How Do Casinos Make Money On Poker

Article by Jaqueline Quintero
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Last Updated: Feb 19th, 2024 Share On Your Network:

Anyone who’s ever played at an online casino knows one fact – they are there to make money. Every game at the online casino, whether it’s as simple and direct as slots, roulette, or video poker or as sophisticated as blackjack, baccarat or poker, it has some built-in casino edge, otherwise referred to as a house edge.

The house edge of any online casino is a small percentage or portion of the total amount you wager that ensures the casinos make money in the long run. For instance, if you invest £1,000 playing online poker, £33.7 will eventually contribute towards the house edge. This percentage varies from one online casino site to another and from one game to game.

But when it comes to online poker, things are a little bit different. This is why the question – “How do casinos make money on poker” is very common. There are more than a dozen ways casinos make money from poker and this article covers every one of these aspects in detail.

How Do Casinos Make Money On Poker?

There are several ways through which casinos make more from poker but Rake is the most common and widely accepted method. Through the rake, online poker sites are also able to offer the best possible entertainment to their patrons. This section will look at a rake as a source of money for online poker sites as well as other methods that bring in money for the casinos.

What Methods Do Casinos Use?



What is a rake? This is perhaps a question you have in mind. In the simplest definition, this is a term specifically used in a poker room to refer to charges or fees. It is a fee charged by the online poker sites and given by the player in order to play cash games or participate in tournaments. Whether you play at land-based casinos or online poker sites, there are two types of rakes you are going to come across. They include the Time Collection and Pot Rake.

Pot Rake

This is the most common form of a rake. A pot rake is a measured commission fee that the online casinos take from every hand in a game. There are usually other non-percentage methods used to take rake but most of the casinos use a pre-determined percentage. The pot rake for every hand usually ranges from a low of 2.5% to about 10% in total.
The pot rake was introduced by online casinos under the pretext of covering the dealer’s income. But the bottom line is, if we look at the dealer’s income, we know that most of it depend on the players’ generosity, which is awarded in the form of tips.

Time Collection

If you are playing a higher limit poker game, usually above £10 or £20, then the rake will be charged in the form of time collection as opposed to the pot rake. The time collection rake will be charged twice within an hour and charged normally in two different ways.
Player Time: This one is a specific amount taken by the player
Time Pot: It is an amount charged at the start of every pot of a game over a specified amount
Before deciding to play at any poker room, it’s crucial that you ask for the rules and regulations of the casinos. Understanding the type of rake will enable you to pick your game suitably and play accordingly as you have a clue as to where your money is going. This way, you can plan accordingly and even come up with a money management strategy. Players also prefer the pot rake as it is part of the cash game and does not restrict you to sit in the game for long.

Cover Charge

In addition to the rake, there’s also the cover charge which is a flat fee you have to pay to get admitted to a poker room. To enrol on a real money poker room or a poker website, you’ll have to pay the cover charge. This method is, however, becoming less and less popular among online casinos as most brands drop it in favour of the rake. For those that still have the cover charge, it is to attract serious players only and they tend to have very friendly rake prices.

Investing Player’s Funds

If there could be the best answer to the question “How Do Casinos Make Money On Poker”, this would be it. Undeniably, online poker casinos use player’s funds as their main source for revenue generation. But how is this possible? Isn’t it illegal? Not quite. The law allows for online casinos to invest a small percentage of the player’s funds to run the casino. The amount of money you deposit and which isn't used by the end of the day is used by the casino to generate more funds for the company.


Merchandising is one of the indirect ways through which casinos make money on poker. Casinos make a lot of merchandise although they do not profit significantly from this as most of it goes into marketing. On the rare occasions where the merchandise is sold, it is for those who willingly opt to make purchases.

Displaying Advertisements

Depending on the traffic and the popularity of the brand, some casinos make money on poker by charging specific amounts to display advertisements on their website. Like any other advertisement, it is naturally time-based. This means the money from poker advertisement isn’t as much as the other methods mentioned above.

Poker Tournaments

Poker tournaments are a totally different game format where you compete for chips and try to outlast your opponents during the event to reach the money stage. Therefore, the chip pot does not offer any monetary value, and online casinos don’t get their Rakeback the same way they do during the cash game. Instead, the tournament fees are paid well ahead of time as part of the tournament buy in. For instance, a £100 tournament will occasionally attract a £10 or £20 tournament entry fee. So in total, you will pay £110 or £120.
The extra £10 or £20 tournament fees is also a rake and isn’t included in the prize pool. The rake is withheld by the online casino and is used to cover expenses such as those incurred during the organization of the event. By participating in poker tournaments online, you’ll realize online poker rooms have lower rake amounts as compared to what brick and mortar casinos have to offer.
Why is this so? It’s pretty straightforward to explain. Online casinos don’t have high overheads like the brick and mortar casinos. So when they have to organize an event, they’ll probably have to pay the dealers responsible for overseeing the game. On the other hand, land based poker games have to pay for the dealers, the tables, tournament floor space and many other things. To ensure the whole venture is profitable, they will have to spread the cost down to the professional poker players in the tournament.

How Does The House Profit From Poker

Although online poker is one of the most sought after games online, it offers minimum cash when it comes to house profit. Though casinos make money from the cash games and charge extra rakes from promotions as well, poker tournaments are the main source of profit. The tournaments allocate a percentage of your total purchase to the total amount. In the online casino industry, this is referred to as the “juice”. For instance, if the casino is hosting a poker game with a tournament fee of £100, it will add 94-96% of this amount to the prize pool. The remaining amount of 6-4% will be channelled to the house as a profit.

How do Poker Players Make Money

Poker players are known to make a decent amount of money from playing the game either online or at the brick and mortar casinos. So lucrative is the poker industry that some players have taken it a full-time job to make money from poker. Such players will always be on the road or playing online looking for the next big tournament to participate in.

It is estimated that on average, a professional poker player makes money from poker with earnings ranging from 5-6 figures annually. But bear in mind that these huge amounts of cash can only be make by pros and not beginners. Professional players making money from poker have worked hard for years, perfecting the skill. So if you are looking to get the professional status, it’s about time you started practicing the game today and play any one of the competitions.

Participating In Sit and Go’s

A sit and go competition is a one-table tournament with essentially 2, 6, 9 or 10 participants. Normally, the top 3 players (in a competition with 9-10) will share half of the prize pool. Again, the more aggressive players can earn some good money at the Sit and Go’s by shifting gears and ducking trap hands early in the event. Once you’ve understood the structure of the Sit and Go tournaments then come up with a workable strategy, you should be able to score some wins.

Playing At Poker Tournaments

Tournaments have been the fuel to the current poker fire of late. Whether it is the WSOP, WTP or any other poker television show besides the popular High-Stakes Poker, tournaments seem to be the in thing for poker enthusiasts. And it’s not difficult to see why. Anyone who knows the poker basics can participate. You simply sign up, receive your starting chips and play until only one player walks with them all.

Poker rooms and tournaments are not just about enjoying and having fun, they are also meant to help you make money while at it. By reading some of the tips offered online, you will be playing the poker rooms and tables like a pro.


How Casinos Make Money Hosting a Poker Game?

There are two main ways a casino makes money by hosting a poker game. One of the ways is through the rake cash game and the other is through tournament buy in. While playing at the land based casino, there is usually a rake box placed on the table. At the end of every hand dealt, the dealer puts a fixed percentage of each bet into the rake box.

Can I Win While Playing At A Poker Table Online?

Yes, it’s possible to win while playing at a poker table online. Poker games are the only ones that the house has very little control as to the outcome of each round. With a proper strategy and the right moves, you can easily win money playing poker online. Furthermore, pick the right poker rooms and online casinos to increase your winning chance.

How Much Money Can I Win Per Hand?

The amount of money you can win in poker per hand is dependent on the pot prize. A cash game or tournament with many participants offers you a chance to win higher amounts. Competitions such as the World Series of Poker have paid out as much as £2 million to lucky players.

Do I Need A Strategy To Win In Poker Games?

You do not need a strategy to win while playing poker. Understanding the basic rules of playing poker is enough to win you the cash game pot. However, the more experienced and professional players have come up with strategies that ensure they have an edge over other players. While playing online, others have HUD software to track their opponents’ moves and get an edge over them.

Why Do Casinos Charge Players Entry Fees?

The fixed fees online casinos charge is meant to cater to the expenses at the poker sites and poker room. Online casinos charge different fees, so it’s up to you to ensure you visit one that has the best rates.

How Much do Poker Dealers Make?

Poker dealers can make as much as £100,000 dealing at the casinos in a year. On average, the majority of the online poker sites pay half of this amount, while others offer their dealers a rate of £25/hr. In addition to the basic payment, players tend to tip dealers, especially those with big wins. It is estimated that a dealer can make between £50,000-£100,000 in tips from poker players.

Jaqueline Author

Jaqueline Quintero


Always positive, always full of energy and with a very professional approach Jaqueline is one of our best i-gaming writers. With her years of experience she is always able to create unique and over the top content for our website visitors.

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