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

Taghkanic

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(A) Are these players who would normally play 2/5 or 5/10 at the nearest casino, and what is that casino’s rake on 2/5 or 5/10?

(B) I think some people just prefer the privacy / exclusivity / perceived thrill of an underground game compared with the public setting of a casino, where anyone can show up, and there is less of an outlaw vibe.

But then, many of the private games I’ve played in have the opposite of an outlaw vibe. More like a “trying to play in a cramped kitchen while pets swarm underfoot and someone is collecting $4 per player to pay the pizza delivery guy, while the host’s kids charge in every 5 minutes to complain that they’re hungry again / can’t get the movie to play / my sibling bit me” vibe.
 

CrazyEddie

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More like a “trying to play in a cramped kitchen while pets swarm underfoot and someone is collecting $4 per player to pay the pizza delivery guy, while the host’s kids charge in every 5 minutes to complain that they’re hungry again / can’t get the movie to play / my sibling bit me” vibe.
Home-sweet-home game.
 

Taghkanic

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P.S. One of the things I notice about private games in my area is that relatively few people buy in for the max. A lot of players buy in for the min, play BINGO with their short stack, then rebuy an outrageous number of times.

At casinos it seems like far more people (with definite exceptions) buy in for the max then milk their first buy-in as long as possible. They’re also more likely to top off if they lose a modest pot.

I don’t find as many people topping off in private games. Instead I see people getting short in one hand and shoving pre/on the flop within a couple more.

Then rebuying. Again.

My theory is that people somehow feel it is more acceptable / less embarrassing to play short and reckless in a private setting than in a casino. Especially if the private game is among friends.

At my game, we play either 1/2 or 2/5 (both unraked) depending on the mix of players. Though people can buy in for up to $300 at a time for the former and $1K for the latter, the buy-ins are more like $150-200 and $300-$400 respectively, with players often digging into their pockets.
 

Bluegrass Poker

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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.
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Regularjohn

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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.
Is this the one where an old man dropped a chip in his coffee and proceed to finish the coffee and fish out his chip the cup was empty?
 

cpiaaq

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Is this the one where an old man dropped a chip in his coffee and proceed to finish the coffee and fish out his chip the cup was empty?
Having just read a couple pages of the disgusting thread at 2+2…. No.
blind betting luckbox saved the dirtiest chips to the side, scraped the goo off with her fingernails and then ate it :vomit:
 

JustDave

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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.
 

trigs

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Just had a thought for this $5-$5 game with a $10 rake: What if it folds all around and blinds both check to make a pot of $10 that goes to flop. SB leads out and BB folds on the flop. Does house then take the $10 (the only money even in the pot) and SB literally wins nothing? Just curious. OP states $10/hand and not "up to $10 max/hand".
 

DeusEx

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would depend on the 'lead out', most house games wouldn't rake that, if sb leads out 100 they might.
 

Kain8

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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.

The @CraigT78 mantra of poker clearly.
 

Rhodeman77

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Just had a thought for this $5-$5 game with a $10 rake: What if it folds all around and blinds both check to make a pot of $10 that goes to flop. SB leads out and BB folds on the flop. Does house then take the $10 (the only money even in the pot) and SB literally wins nothing? Just curious. OP states $10/hand and not "up to $10 max/hand".
That never happened so I can’t say, but I am guessing it is a 10% rake capped at $10. I saw plenty of times $5 taken out from the preflop bets then an additional $5 on the flop. But every hand was raked $10. There was never a pot under $100 or if there was it was close enough that they still took the $5 on the flop.
 

Kain8

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Just had a thought for this $5-$5 game with a $10 rake: What if it folds all around and blinds both check to make a pot of $10 that goes to flop. SB leads out and BB folds on the flop. Does house then take the $10 (the only money even in the pot) and SB literally wins nothing? Just curious. OP states $10/hand and not "up to $10 max/hand".

Why would the blinds not just chop and go to the next hand? That should be allowed in all games in my opinion.
 

Goldfish

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That never happened so I can’t say, but I am guessing it is a 10% rake capped at $10. I saw plenty of times $5 taken out from the preflop bets then an additional $5 on the flop. But every hand was raked $10. There was never a pot under $100 or if there was it was close enough that they still took the $5 on the flop.
In my experience the house won’t take rake from a pot under 100. The real question is whether the house rakes bangers and bomb pots. Most games I go to don’t. The few that have get extreme back lash from the players.
 

Old State

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Im very close to casinos but even if I wasn’t I don’t like the idea of raked games. Shady people always there and there is an incentive to open the invitation to anyone.
Fortunately I’ve established enough poker friends over the last 20 years to get a game together at any stakes between .25/.50 to 2/5….which is the highest I play anyway.
 
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if you think 10% cap 10 is bad, there're plenty in toronto that're 10% cap 40... 50... sometimes even uncapped. A 5/5 plo game i know if is 10% max $50 which is just hilarious for a game like omaha. yet there're plenty of people convinced that because the other players are so bad that this is actually a lucrative game. i think many these people would probably find 'value' at 20% uncapped rake tbh. they just don't have any way of quantifying what their edge is against bad players. the power of positive thinking for the loss.
 

Rhodeman77

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The last time I played in the $5/5 PLO game the guy running it upped the rake to $15/hand without saying anything to the players. I texted him after the game politely protesting the increase. He cleared every bit $2500 for the night in rake. There was nothing extra offered back to the players for the 50% increase either. The host must not have liked my text as I have not been invited back since lol.

I am having a game Saturday and one of the other players in that game will be playing in it. Hopefully he has a great experience and talks up my game to some of the other players.
 
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If he’s dishonest enough to do it covertly he’s probably doing other shady things. Places with high rake caps ime have also had the tendency to over rake on top of their absurd rake. They also sometimes have house players who collude. Any time large sums of money are at stake in an illegal operation you should not assume that the people running it are honest even though some are.
 

Goldfish

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I’m not trying to be cheeky. Why do you say dealing is tremendously hard?
For some reason I missed this - dealing a higher stakes game is tremendously hard work. We play a lot of big o so the dealer has to keep track of the pot and then split the pot quickly so we can move to the next hand. First, the Dealer has to pay attention to every hand and for the entire hand. Players take this for granted and do not realize how much down time they actually get during a game. keeping track of the pots and splitting them all night takes a tremendous amount of energy and concentration. Second, the better dealers are machines. They deal all night moving the game along. Very few breaks. Third, they take a lot of shit from players over the course of the night. When players get dealt a bad beat they blame the dealer. Happens all the time. It’s a tough job for sure (and many time not appreciated).
 

jpietrella

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For some reason I missed this - dealing a higher stakes game is tremendously hard work. We play a lot of big o so the dealer has to keep track of the pot and then split the pot quickly so we can move to the next hand. First, the Dealer has to pay attention to every hand and for the entire hand. Players take this for granted and do not realize how much down time they actually get during a game. keeping track of the pots and splitting them all night takes a tremendous amount of energy and concentration. Second, the better dealers are machines. They deal all night moving the game along. Very few breaks. Third, they take a lot of shit from players over the course of the night. When players get dealt a bad beat they blame the dealer. Happens all the time. It’s a tough job for sure (and many time not appreciated).
+1

Dealing is much more than pitching cards (which is somewhat difficult to master on its own). In addition to keeping track of the pot, the action, putting up with players and moving the game along, some casinos will require dealers to keep track of their tray. They do it at Encore Boston (when the poker room was open). When a dealer sits down, they're required to count the tray within the first 3 hands and do it without stopping the game. If it's off by even $1, it's a floor call.
 

Venturalvn

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Not to mention the dealers have to keep track of the pot size to calculate how much rake to take by %, and how much max rake is, etc. Could be different amount of rake preflop vs flop vs turn vs river.
 
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Rake isn’t all that difficult IMO. A bit more so in smaller games since you’re now dealing with increments of 1$. In 5/5nl+ Though you’re in almost all cases just taking the full cap of 10 and when it’s less than that the pot is so small that it’s easy to eyeball.

plo or plo8 is a lot harder to deal due to how common splits and quartering are often with side pots.

it’s not easy work for sure but they’re very well compensated for what it is if they keep their tips even with a base pay of the min wage. The difficulty is landing jobs in card rooms that run bigger games - because it pays so much more than a ‘market wage’ its highly competitive and fraught with ‘politics’.
 

jpietrella

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Rake isn’t all that difficult IMO. A bit more so in smaller games since you’re now dealing with increments of 1$. In 5/5nl+ Though you’re in almost all cases just taking the full cap of 10 and when it’s less than that the pot is so small that it’s easy to eyeball.

plo or plo8 is a lot harder to deal due to how common splits and quartering are often with side pots.

it’s not easy work for sure but they’re very well compensated for what it is if they keep their tips even with a base pay of the min wage. The difficulty is landing jobs in card rooms that run bigger games - because it pays so much more than a ‘market wage’ its highly competitive and fraught with ‘politics’.
Rake, if done correctly gets taken incrementally. Yes, if the action is fast dealers will take it towards the end, but typically it's taken in increments.

For example at a 1/2 NL game, $1 when the pot is $20. Then another when it's $30, and so on. It doesn't always work out as the same percentage and dealers will get scolded if they wait until the end.

I think the difficulty comes in the multitasking and keeping track of so many things at once. It's certainly not complicated on paper but it's an entirely different thing to do in the heat of the game while doing 10 other things, and then doing it correctly and efficiently.
 
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