Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cake Rake Break

Ryan had posted in his blog about how the rake seriously cuts into your profits. I had commented about how in NL poker in general you want to win the huge pots and not worry about stealing small pots. That advice also minimizes the amount of rake you pay but only at higher limit games where the rake caps out. After spending more cycles on the matter I have some more observations:

* According to Cake's rake schedule page, the rake is .05 per $1 in the pot. After some observation at the tables, I found that it is *literally* a nickel after a $1 gets into the pot, it is not a 5% rake (i.e. .01 for each .20 in the pot). If the pot grows to .99 then is taken down, there is zero rake. Taken to the nth degreee, if you ONLY played small pots you could pay rakeless poker. If you were to try to optimize your bet sizes to price out draws *and* to minimize rake, you can make a bet that when called ends up on the south side of an even dollar increment. If you bet the next street and your opponent folds, you've just saved yourself five cents of rake, not insignificant.

* For most purposes, we will never max the rake. However, it is much more likely that when we do it is due to short handed play. The max rake is $1 ($20 pot) when there are 2 or 3 players dealt in, $2 ($40 pot) for 4 or 5 players at the table, and $3 ($60 pot) if the table is 6 handed or more. That being the case, there is not the same penalty for taking down small pots as there is in 1/2 games.

* Ryan's calculation of rake representing a 10% on sugar makes the assumption of being heads up. Lowest possible theoretical rake percentage (disregarding the 99 cent rake optimization technique) would be in a ten handed pot where you are only contributing 10% of the pot and thus yielding a higher sugar/rake ratio.

* Rake on fixed limit games is WAY lower, does pull .01 per .20 in the pot, and does not change based on number of players. They list the rake on a .02/.04 limit game (I assume they are referring to .04/.08, the lowest fixed limit game I can find) as only .04! A far cry from $1! Not sure why there is such an enormous discrepancy unless maybe the cyber-dealers for limit games cost a ton less than NL or something. Orrrr maybe due to the betting structure and how hard it is to build enormous pots compared to NL.

So there you go, just some stuff to keep in mind if you want to reduce the bite that Cake takes out of your sugar.

1 comment:

jason said...

The only tricky thing I have found to beat or not beat the rake is in Omaha 8 when you have a nut low and it is your turn to bet, you are against one opponent and you both have a good size stack. If you bet and are called by the same nut low, you lose money, though not much. I used to be hesitant to bet here but a guy checked to me on the river I had the nut low, no high and I checked. He had a pair of 10's for the high. A big bet here and he goes away and I scoop.

I know there are times when you will be quartered but this usually happens in a multi way pot. Heads up, from now on I am going to make big bets with the nut high or low hoping my opponent folds. Only really applies to Omaha as split pots in Hold'm are more rare.