We all know the house takes a lot of our winnings in the form of rake, but just how much? You may not actually realise this, but in many players cases it will be MORE than you’ve actually won! Rake is calculated at the same rate on most sites (5% of the pot, capped at $3), however many poker sites including PokerStars have begun to raise the rake AND reduce player benefits! Now it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re maximising your poker player earnings by playing at the right site, games and limits.
To help you in these uncertain times, ThePokerCapitalist.com has created an interactive poker rake calculator or spreadsheet for you all, to find out just how much the rake is sucking out of YOUR games. And of course, it’s free of charge!
Here’s how the poker rake calculator works:
1) You need to find out how much rake you’ve paid total at each stake. To do this, open up your HEM2/PT4 tracker (i’ll be using HEM2) and select tabs by stakes, go into ‘More Filters’ and find the stats ‘Hands Played’, and ‘Rake’ for your games either €,$, or £. Either tracker should have a search box feature as below:
You should now have displayed the necessary stats for using the spreadsheet. Game limit, rake paid, and hands played. Enter these figures below to find out how much rake per 100 you are paying. There are 2 rows available so you can compare between limits you may be playing. NOTE: Enter ‘Limit’ with a decimal when required i.e NL25 is .25, NL50 is .50, 100 is just 1 and so on.
How does the rake affect your games? You can see in the common example above, the rake at lower games is considerably higher and shows just how much you’d be winning if it were not for rake! Unfortunately rake is a required tax if you will, so we have to do our best to work around it’s impact where possible.
Let’s say our friend RegTheReg can win at NL100 at 3bb/100. His winrate at 50NL is 6bb/100. Should he play at 50NL or 100NL? Since he wins the same amount of money at either stake (1*3=$3, and .50*6=$3) he should play the higher stake to avoid paying less rake!
Some important caveats
Game availability: He would need to be able to achieve the same volume of hands at the higher limit or he will win less overall.
Variance: He will suffer more severe variance because of the lower winrate, so he has to be comfortable with that.
Rake is here to stay, and will likely increase over the coming years as sites lose more and more money by ever changing regulations and dwindling player pools. Not all rake structures are created equal, so be sure to check how much your site is charging you to play. Choose your limits carefully and don’t play lower limits than you have to. It’s a pokering minefield out there but luckily ThePokerCapitalist has continually got your back, so stay tuned for more free resources, and more free evolving strategy articles to help your poker game in 2014 and beyond!
P.S This poker rake calculator is always available for you on our resources page.