A Look at How Casinos Generate Revenues From Poker

Q: How Do Casinos Make Money From Poker?

A: How do brick-and-mortar casinos generate revenues from their poker players?

How do poker players allow casinos to pay for the space, dealers, etc.?

There are four key ways in which casinos can make money from poker players, from the most common to the least common method:

1. Rake.

This is the most common way of making money from poker players - rake.

The Poker King discusses how brick and mortar casinos make money from poker players via rake and fees.  This can also apply to online casinos.This is how online poker rooms make money from players, and this is how most brick-and-mortar casinos make money from poker players.

"Rake" is the amount of money that is taken from each winning pot.

The amount of rake usually ranges from 2.5% all the way up to 10%, and there is usually a max rake amount set for each pot.

In some cases, casinos will not collect rake if a hand doesn't see a flop.

2. Tournament Fees.

In order you play in a tournament, you will have to pay the entry fee, which consists of your buy-in and the fee that the tournament charges to play.

For instance - let's say that a tournament is $120 to enter, with $100 going to the prize pool.

This means that the remaining $20 will be the fee that the poker room collects in exchange for running the tournament.

3. Hourly Rate.

Some casinos choose to forego the traditional "rake" method of making money from their players and instead choose to install an hourly rate to play at their tables.

For instance, a casino might charge a fee of $14 for every hour that a player sits at a table.

Some jurisdictions don't allow poker rooms to charge rake to players, so in this case, poker rooms will usually go with an hourly rate or monthly subscription fee.

4. Monthly Subscription.

Some poker rooms will charge a monthly fee to be able to play at their room.

In many cases, these rooms will combine the monthly fee with an hourly fee to play at a table.

This is the method used by a number of prominent poker rooms in Texas.


Most casinos will charge rake for cash games and fees for tournaments, though jurisdictional rules may sometimes forbid casinos from charging rake for cash games.

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