Cash Game Beat the Rake

fish72s

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About 6 weeks ago I found a raked $1/$3 game here in Orlando.
Over 5 short-ish sessions I am up about $1050 mostly due to $850 on the first night when there were a few bad players and 1 insane maniac. (Beyond LAGtard.)
The other nights have had some weak players and a few better players. My up nights have been due to good cards and good play and down nights mostly bad beats. (Including a flopped set of aces losing to runner-runner quads.)
The 2nd night I found out the rake is 10% up to $15. I knew this was high but decided to keep playing. Now, I am trying to decide if it is possible to beat this game in the long run. My 20 hours so far is not a very good sample size.
Any suggestions? How hard is it to beat a $15 rake?
 

Craig D

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10% with a $15 cap is normal for a Casino here

I choose not to play

Even if you beat it your still losing $300 an hour off the table
 

stocky

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10% with a $15 cap is normal for a Casino here

I choose not to play

Even if you beat it your still losing $300 an hour off the table
This

I die a little inside everytime I hear people complaining about $6 rake. The biggest poker room in Australia (Melbourne Casino) has a $5 time charge AND and 10% rake every hand.
 

grandgnu

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Wow, $15 rake out of a pot? That's freaking nuts. The majority of raked games I've come across do $5 max each pot. Plus, don't forget that there are plenty of scummy dealers or hosts in these raked games that will actually rake much higher than the advertised amount, because the majority of players aren't paying attention.
 

jbutler

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How deep are stacks? If approx 100 BBs, the game is unbeatable long term for anything approaching a reasonable $1/3 hourly imo. Would bet with any player willing to play the game that they're not going to be up any more than $5/hr over 1000 hours.
 

onerand

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Agree with JButler. Many 2-5 games are capped at $500, also unbeatable. You are paying triple rake almost every pot.
 

fish72s

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Thanks for the advice.
I had thought maybe if I played extra tight to go for fewer, bigger pots, I could make it work, but its still too big a hurdle.
I'm done playing in this game. Now I just have to find another game to avoid having to drive an hour.
Orlando sucks. There is poker north, south, east and west but not in the land of the mouse.
 

jbutler

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Thanks for the advice.
I had thought maybe if I played extra tight to go for fewer, bigger pots, I could make it work, but its still too big a hurdle.
you're thinking correctly about how to overcome a steep rake/drop, but you're also right that the hurdle is just too high.

the most onerous rake/drop structure in the US is in cali where they drop $7 per hand in a lot of places - not a percentage of the pot, just a flat drop regardless of pot size. playing super, super tight will allow you to overcome that drop in a $5/5 game, but you're talking about a rake more than twice that amount in a game almost half the size.

your best opportunity to make money in the game is to find the dumbest alpha male who plays it and make a prop bet on his hourly over the course of a year. he'll never believe he's not slaughtering the game.
 

Schmendr1ck

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Thanks for the advice.
I had thought maybe if I played extra tight to go for fewer, bigger pots, I could make it work, but its still too big a hurdle.
I'm done playing in this game. Now I just have to find another game to avoid having to drive an hour.
Orlando sucks. There is poker north, south, east and west but not in the land of the mouse.
Preach it, brother.
 

JoseRijo

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I don't think that trying to minimize the amount that "you" pay in rake is correct. I prefer Craig's thinking: Every hour, $x is taken off the table, which is money I can't otherwise win. You should be making sound poker decisions for a given situation - if a play is +EV, then take it.

Of course, there are extreme corner cases, like Butler's example of a pre-flop $7 drop, even if it's BvB.
 

k9dr

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the most onerous rake/drop structure in the US is in cali where they drop $7 per hand in a lot of places - not a percentage of the pot, just a flat drop regardless of pot size
That's what the rake is here in Florida - $5 rake + $2 jackpot drop - max rake is taken at a pot size of $40 so almost 18% rake :eek:
 

grandgnu

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That's what the rake is here in Florida - $5 rake + $2 jackpot drop - max rake is taken at a pot size of $40 so almost 18% rake :eek:
Is that every room in Florida or just a specific one you go to?
 

jbutler

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That's what the rake is here in Florida - $5 rake + $2 jackpot drop - max rake is taken at a pot size of $40 so almost 18% rake :eek:
that's rough, but it's not quite as bad as cali.

out west, they pull the $7 after the flop regardless of the size of the pot. so no one limps and the blinds check at a $5/5 game, and someone bets the flop and wins, they win a $3 pot. 70% :eek: that's the difference between a rake and a drop.
 

fish72s

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I'm not playing in this game anymore.
When I told the guy that runs the game, he said again that he wanted to back me in the game.
He accepts all losses and takes half my winnings. This was the 4th time he'd made the offer.
The first was after watching me play for a couple of hours. Its a damn good deal for me but I
just wasn't comfortable doing it. I don't see how this could be a good deal for him no matter how good
a player he is backing, and I was curious why he was being so persistent. I finally came up with a reason but
I may be way off.
Anyone have any theories?
 

200 Motels

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I'm not playing in this game anymore.
When I told the guy that runs the game, he said again that he wanted to back me in the game.
He accepts all losses and takes half my winnings. This was the 4th time he'd made the offer.
The first was after watching me play for a couple of hours. Its a damn good deal for me but I
just wasn't comfortable doing it. I don't see how this could be a good deal for him no matter how good
a player he is backing, and I was curious why he was being so persistent. I finally came up with a reason but
I may be way off.
Anyone have any theories?
He wants to land you in the sack?
 

Mojo1312

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He fills a seat, which is good for the game, and he gets half of your profits whenever you win. He gets it both ways.
 

stocky

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Except if you start losing. And if you did start losing I believe he would probably change his tune quite quickly.
 

fish72s

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He wants to land you in the sack?
Well that would be good reason for quitting the game. What kind of motels you running there anyway?

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

He fills a seat, which is good for the game, and he gets half of your profits whenever you win. He gets it both ways.
Not really, He still loses when I lose. He does keep the $15 rake so I guess that offsets his end a little.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

Except if you start losing. And if you did start losing I believe he would probably change his tune quite quickly.
Unless I can't lose....
 

courage

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His dealer is a mechanic and the show is rigged?
 

fish72s

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Its just a theory and I have zero evidence.
I got the impression he was or had in the past backed other players and so he must have made money.
At first I thought this was a bad deal for him. I mean if I would be doing good just to beat the rake in the long run, then how could he make money if he has to cover all the down nights? But he doesn't have to worry about the rake. Is it possible for a very good player to (legitimately) make money for a backer in this situation?
 

10centguitar

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About 6 weeks ago I found a raked $1/$3 game here in Orlando.
Over 5 short-ish sessions I am up about $1050 mostly due to $850 on the first night when there were a few bad players and 1 insane maniac. (Beyond LAGtard.)
The other nights have had some weak players and a few better players. My up nights have been due to good cards and good play and down nights mostly bad beats. (Including a flopped set of aces losing to runner-runner quads.)
The 2nd night I found out the rake is 10% up to $15. I knew this was high but decided to keep playing. Now, I am trying to decide if it is possible to beat this game in the long run. My 20 hours so far is not a very good sample size.
Any suggestions? How hard is it to beat a $15 rake?
I play in a raked $1/$3 game. $7max with a $1 high hand. I think it is pretty stiff, but the action is great.


Let me say first of all, I wouldn't play in the game you describe unless then action was unreal. It would have to be the weakest/most passive table ever playing like a 5/10. (bet/raise/pots sizes/stack sizes) for me to be interested.



My theory is that a steep rake can be beatable if the table adjusts its game.
Hear me out on this one. I will get to the original question.

If the game started (at its conception) with a low rake, and the players are action players and they buy in a ton. (no-limit buy-ins, and people straddling are helpful here),
then a crazy poker economy at the game will emerge. The game will grow and the game-runners will up the rake, and naturally have to look for ways to induce action.
They will look for bigger whales. And nitty mice will be squashed out.

The tighter on money players will give way to the looser on money players. If it survives, gradually the game will find an equilibrium. This process of upping the rake can continue until the player base cannot sustain it.

If a high-rake game is running strong, the players will likely be mostly spew-tard whales, and the game-runners will have to un-limit their buy-in/re-buy amount.

The game will naturally have bigger pots, thus the percentage of the pot raked will be less.
A $7 rake out of $70 is far more noticeable than $7 taken out of $250.

So you will see huge straddles, huge 4 and 5 bets. You will also see a much larger player pool. One that very few games could sustain under the radar of the authorities. Bust-out seat need to be refilled.

Games like this do exist and thrive! The amenities are usually un-real, waitresses dealers, everything tops.

A player set on winning these types of games must adjust their strategy completely in order to win.

So finally, lol.

I feel a high-rake game can most certainly be beaten if some or better yet all the above conditions are met, and you completely overhaul your strategy. The variance would be huge, but if you get almost all your money in either PF or on the flop and stack off huge to igno-donks with superior hands you can most definitely beat the game in the long run.

If the money being taken off the table is being replaced, hopefully by others, then the rake has far less of an affect.
 

Mental Nomad

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The one plus side of a game like that... the table tends to be looser, because you'll have few grinders. They're all run off by the high rake.

The arrangement works out well for the "backer," but since he runs the show, I wouldn't call him a backer... I'd call you a shill.

A shill has a very negative connotation to a lot of people, but in gaming, it really just means someone who is compensated by the house to play in the games. It's done to make sure there is action at the tables for people who want to play.

It works out for him this way:

Because of the high rake, his game has a lot of less-savvy players (the savvy avoid the rake.) He needs to make sure there are enough people playing so that the people who do show up have a game to play. If the table falls apart, his rake drops to zero.

If you LOSE: he makes up your loss. But where has it gone? Often, to donks who will come back and play... they will just circulate his "lost" money until he rakes it back.

If you WIN: he takes in half your earnings. Also, other players get to see someone with nice stacks playing and winning... good advertising.

In both cases: while you play, he has an extra player at the table, which keeps getting raked.

And he probably knows you won't stick around long otherwise, because of the high rake. You'll find some good home games and stop coming to him so often.

You're especially likely to get an offer like this if you're a good social player - not an ass, not a drunk, not bullying other players to win. If you play a gentleman's game and the crowd likes you, you're a great deal for the owner. What he gives up on you he'll more than make up on the others who play. Meanwhile, you have a risk-abated situation; this is gold for you - covered losses makes it much more possible for you to beat the rake, and with the downside variance covered, you need not fear a bad swing's hit to your bankroll. Gold.

It's a good deal for you and for him - you just have a square it with yourself. How do you feel about playing for the house? Will you hide that from other players, and if not, how will you describe the situation? How do you feel about effectively encouraging others to play a high-rake game by looking like a voluntary regular? You can bet that the owner will want you to never talk bad about the house or the high rake...

But the deal, itself, is gold for you, and good for him.
 

10centguitar

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I would be a house-player (shill) if the money was right. However it might be really boring.

As far as ethics go, If I was getting bored playing there and thought the players could find a better game, I would probably see if I could solicit them to another game with a better rake before i got mine and ran.

No sense in a ton of poker economy money just going to some shark of a game-runner.
 
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