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The Math Behind Rake Structures

GimicioGimicio Posts: 14Member
I am trying to figure the best way to determine how good or bad a rake structure is. Is there a mathematical formula? I realize that there are many different types of 'rake' (i.e drop, time rake, percentage rake w/ cap, percentage rake w/o cap, and not to mention the JP drop) and that you may need a number of different formulas to determine which is best or worst.

Where I live the rake is 5% up to a max of $5 and a $1 JP drop when the pot reaches $50. The cap is reduced from $5 to $3 when 6 or less players are dealt into any given hand. Also, if there is no flop there is no drop. This structure applies to every limit played in the casino, everything from $1/$2 NLH w/ a $300 buy-in cap to $5/$10 w/ a $2k cap. While I only play $1/$2 at the moment, I know the higher limit players ($2/$5 and $5/$10) are getting a great deal but how badly am I being affected by the rake? Should I be more aggressive in moving up limits based on the rake structure alone? Another reason I want to learn more about rake structures is to adapt to them better when playing away from home. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


  • PokerIsFrustratingPokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    Your rake structure isn't bad IMO. A lot of places have 10% up to $4 or $5. Where i play it's 10% up to $5 for both 1/2 and 2/5 and there's no BBJ. The other place 1/2 is 10% up to $4 and 2/5 is $5/half hour time, but there is $1 for the BBJ if you hit $20 at 1/2 and I think $50 or something at 2/5.

    I will argue that for most of us who aren't nits, $5 time for $2/5 or $6 for $5/10 is way way cheaper than rake in general.

    5% up to $5 actually isn't bad because you'd need a $100 pot to take the full $5. At 1/2 you'll often have <$50 pots and that $1 is only going to represent 2% of the pot when it's taken. It's way better than California where I hear it's a $6 flat drop if you see a flop.

    As for rake - there's kind of nothing you can do about it. You can make a formula for how much it affects you, but unless there's another casino you could go to with a different rake structure you're kinda stuck.

    Moving up to $2/5 is kind of the goal even if the rake isn't oppressive unless there is some crazy dynamic. 2/5 games don't usually play that much more difficult than 1/2 and the rake is considerably less.

    If you really want to analyze your rake, you could track your pots won over a decent sample and you get an idea of how much you're paying out in rake. But if you're trying to make serious money from poker or go pro, you probably want to move up to 2/5 anyway
  • Qw3Rtzui0pQw3Rtzui0p Posts: 36Member
    I play in Austria.. Vienna.. There is rake.. 5% up to 20€ + 1€ preflop rake if the pot is 16€ or more.. + u have to tip..
    So im still wondering, if it is beatable at 1/2 limit with 100BB cap
  • PokerIsFrustratingPokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    It's 1/2 and the rake is capped at 20? That's insane. How deep is the game?
  • reemasreemas Posts: 100Member
    Bart / Dave / Wendy / any other socal grinders,

    I was playing 1/3 at the Bike and find it pretty soft. How is this game unbeatable with the rake? I can see the rake slicing your winrate, but I would think $10.hr could be had by a decent player.

    That being said are there any games where one could buy in for $200-$300 in the LA area while building a roll? ($500 would be a bit too high at the moment for me).
  • Qw3Rtzui0pQw3Rtzui0p Posts: 36Member
    PokerIsFrustrating said

    It's 1/2 and the rake is capped at 20? That's insane. How deep is the game?
    Minimum buy in is 50 and maximum 200.. The games arent that deep about 70BBs mostly..

    Im doing a reload thing.. Once per a few minutes i add a 10€ chip into my chipstack.. When noone is looking.. It is like 1000€ per month in rake + tips
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