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POKER ECONOMICS AND PRACTICAL MATTERS


Where is the casino during all this heated action? They're sitting above the fray collecting a portion of every pot. This is called the rake. Five to 10 percent is common. Or they may charge an hourly fee per player. Other casinos simply collect a flat amount for every hand. Whatever the method, you'll pay about $10 per hour to sit in a low stakes games. That amount will more than double in a higher stakes games.

Let's say seven people bring $300 each to the table. That's a total of $2,100. The house will steadily extract money as the games continues, so the total amount that can be won will decrease. The good players will take the money that is left and the not so-good players will see their chips disappear.

Remember, poker is not like other casino games. It's not a series of decisions with a predictable edge for the house. There is no comforting once-through percentage to calculate. Weaker poker players lose. That's it. Playing conservatively just slows the flow of chips. What happens if you get a dream hand? Superior players read you like a clock and fold. Congratulations; you won the antes. Or they pull you in and skewer you with an even better hand.

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