How does rake come into your playing decisions and your win rate calcluation?

AliceAlice Red Chipper Posts: 2
Where I play live, the 1/2-100, 2/3-300 or 3/5-1000 games have a $5 rake once the pot gets to $19 (There is no rake if there is no flop.)

For example, in 1/2, if someone raises to $8 and I call -- a caller must pay $8 to win $14, not $19, getting pot odds of only 1.75 to 1. If the raise was only to $7, the caller only pays $7 to win $17, pot odds of over 2.4-1, a huge difference. (In this 2nd case, after the flop, if there's a bet and fold, no rake will be paid, as the pot never reaches $19, very common at these tables.)

Assuming one's goal is to learn to play as well as possible, keep improving one's play, without moving up stakes where the rake becomes less and less of a consideration -- what advice would you have?

Also on the subject of rake -- for the purposes of tracking how well I'm playing, should I keep track of BB won per hour and ignore the rake? I mean, one session I might play 100 hands, win exactly 1 hand netting $500 (after paying $5 rake), lose $400 on the other 99 hands, going home up $100 -- or I might win 20 pots, netting $25 (after $5 rake each), lose $400 on the other 80 hands, still taking home $100. I end up with the same amount of money, but it's really NOT the same winnings. If the same games were played with a time-pay instead, I'd suddenly think I did twice as well in the second game.


  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,082 -
    Hey Alice, great question.

    1. If you goal is to learn so you can move up, just keep playing the game. It's not an ideal rake structure...but there are worse ones for sure.
    2. Just lump it together. Rake is a cost of doing business and you'll do nothing but drive yourself mad if you look at the end of the year and realize how much money went down the rake.
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  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,876 -
    Agree with Split. I would consider it a little bit when choosing between casinos and possibly stakes. In Vegas the rake can vary based on jackpot rooms vs non. Kat speculates that he makes more back from the jackpot drop (weekly freeroll) than he loses to it.

    I think there is going to be a difference in the type of players attracted to jackpot rooms. I know that some players have a strategy that revolves around seeing as many jackpot hands to the flop as possible, with the added strategy of checking all sets trying to hit quads.

    In Cali, I think the more punishing 'drop' vs 'rake' (drop takes it all $4 or $5 on the flop regardless of pot size) changes the essential nature of the game and means that you should try to get to $5-$5 or bigger ASAP.
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  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am from Cali and play over at bay101 which any flop regardless of the flop is $5 drop. Its a $1/$2/$2 game with a required $5 open or more so creates a shallow stack 2/5 game basically. If you call in the SB ($5) and BB calls ($5) (button $1) there is $11 in the pot and $5 goes to rake, so you are basically playing for $1 with potential of opponents stack. They do let you chop which most people do in the blinds meaning you dont lose any money in the blinds and they drop the $1 into the drop since hand ended preflop. Most hands go to the flop though, so rake is huge, but open raising is $10 like minimum and average around $15 so SBR is always low.

    Anyways getting a little off top. I would keep it simple. Remember how much you take to the casino and how much you leave with. Dont worry or think about the rake. Just record how many minutes you play and how much profit you make or lose each session. Your hourly rate takes into account rake, tips, food, etc that way.

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