Poker Rake Explained
The poker rake is the heart and soul of the online poker/poker industry. It is through the poker rake that players pay those who organize the games, and at the end of the day, it is the poker rake that makes the games possible. Just as the blinds can be considered the catalysts of action in every individual poker hand, the rake and the tournament fees are the catalysts of the entire industry.
What exactly is the poker rake though?
The poker rake is a small fee which is deducted from every pot played for at the site, according to various mathematical algorithms. Live poker rooms, where the exact mathematical tracking of the rake is quite an impractical exercise, usually charge rake on an hourly basis.
There are several kinds of rake calculation methods used by online poker rooms, which means that there are several ways of determining exactly how much money each player contributes to the pot and therefore for how much contribution he/she can be credited in the site’s ongoing bonus redemption or loyalty program.
Some of the methods used to calculate rake contribution are obviously more accurate than others.
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The dealt rake method is mathematically the least accurate one. This method credits every player dealt into the hand with rake contribution. The reason why it’s the least accurate is that only a fraction of those dealt in may actually contribute to the pot, through either compulsory or voluntary bets. Part of the contribution generated by these players will be credited to those who fold before putting any money into the middle.
The contributed rake method aims to improve on the accuracy of the above described dealt rake method. The contributed rake method only distributes the rake contribution resulting at the end of a hand among those who actually put money into the pot. Those who fold without putting anything into the middle, are not credited for any of the resulting rake through this method. The issue with this method is however that all contributors are credited equally, even as some of them do in fact contribute more than others.
The weighted contributed rake method is hailed as the most accurate and fair of all rake calculation methods. This method takes the size of individual contributions into account and it hands out credit in a directly proportional manner with the size/amount of one’s contribution.
Various rake calculation methods reward various play-styles, so when looking for an online poker room to play at, players should definitely take this facet of the issue into consideration as well.