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How Do Casinos Make Money on Poker?

Casinos exist to make money. Their business is to offer gambling games and make fortunes. All the games at casinos offer an advantage for the house edge. It is generally based on percentage points. However, the percentage can differ from one game to another. 

Another reason casinos love to make money is they have invested in grand spaces, professional staff, and maintenance for the luxury of their customers. It eventually makes casinos an ideal space to play. 

Talking about Poker, the money-making process of poker is not similar to the other games for casinos. In poker, you play against other players and make money from them. 

Here's the tricky question now: How do casinos make money from poker? 

Let’s get into details.  

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How Do Casinos Make Money on Poker?

What is Poker?  

Poker is a card game played with 52 or 53 cards in different forms throughout the globe. The three main terms used in poker are - call the bet, raise the bet, and concede (fold). Poker is played in casinos, poker clubs, and online.  

In casinos, they do not care who wins or loses the poker game. Then, what makes money for the casino. The answer to this is - Rake.  

What is Rake in Poker?

Rake is the percentage of the amount on every hand in the pot on which casinos hold the rights. Casinos charge rake like a tax or fee from every cash game or tournament fee.  

How do Casinos make money?  

Casinos make a tremendous amount from a poker room with all the cash games. Different forms of poker make money in different ways for casinos. Here are the details on how rake works for casinos in different games. 

1. Cash Games – CAP vs. no CAP rake

PLO, no limit hold’em are some forms of cash games. In cash games, casinos keep the rake in the great majority before handing it over to the winner.  

Most casinos charge a fixed percentage from 2%-10% of the pot. Many of them charge 3%-5% rake. 

Cash games can have a CAP rake or No CAP rake. Based on the casino's rules, there can be a rule of taking out the maximum cap from an individual pot. Some casinos have no CAP rule which can be costly for the players. Players avoid playing no CAP cash games due to the high fee and chances of loss. 

2. Hourly rate option

Cash games with CAP or No CAP are the most popular forms of poker. However, some casinos use a different business model than making money from CAP or No CAP rale cash games. In the hourly rate model, you pay a fixed hourly charge to the casino for sitting at a table.  

Here, casinos do not take any percentage of money from the pot. It is none of their interest which cash game you are playing. They simply charge a fixed fee on an hourly basis.   

The hourly rate option is also known as “Time Collection” or “Timed Collection”. 

Player time Rake: This is a sophisticated type of poker in which the casino charges a fixed amount from each player. For instance, if a casino charges $60 for an hour, then every player on a table has to pay $60 to the casino no matter how many hands are playing. This is also called player time rake. 

Time Pot Rake: In this form of poker, casinos charge a set amount from the collection of first hands. 

3. Differences based on the stakes

For a poker player, it is important to know that small limit games can be actually worse than high limit games. The high rake can lead to losses. 

If you play $1/$2 cash games, the rake will be $5+ with a fairly high cap. But if you play with higher limits, you’ll have to pay a rake of around $3. The cap in high-limit games is lower. 

Even if you pay $1 or $100, you are occupying the table. From a business perspective, it is fair to charge the same amount for the same. Casinos generally charge higher rakes for small limit games. 

4. Tournaments

Tournaments are most popular for online poker. However, casinos also organize live Poker Tournaments. Poker tournaments are totally different types of games that make money for casinos. Players compete for chips and try to reach the money stage in the event. This is different from cash games as the chip pots don't hold any monetary value. The tournament rake has to be paid ahead as buy-in. 

For instance, if a tournament is worth $100, the buy-in will either be $110 or $120. The extra $10 or $20 is the money that casinos earn from tournaments. Casinos need this money to cover the expenses like event organization and fees for the dealer. 

Online tournaments offer smaller rakes than live ones. It is simple to understand that in online tournaments, casinos have fewer expenses than offline ones.  

5. Online Casinos & Poker

Online casinos and poker games are also available. They are quite affordable as compared to live and luxurious poker rooms. When offline poker spaces require physical space, staff, maintenance, and other physical spaces, online poker does not require any of such things. This simply makes it less expensive. 

Online casinos and poker take place in virtual spaces. It requires a stable internet connection and good software. The server has to be stable enough to handle heavy traffic. 

In online casinos, rake alone is a good way to generate a decent income. 

Know in Hindi: How Do Casinos Make Money? 


Now that you are aware of how casinos make money, you are more likely to understand their business model. Now, you can also understand how they manage to keep big prize money for tournament winners. Poker is indeed a source to boost a casino’s income.  

As a player, you don’t necessarily care about the rake. But you should definitely know about rake and how casinos make money from poker. With this, you can also educate yourself and know your rake. Avoid the games with a high rake, high caps, or no caps at all. Such games are tough to win and can cause losses. 



  1. How do casinos make money on poker games?

Casinos make money on poker games with rakes. There can be different types of rake for different forms of poker in different casinos.  

  1. Do poker rooms make money? 

Yes, poker rooms do make money. 

  1. How do poker sites make money?

Poker sites similarly make money as live poker in casinos makes money. They charge money from the player in two forms: (1) Rake and (2) Fee. Rake is charged in cash games and a fee is charged in tournaments and sit & go’s games. However, poker site charges are less than casinos. 

  1. How do casinos make their money?

Casinos make money as house edge from all the games except poker. In poker, they charge rake as a commission fee.

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