How Casinos Make Money From Poker Games

Everything about casinos is designed for the sole purpose of extracting as much money from clientele as possible. A popular example of this would be the fact that most casinos are built without windows to prevent clientele from noticing the time going by to maximise foot traffic and money spent on the floor.

“The House always wins” is an age-old adage that rings true to this day. No matter what game you take part in at a casino, the odds of winning are always skewed heavily in favour of the establishment. That is unless the game is poker.

When playing poker at a casino, you are not playing against the house but instead against other clientele with a dealer present to ensure fair play. In poker, your chances are winning are equal to that of everyone else playing with you and the house has no money invested in the outcome of the game. This then begs the question, how do casinos make worthwhile money from hosting poker games? After all, the house must always win.

How Casinos Monetise their Poker Games


Typically, the house will use its own version of the “rake” system.  The rake refers to a predetermined percentage cut that the house will take out of every pot on the poker table before giving it over to the player with the winning hand.

A good way to think about it is like a form of taxation for every round played at the table. Most typically, the rake percentage demanded by casinos sits anywhere between 2% and 10% but this is not the case everywhere. Some casinos may ask for up to 20% in rake fees to fulfil upkeep costs for their poker tables. In the States, however, 3% to 5% tends to be the median rake.

Per hour

Some casinos will instead charge clientele an hourly fee to sit at the poker table. The primary benefit to this as a player is the fact that money will not be taken out of the pot before being handed to the winner between hands. This can make for much simpler economics and faster round times at the table when a rake does not have to factor in at the end of every hand.


In a poker tournament, you may find yourself playing against dozens of people. To make financial matters simple, tournaments typically have a set buy-in amount that gets exchanged for chips which will be the only currency used throughout the games. With so many people involved, it is best to avoid cash games. To make money off tournaments, casinos will take a cut from every player’s buy-in.

Why Do Some Casinos Not Offer Poker?

For many casinos like Lucky Creek, running poker tables is not worth the cost. Unlike all other casino games, poker is played exclusively among guests with to tilted advantage in favor of the house. It can be more financially lucrative to offer games like Blackjack instead.

The House Always Wins Casinos will always find a way to reap the most amount of money out of their clients as possible. Be wary of this next time you visit one for a game of poker.

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