Online Poker Rake Methods
There are a few different methods poker sites use to allocate cash game rake to players for the purpose of deciding how much rakeback they receive or how many points they earn. It can be very helpful to understand each of these methods as each one carries advantages and disadvantages to different player types.
Note: Tournament rake is always the same as each player pays a set fee before the tournament starts, which they get full credit for.
Dealt Rake Method
Each player that is dealt into the hand is allocated an equal share of the rake regardless of how much they contribute to the pot. For example if there are 6 players dealt into a hand, and the pot is raked $3, each player will be assigned $0.50 of rake even if they fold pre-flop.
This rake method is best for tight players who play less than the average number of hands. This is because they end up getting credit for more rake than they have actually paid and as a result they receive higher amounts of rakeback.
Contributed Rake Method
Players that contribute to the pot in any way are assigned an equal share of the rake taken and so receive an equal amount points/rakeback. Players who post blinds, and players who call but then fold later in the hand are also included.
For example in a 6 handed game with $10/$20 blinds it folds to the button who raises to $45. After the small blind folds and the big blind calls, the pot is $100. The button and big blind check it down so the final pot is $100 and the rake is $3. Three players contributed to the pot so each player is awarded a third of the rake which is $1.
Contributed rake is more favourable for looser players than dealt rake. Loose players will contribute to more pots and they will be rewarded by receiving more points and rakeback. The tighter players will play far fewer hands and so receive less as a result.
Weighted Contributed Rake Method
Players are assigned rake based on the amount they contribute to the pot. The more a player puts in the middle, the bigger his share of the rake.
For example in a 6 handed game with $2/$4 blinds it folds to the button who raises to $10. The small blind calls and the big blind folds, leaving a $24 pot (10+10+4). Both players check it down so the final pot is $24 resulting in a $1.20 rake.
The button and the small blind have both contributed $10 out of $24 and so are assigned 5/12ths of the rake which equals $0.50. The big blind contributed $4 out of $24 and so is assigned 1/6 of the rake, which is $0.20. As you can see $0.50 + $0.50 + $0.20 is $1.20.
Weighted contributed attempts to give players credit for exactly how much rake they have paid and is viewed by some as one of the ‘fairest’ rake methods. It benefits active players more than tight players.
Custom Rake Methods
The OnGame network has a custom method for assigning rake to players. Its name is Essence and its goal is to give players with a lower skill level a bigger share of the rewards. Each player is assigned a number based on their win-rate in previous games. The ratio between these numbers affects how much of the rake (and any associated points/rewards) is assigned to each player.
This rake method favours losing players and is designed to keep them in the games longer, and make their money last a little longer, giving them more entertainment per dollar. Good players will obviously receive less rakeback with this method but the benefits to bad players can make the games a little softer by encouraging bad players to play more, so win-rates for good players can theoretically be higher.
Time collection rake
Each player is charged a set amount per unit of time. So for example every player at the table may have to pay say $3 every hour while they are seated at the table. This method is rarely used online but can sometimes be found in live casinos.
No matter what rake method a poker site uses you still need to have a good deal to get the most rewards. To see the best available offers check out our rakeback section!