our path and express the rake as percentage of Pot. This seem to be natural, because this is where rake is generated and payed from. The conversion of “total rake payed” into percentage of Pot is shown in column 4. In other words:  PartyPoker earns about 2.41% of every pot. iPoker earns about 2.31% of every pot.     so what’s the verdict? Play $0.5/$1 6-max at PartyPoker and iPoker only?
Again, that’s not the whole truth. All these poker rooms offer some kind of rakeback. This may come in form of a reload bonus, direct cash, or loyality points. This can have a huge impact on the final score.
In the end it’s up to your personal taste if you ask me. Play where you feel comfortable, where you can use great tools like the HoldemManager Table Scanner to find players that play worse than you. Long term this will have a much higher impact on your winrate than the rake.     Of course, this is just a recent picture for No Limit Hold’em $0.50/$1 6-max taken on 17.July.2013. The numbers constantly change, but the tendency is visible, and you should visit from time to time to re-evaluate the numbers.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Skype ID is hhDealer