What does rake mean?
The rake is the money that goes to the house, in other words the poker room. The rake could in other words be seen as a charge. This charge is not always the same, it changes depending on the poker room. A typical rake is about 1-10%.
The rake in cash games is often between 1-5%, depending on such things as the amount of players in the pot, limit and structure.
The rake in tournaments (more often referred to as a fee) it often between 5 and 10%.
This doesn't mean that is a poor choice to choose tournaments instead of cash games. In cash game rake is taken from most pots whereas the rake (or fee) in a tournament is only taken once.
You shouldn’t feel cheated by this, a 90-99% keeping of the total bets is far better than in most other gambling forms. Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker are poker rooms with low rake.
Some poker rooms let you slip away completely from the rake when you’re playing at so-called micro limits – games with very low stakes. There is also a second way to decrease your rake, this is called rakeback and will be treated in the next article.