What is Rake?

Poker sites make their money by taking a small % (known as the rake) of a cash game pot, if the amount of money in the middle reaches a high enough total.

Are you new to rakeback or want to know more about how it works? Our rakeback guide will help you.
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Poker Rake Explained

It does not matter to a poker site who wins a cash game hand, if the hand is raked (a defined minimum amount in the pot then they will take a small % of the money in the pot.

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Poker sites will not usually take an unlimited amount of rake from the cash game pot, there is normally a maximum rake amount, between $3 - $5 is the normal for online Poker rooms. Even during a cash game hand where players have lost $100,000's the poker site will still only take the maximum rake amount from that pot!

Poker rooms normally rake an average of 5% for cash games and around 10% for tournaments. The difference is that you play far fewer tournaments than cash game hands. Another aspect to take note of is that the rake is higher for lower stakes cash games than high stakes cash games. This is so the poker site makes some money from micro stakes players using their software and services. It also has the added bonus that lower stakes cash game players get more rakeback than they would if the rake % was kept standard at all table limits.

Cash Game Rake Example:

If there is $40 in the pot when the hand is won by a player then they make take $2 rake out of the $40. If you have a RakeMeBack rakeback deal then you may get a share of that rake and get paid some of it back as rakeback! If you do not have a RakeMeBack rakeback deal then you will be losing a lot of money.

Poker Tournament Rake Example:

If you are playing a poker MTT (Multi Table Tournament) or SnG (Sit n Go) the poker rake takes a fixed % of the entry amount or buy-in as its rake. For poker tournaments the rake is called the Fee! For instance you join a $5+$0.50 tournament, the buy-in fee is $0.50 and this amount is not added to the prize pool. If you do not have a RakeMeBack rakeback deal with that site then you lose that $0.50 but if you have applied for a RakeMeBack rakeback deal with that site then you will get a % of it back. Just for signing up with RakeMeBack and applying for rakeback!


If you are a tight player or a Rock (a player who does plays very few hands) then this method of calculating your rake contribution to a hand and in the long term your rakeback, is not as good as the Dealt Rake Method but better for you than the Weighted Contribution Method.

Contributed Rake Method
Minted Poker

Minted Poker   EU

Rakeback:  40%   Network:  Everleaf Gaming
Weighted Contributed Rake Method
Carbon Poker

Carbon Poker   USEU

Rakeback:  VIP   Network:  Merge Gaming
Dealt Rake Method
Red Star Poker

Red Star Poker   

Rakeback:  30%   Network:  Microgaming

Rake Methods

There are three main methods the poker rooms use to calculate rake and therefore how much rakeback you will be paid:

Dealt Rake Method
Contributed Rake Method
Weighted Contributed Rake Method

Each method rewards different styles of play and so your rake and rakeback may vary between different sites, although you are playing the same cash game table stakes and amount of hands. To find out more about how each rake contribution method will effect you, your rakeback payments and how to increase your rakeback amounts click on the links below.

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