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Poker Rake vs. time game

Discussion in 'Poker Forum' started by Mike Caro, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Mike Caro

    Mike Caro New Member Founding Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Founder of Mike Caro University of Poker
    Missouri, USA
    Of the starting hands that are playable in any poker game, MOST are within a small percentage of borderline. The ones that fall below borderline should usually be folded -- obviously. But that leaves us with the "playable" hands. Those are the ones worthy of risking money.

    But wait! Since the rake is essentially a penalty for winning the pot, many hands that would be slightly profitable if played in a "kitchen table" rake-free game or in a pay-by-the hour game now become unprofitable. So, you need to tighten up considerably in rake games -- assuming the play is the same or similar to that in a non-rake game.

    I said "tighten up considerably." How considerably? This might shock you, but the MAJORITY of playable hands in a non-rake game may become losers in a rake game -- particular when the rake is high. Much of your profit in poker comes from pushing slightly profitable starting hands. When all that profit is added together -- the wins and the losses -- it accounts for a large share of your success. But in rake games, you need to surrender those same hands. You simply must fold.

    Think about it.

    Straight Flushes,
    Mike Caro
    Donna Blevins and Leon Macfayden like this.
  2. TEACH (AlSpath)

    TEACH (AlSpath) Active Member Founding Member

    Dec 29, 2014
    Poker Instructor
    Maryland USA
    I can't believe no-one has weighed in on this post by Mike.

    Rake vs Time charges what do you prefer and how (if any) does your game change in either one.

    Let's use 2/5NL as an example $5 per half-hour time charge, vs rake at $5 max per pot ($4 + $1 - for the jackpot).

    Donna Blevins likes this.
  3. Donna Blevins

    Donna Blevins Member Founding Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Poker MindShift Coach
    Phew! That's more than a mouthful Mike. That's pure wisdom!

    Fact is, this is the first time I've looked at profit in poker this way: "much comes from pushing slightly profitable hands."

    Be sure to link that to position and read on players.

    Makes sense.
  4. Rond1nell1

    Rond1nell1 Active Member

    Nov 17, 2021
    I'm a dealer here in Brazil, and the rake is 5%.
  5. Gullywin

    Gullywin New Member

    Feb 25, 2023
    You make an excellent point about the impact of rake on the profitability of playable hands in poker games. It's crucial to adjust your strategy when playing in a rake game, especially when the rake is high, as it can turn slightly profitable hands into losers. Tightening up your range considerably and folding playable hands can be a wise decision in these games to avoid losing more money to the rake. Overall, understanding how the rake affects your profitability is essential for success in poker, and adjusting your strategy accordingly can help you stay profitable.

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