The concept of a poker rake often stymies newcomers to the online poker scene, so we thought we'd take the opportunity to expound a bit on the subject and hopefully inform, enlighten, and demystify the idea of the poker rake. And the best way to clearly describe something as intricate as a poker rake is to use an example. So for the purposes of this description, we will use the poker structure at OnlyPoker, the official poker site of the Bad Boy himself, Dennis Rodman.
Poker rakes are taken from pots in online poker ring games just like they're taken in live, land-based, casino poker cash games. The rake is how the poker room (or in this case, the online poker room) pays itself for offering the cash ring games, much like the fee tacked on to a tournament buy-in (printed after a "+" sign, as in "$5 + $0.50", with $5 being the buy-in and 50 cents being the fee).
At OnlyPoker, which by the way is a US friendly online poker room, and many online poker sites like it, a poker rake is only taken if a hand makes it to the Flop. If no flop is dealt, no rake is taken. As in OnlyPoker, this is often called a No Flop, No Drop policy.
How much of a rake is taken from a pot depends on two factors: how many players participated in the hand and the table stakes for the game. For example in a 2 - 10 player game at Fixed Limit table stakes of $0.04/$0.08 the rake taken is $0.01 for every $0.20 in the pot up to a maximum rake of $0.08. While for a Pot Limit or No Limit game at $25/$50 stakes and higher with 6 or more players dealt cards in the hand, $0.05 in rake is taken for every $1 in the pot up to a maximum rake of $5.
The rake structure at each site varies slightly and, for cash game players, is one of the factors often used in deciding on a poker site at which to play. With that in mind, OnlyPoker has a very fair rake structure, next to a more than decent sign-up bonus for new players, being 110% up to $600.
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