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In the context of pot-based games, such as Texas Hold’em poker, a pot rake is a commission taken by the gambling venue for administering a poker game.  

The concept is similar to a bookmaker‘s vigorish.

Why Do Casinos Impose Rakes?

In most casino table games — such as blackjack, craps, or baccaratplayers compete against the house. They place bets on a certain outcome (e.g. pass line bet) and get paid if they win the wager. The casino earns money from these games thanks to the so-called house edge or casino advantage, which is built into the rules of the game. For example, a dozens bet in roulette has 31.58% true odds, but the winnings are awarded based on 2:1 payout odds.

On the other hand, land-based and online casinos cannot directly profit from the outcome of pot-based games like Texas Hold’em, since the players do not compete against the dealer. To make administering these popular games financially viable, the casinos have to enforce a rake on the pot.  The typical casino pot rake ranges between 2% and 10% of the pot. High-roller tables with high max bets will typically have 2%-3% rakes, while low-roller tables tend to have 7-10% rakes. As pot rakes guarantee a profit for the house, hosting pot-based poker games is actually very lucrative for casinos.

Pot rake:

  • The commission taken by the gambling venue for administering a game.

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