Why would players pick a raked underground game over a casino game?

Rhodeman77

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The other night I played in an underground raked home game. The rake is very high (at least for this area) of $10 per hand. For the $10 players get pizza, basic snacks of chips and candy along with soft drinks/water. The local casino rakes $5 +$2 for promotional fund. My question is why do the regulars in this game and other like prefer to play in it every week compared to the casino which is more secure, lower cost, and offers some decent promos with our raked money? Additionally most players tip $5/hand as it is a $5/5 game and there are no $1 chips in play, but the dealer has them in the tray. Myself and 1 other player were the only players that asked for some $1 chips to use for tips. The dealer is the hosts wife (former casino dealer herself) and every tip she gets goes right into the rake drop. So essentially most hands are raked $15!

This game started last year right as the pandemic started so I understand he had a captive audience since the casino was closed. The host is a former casino dealer and originally started this game years ago as a Dealer's game on Monday nights. Again, he had a captive audience since casino workers can't play in the casino here in Ohio.

But now the game is mostly local business owners and a few degenerate gamblers. Masks are no longer required at the casino now either. So having that as a selling point for the underground game is not valid.

So my question is why would the regulars in this game continue to pay such a high rake to play in this game when there are cheaper options for a similar sized game at the casino?

The host does allow players to go "on the books" and most of them used this option. I know some settled up after they busted for the last time and others said they would meet up during the week before the next game to settle up. Everyone was paid out in cash at the end of the night so he keeps a decent amount of cash in reserves. He is smart enough to know if you can't pay out everyone at the end of the night the game will die right there. But is this option to not need to bring a lot of cash worth the high cost?
 

RudysNYC

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In my experience, raked ug games tend to inspire a helluva lot more action than casino play. I was at Harrah's Sunday night in AC playing a really great 1/3 game, but the action wasn't a fraction of the intensity of ug games I've played. Granted, I'm from NYC, but almost 100% of the time in my experience raked UG games have been heavier, faster, and looser than casino games.

Quite frankly it's one of the reasons I stopped going to UG games--I can only stand so many dudes on their 11th hour at the table with $4k behind them at 1/3. I love a good coinflip, but it gets ridiculous when the diamond dealer shoves $2k with ducks, the Asian failson on the backend of a coke bender calls with :kh::jh:, and you proudly put your $362 into the pot just for your pocket rockets to get cracked... over and over again.
 

jpietrella

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It depends on the game, I'd say. If the game is consistently soft with the same reliable players, that's a plus.

I also agree that these games can, a lot of times, inspire better action than the casino games.

Being able to go on the books is another plus, but for winning players, the above reasons are probably weightier.

For losing players, I wonder if the comfort and familiarity of players are factors. Free food and beverage doesn't hurt.
 

Goldfish

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The main benefits of a home game (1) the host can set up a good line up and exclude tight asses and pros. Many action players don’t like going to a casino for various reasons so the line up is usually much better. And at the casino you can’t exclude tight asses and pros if someone leaves the game. Thus, typically the home game line up is way better than the casino games. (2) at home games action players can play up to their net worth instead of what the bring to the casino game. Credit is key. This increases the action, which makes for a much better game.
$10 per hand for a 5/5 game is not a lot of rake. I have seen 5/5 games that take 50 a hand. In fact, $10 is pretty cheap, especially if the line up is good. The host takes a rake to guaranty you get paid at the end of the night. It is a fee to compensate the host for dealing with the slow pays snd no pays on the back end. From what you said, seems like the host takes that seriously. Tipping 5 a hand is not a big deal either in a 5/5 game. If that bothers u, u can tell the dealer u will tip at the end of the night. Just understand that it is a privilege not a right to play in a good home game. If u are a tight ass that does not tip u may not get invited back. Personally, I tip everyone a lot - the dealer and the food service girls, especially if I am a winner. Dealing is a tremendously hard job and serving food all night often goes unappreciated. Just my thoughts.
 

grebe

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OP, your argument is a good one. However, around here there is no casino. You either find a couple good home games, pay for an underground game, or drive 90 miles into the worst traffic on this continent to play at a casino.

Fortunately for me, I have played in good home games to this point. However, there is a good chance that is about to change soon (I have an underground game on my radar).
 

khp

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The main benefits of a home game (1) the host can set up a good line up and exclude tight asses and pros. Many action players don’t like going to a casino for various reasons so the line up is usually much better. And at the casino you can’t exclude tight asses and pros if someone leaves the game. Thus, typically the home game line up is way better than the casino games. (2) at home games action players can play up to their net worth instead of what the bring to the casino game. Credit is key. This increases the action, which makes for a much better game.
$10 per hand for a 5/5 game is not a lot of rake. I have seen 5/5 games that take 50 a hand. In fact, $10 is pretty cheap, especially if the line up is good. The host takes a rake to guaranty you get paid at the end of the night. It is a fee to compensate the host for dealing with the slow pays snd no pays on the back end. From what you said, seems like the host takes that seriously. Tipping 5 a hand is not a big deal either in a 5/5 game. If that bothers u, u can tell the dealer u will tip at the end of the night. Just understand that it is a privilege not a right to play in a good home game. If u are a tight ass that does not tip u may not get invited back. Personally, I tip everyone a lot - the dealer and the food service girls, especially if I am a winner. Dealing is a tremendously hard job and serving food all night often goes unappreciated. Just my thoughts.
I’m not trying to be cheeky. Why do you say dealing is tremendously hard?
 

Regularjohn

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(1) the host can set up a good line up and exclude tight asses and pros. Many action players don’t like going to a casino for various reasons so the line up is usually much better. And at the casino you can’t exclude tight asses and pros if someone leaves the game. Thus, typically the home game line up is way better than the casino games.
I feel like this is the biggest one. you have more control over who is in your game and not just Joe Nobody who is going to slow roll/hit and run/be rude/etc.

You also mentioned free food. Its not ribe eye steaks, but all of that still costs money. Casinos offer comps but its different when you have to build up to it.

And some people dont wanna deal with the hustle and bustle of a casino. Maybe they are more private people and dont wanna be seen in the casino. This could be said for a lot underground games that have been spread for years. Look at all of the underground NYC games, and AC is only 2 hours away.

edit: i forgot to mention some people would rather support their friends/neighbors/etc than a massive corporate casino.

oh and some people dont even pay attention to rake lol
 

Rhodeman77

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Does the casino spread a 5/5 game?
the casino PLO game is $1/2/5 with a $200-$700 buy-in. On the weekends there will often be a $5/10 PLO game if there aren't any big promos as that is a time rake game so it doesn't qualify for any Promos then.
 

Goldfish

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I personally can’t stand going to the casino and only go when a semi private game is put together. My biggest problem is the baccarat table. I can’t walk by without playing. spend 8 hours grinding out a 4K win, and then dust of 12k in 15 minutes. Awesome. so stupid.
 

dreadkittenroberts

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Why go to a restaurant when you can just throw something in the microwave? Why go to the park and fly a kite when you can just pop a pill?
 

CrazyEddie

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the diamond dealer shoves $2k with ducks, the Asian failson on the backend of a coke bender calls with :kh::jh:
lol

Tell me more of the characters you run into in these places!

oughtta be a good movie to be made here somewhere
 

Rhodeman77

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I forgot to ask, what's the avg pot sizes in these games?
For the first 2 orbits someone was all-in every hand it seems.

Most hands had a button staddle on. So it was anywhere from $10-$25 to go preflop. Surprisingly only one player raised his straddle the majority of the time. The rest checked their option almost every time.

The host allows straddles of any amount. Figuring if people want to put money in blind they can put as much as they want. There were some $30 straddles later in the night.

Overall there were not many pots under $200.
 

CrazyEddie

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oh and some people dont even pay attention to rake lol
I feel like this has gotta be the real reason right here.

Games like this are populated by people with lots of money and poor math skills. They pay through the nose so that once in a while they can go home with triple what they started with and feel like a winner, even though most nights they're doing well to be breaking even. They made their money doing something else and playing cards is how they like to throw it away.

If you're one of those guys, who fucking cares about the rake? What's a rake? Put your damn money in the middle and let's play some cards, asshole. Hah! See, I knew I was gonna catch that runner runner!

... or so I assume. I mean, all this money has to be coming from somewhere, right?

But someone who actually knows please set me straight.
 

CrazyEddie

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I personally can’t stand going to the casino and only go when a semi private game is put together. My biggest problem is the baccarat table. I can’t walk by without playing. spend 8 hours grinding out a 4K win, and then dust of 12k in 15 minutes. Awesome. so stupid.

Here's hoping your ride home doesn't have any mechanical issues.

1623860660763.png
 

upNdown

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serving food all night often goes unappreciated
I think I'd pay extra rake for their NOT to be food served all night. It's a distraction, it slows down play, people make a mess of chips and cards and the table, and a lot of people eat like pigs. I understand the majority of people feel the need to eat every few hours, but I don't like it. Me, I'm fine with beer calories.
 
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Venturalvn

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Not sure of your proximity or the other players' proximity to the casino games, but in our small area here it would take 90-120 minutes to get to the nearest LA card room. If you're looking for some action and don't want to put in 3+ hours of drive time to and from, then a raked home game is the next best thing.
 

Regularjohn

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I think I'd pay extra rake for their NOT to be food served all night. It's a distraction, it slows down play, people make a mess of chips and food and the table and a lot of people eat like pigs. I understand the majority of people feel the need to eat every few hours, but I don't like it. Me, I'm fine with beer calories.
eating at the table is tilting. if you need to eat, step away from the table, stuff your face, wash your hands, and come back.

i had a guy at my game eat at the table, then proceed to lick all of his fingers like lollipops. i never had such disgust for another human being. after he was done (and before he touched anything) i asked wtf is wrong with him and told him to go wash his hands.

and im sure dealers in casinos see this and even worse.
 

trigs

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I'm not suggesting that a $10 rake for a $5-$5 game is high, but I have to assume at least 20 hands per hour and at least 6 hours of play = $1200 a night in rake. For that much money a night I'm expecting a lot of amenities in a home game such as dedicated dealer, free booze, free food that is actually good, nice poker chips, comfortable seating, nice table, proper security, etc. The OP says chips, snacks and pop/water - that is not going to cut it for me.
 

Rhodeman77

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Not sure of your proximity or the other players' proximity to the casino games, but in our small area here it would take 90-120 minutes to get to the nearest LA card room. If you're looking for some action and don't want to put in 3+ hours of drive time to and from, then a raked home game is the next best thing.

Here in Cleveland we are very fortunate, being a Mid-Major city we have all of the amenities of the big cities with way less traffic. The longest it takes to get to downtown from any of the outlying cities is 45 minutes. If there is a big event going on downtown there can be traffic trying to park or get out afterwards but that is easy to avoid if you are going to the casino by timing it right.
 

Senzrock

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In NYC, we are 90-120 mins away from the closest casino... raked ug games are a few blocks away... easy decision for many people (not for me though, I still stay away from the ug games because the rake feels unbeatable).
 

Goldfish

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I think I'd pay extra rake for their NOT to be food served all night. It's a distraction, it slows down play, people make a mess of chips and cards and the table, and a lot of people eat like pigs. I understand the majority of people feel the need to eat every few hours, but I don't like it. Me, I'm fine with beer calories.
Have you seen my post about poker players aka squirrels….. enough said. Hahaha.

Post in thread 'Asking for one time donations...'
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/asking-for-one-time-donations.73900/post-1497472
 

grebe

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I think I'd pay extra rake for their NOT to be food served all night. It's a distraction, it slows down play, people make a mess of chips and cards and the table, and a lot of people eat like pigs. I understand the majority of people feel the need to eat every few hours, but I don't like it. Me, I'm fine with beer calories.
Fucking squirrels...
 

grebe

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eating at the table is tilting. if you need to eat, step away from the table, stuff your face, wash your hands, and come back.

i had a guy at my game eat at the table, then proceed to lick all of his fingers like lollipops. i never had such disgust for another human being. after he was done (and before he touched anything) i asked wtf is wrong with him and told him to go wash his hands.

and im sure dealers in casinos see this and even worse.
Have you ever heard of "The Chip Cleaner"? Do yourself a favor and never go to twoplustwo and search for it. Seriously. Don't do it.
 

trigs

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Have you ever heard of "The Chip Cleaner"? Do yourself a favor and never go to twoplustwo and search for it. Seriously. Don't do it.
Oh god, I think I know the story you are talking about.
 
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