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View Poll Results: vote for as many options that you feel a host can rake to recover costs
cost of poker related furniture like table and chairs 7 12.73%
cost of poker supplies like chips, cards 11 20.00%
raking all night to cover providing food 6 10.91%
raking a fixed amount from each pot untill food costs covered 13 23.64%
cost of cleaning up after the game 5 9.09%
cost of extra hydro, water and other utilities 4 7.27%
cover time to organize the cash game, making calls and setting up 5 9.09%
wear and tear on furniture ( non poker related) 4 7.27%
other costs not listed 3 5.45%
friends dont rake friends 39 70.91%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-29-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
DavidNB
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whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

As per the title, I tried to list the most common costs I see posted in this forum. I excluded achool because I feel providing this at any game crosses it into a for profit venture. Feel free to vote as many options listed that you feel are proper costs for running a home cash game. This assumes its weekly single table game

Last edited by DavidNB; 08-29-2011 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: whats acceptable costs for a home game host to charge

hopefully I covered everything guys, vote away. Of course, everyone should know I disagree with raking or charging for a home poker game. This poll and thread is simply to get other views
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: whats acceptable costs for a home game host to charge

I run a twice monthly game and dont charge anything. Seems like a douchy move if your inviting buddies over for poker and expecting them to pay to get in. If your looking to make money go to the casino. You shouldn't be trying to profit off them unless you beat them. At my game people bring there own drinks and we take food breaks and play all day. So there is no reason to charge people to hang out and play. Sure I provide the place but its just the same as them coming over to watch an NFL game. Its just a get together for some gambling. Douchy move man
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

friends don't rake friends, ainec
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

i run a twice weekly game, and don't charge anything. occasionally, when things like needing new cards or table felt pop up (2 or 3 times per year), i will let my regulars know i need $X and they all chip in. i don't provide food or beer, but have a full size fridge for people to bring their own. it takes me 15 minutes after the game (actually 15 min before the next game lol) to clean up the room. extra water and lights? really, how cheap are you? i pay an extra $20 a month so i can have 2 seperate cable streams for my poker room. not a big deal. charging for your time to organize and set up the game? good thing i have unlimited texts on my phone.

if you are regularly hosting poker games, it stands to reason that you are (or at least should be) among the better players at your games. therefore, you should be eating all these (minimal) costs to keep players come over, having a good time, and losing their money to you.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:11 AM   #6
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

I prefer that any cost recovery happens some way other than rake. I'm OK with the concept of raking until the pizza is paid for, but I think it's simpler to just have people hand you a couple bucks a slice or whatever it works out to. A cover charge would sit a lot better with me than a rake.

Raking a home game for specific costs just feels like training the players to accept a "real" rake someday, the way stars rakes play-chip tournaments.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

If you're providing a dealer and alcohol then depends on stakes played but rake is reasonable but it's a for profit venture.

If you're not providing either then no rake tell people to bring their own food if need be or everyone chip in for pizza etc.

If it's a friendly homegame, charging rake (other than to pay dealer/for alcohol) is ridiculous
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:20 AM   #8
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
friends don't rake friends, ainec
x infinity.

Hosting is hosting. If you don't want to buy poker tables, custom chips, etc., then don't. However, if you do that's on you. I've bought three sets of chips, a poker table, and 10 folding chairs in the past when I could host. I never even thought about asking for anything to cover those items. I bought them partly because I wanted them, but also I just wanted to play, and a nice setup will keep people coming back.

I don't like raking until the pizza, soda, chips are paid for because what if I don't partake in any of those items? I'm forced to fund those snacks, so I like a cover/pitch in at the time of purchase for those things.

Ultimately, if it's friendly it's byob or food. If costs of setup are an issue, have one person buy the table, one the chips, and the other the cards.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:47 AM   #9
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Re: whats acceptable costs for a home game host to charge

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Originally Posted by BigTVeno View Post
If your looking to make money go to the casino.
Not saying that I agree with raking, but some people are oblivious to the fact that not everyone has easy access to a casino...
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:52 AM   #10
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

friends don't rake friends. plain and simple. if we want to collect for new cards, and to cover the cost of food and consumables we leave a tip jar out or we ask they everyone leave a small donation.

raking is illegal in most states and can turn your friendly home game into an underground club that cops won't mind busting up
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:56 AM   #11
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Re: whats acceptable costs for a home game host to charge

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Originally Posted by avaholic View Post
Not saying that I agree with raking, but some people are oblivious to the fact that not everyone has easy access to a casino...
True, however a raked game is equivalent to running a casino and along with that comes higher chances of getting busted or even robbed as word spreads. Also, any raked home game (i.e Underground Club) I've played in offered a much higher level of security for the players, with armored and locked doors and guards. There were also massage girls, free alcohol and tasty food, as well as the expectations from the players that the owner or his subordinates would float them if they busted,
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:55 AM   #12
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
friends don't rake friends, ainec
In a true home game, I agree.
But then, they're either

a) bringing in some eqpt and food or
b) rotating hosting.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:57 AM   #13
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Re: whats acceptable costs for a home game host to charge

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Originally Posted by BigTVeno View Post
. Sure I provide the place but its just the same as them coming over to watch an NFL game.
IF it really is just the same, then I can agree.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:59 AM   #14
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

I voted for eqpt and such, but my version is that only a lesser portion of the costs of eqpt can be included, since the host gets to keep the eqpt.

not that the host is going to DO much with eqpt, except provide poker games. If he's running a catering business as well.... then no dice... or chairs, or anything but cards.

As stated above, none of that applies to a true home game
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:02 AM   #15
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ8682 View Post
I don't like raking until the pizza, soda, chips are paid for because what if I don't partake in any of those items? I'm forced to fund those snacks,
Luck of the draw, imo. Having a decent range of snacks and drinks adds to the environment, and drawing power of the game, for everyone.

There are a ton of things that I don't partake of, yet I provide. It's not about providing food/drinks for me.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:53 AM   #16
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

I think the title answers its own question: find out how much you pay in expenses and translate that to the rake.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:27 AM   #17
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

I'm not sure what this poll is really after. Does "acceptable" mean an individual preference, or a statement of what is moral conduct?

From my earliest days playing poker, it was common to contribute to a kitty for expenses. Kitty is a poker term specific to home games, as far as I know.

Anything a group of people agree to in a free society is by definition "acceptable" to that group. If it is not acceptable to one individual, they can play in a different game.

"Friends don't rake friends" does not even cover this, in my opinion. "Friends agreeing to share costs" is more like it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:48 PM   #18
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lottery Larry View Post
Luck of the draw, imo. Having a decent range of snacks and drinks adds to the environment, and drawing power of the game, for everyone.

There are a ton of things that I don't partake of, yet I provide. It's not about providing food/drinks for me.
Luck of the draw? Come on, you know you don't believe that. Yeah, that adds to the ambiance, but if you as the host voluntarily decide to provide that as part of your home game that's your deal, not mine if I'm a guest. I'm coming with the intention of playing poker, not dining with you.

Maybe as a host that's true. However, I'm not looking at this from a hosts perspective, but a player. I would be shocked if you showed up as a guest to a home game and stuck around to play if they were raking for food and beer and you already ate and aren't drinking.

_________

You don't rake home games. Period.

All these reasonings for raking sound good in theory, but would be disastrous if put into practice. No one would continue to play, the reason I play home games is to escape the rake. If I put $30 into a pot and get two others to do so too, I want $90 in chips pushed back to me, not $85.

If you want to provide snacks and recoup funds for that, I have no problem with that, make it known that you'll be providing them at the consumers expense outside of the game. Charge per beer or water bottle if you want. Put out a tip jar and say if you eat it's strongly recommended you tip or there may not be snacks next time. Or do a cover at the door that gets you a bracelet that allows you unlimited food and drink. But no bracelet, no food or drinks. There's a plethora of other options before you decide to start pulling money from the pot.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:30 PM   #19
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Re: whats acceptable costs for a home game host to charge

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Originally Posted by Rottersod View Post
True, however a raked game is equivalent to running a casino and along with that comes higher chances of getting busted or even robbed as word spreads. Also, any raked home game (i.e Underground Club) I've played in offered a much higher level of security for the players, with armored and locked doors and guards. There were also massage girls, free alcohol and tasty food, as well as the expectations from the players that the owner or his subordinates would float them if they busted,
I was responding to the post that said "if you want to make money go to a casino". Not everyone can go to the casino if you live in an area where a casino is not easily accessible and the post itself was confusing since you don't get a portion of the rake when you go to a casino.

I disagree that running a raked game is the equivalent to running a casino. Sure both are a for profit endeavors, but that is the point at which the similarities between the two stop.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:58 PM   #20
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
friends don't rake friends, ainec
Quote:
Originally Posted by SwoopAE View Post
If it's a friendly homegame, charging rake is ridiculous
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ8682 View Post
You don't rake home games. Period.
Not every home game is the same. I run a game, at least once a week and sometimes twice. I don't rake. I don't rake because of two main reasons:

1) The amount that I would profit off the rake is not worth the legal hassle that I would face should there ever be one in my opinion.

2) I host because I enjoy playing poker and I would rather have a game at my house then have to always drive to someone else's house every time I want to play. Plus, the main game I spread is a mixed game which is hard to find at most other home games in the area I live in. I am also a winning player, so, by getting the games together I stand to make money simply by getting people over to play. That is enough for me.

The problem I have with the "you don't rake friends" statement is that not everyone plays in home games that are totally comprised of buddies. For the most part, I like the people that come over to my house to play, but there are a handful of people that I don't like as much or would never spend any time around if poker wasn't the medium that brought us together. They may be good action players or help fill the game or be friends with another player in the game, etc. As long as they're not douche bags, they are welcome to come play but that doesn't mean that we are having some version of a kumbayah club that doesn't charge an admission fee.

Different games have different motives. Some choose to rake and some don't. The argument that you don't have your buddies over to play and then rake just like you wouldn't have them over to watch a game and charge a fee doesn't apply to all home games though. If you're having a social gathering with your friends and poker happens to be the activity that passes the time, then I agree, raking is lame. Not all "home games" are comprised of people with that motive though and not all home games are geared around friends getting together to play. If someone chooses to rake, even if it is a good friend of mine, I have the ability to decide if the game is worth playing in and what amenities they are providing for the rake they are charging whether that be food, drink, security, equipment, etc. and if they are worth the cost of the rake.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:19 PM   #21
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

It depends what you're after: fun or money.

The rake itself doesn't even have to be a profit center. If you convert an unraked BYOB/BYOF game into a raked game with free booze and lots of food, but don't net a dime from the rake, you'll still make more at the table when opponents are getting tipsy and full and generally too busy having fun.

I would disagree with the very idea that there is any such thing as a friendly poker game at meaningful stakes. I don't see anything friendly in taking money off of people because of their shortcomings.

If I'm playing with mere acquaintances then I won't do anything to dispel the notion of the "friendly game."

As the saying goes, if you don't know who the sucker is after 15 minutes, then it's you. If they're busy having fun at the friendly game with the free alcohol then it's them.

That friendly game is a bit like Santa Claus. It only really exists if everybody believes in it and even then it is only in their mind.

There's nothing unreasonable in providing good equipment and a good atmosphere and you shouldn't have to beg for tips. Nobody worth inviting in will complain if the game has to break even on expenses.

If it's a home game then most players are there for entertainment. If they can fold a hand, get up, and get a beer, they aren't going to complain about the little charge which makes sure the beer is always there and they never have to worry about bringing it on their own or the person giving it away running out.

I voted that anything can be raked for any reason. It depends on the situation.

Whether its taken from each hand or from each seat doesn't really matter.

I'll admit though, I've been raked a lot harder at weddings and birthday parties I was expected to attend and expected to bring a gift/envelope. Nobody really complains about that because it is a social norm. People are expected to contribute back for the cost of the event. It's all in how you structure it. Selling admissions tickets to your wedding wouldn't be very popular. A gift registry accomplishes the same thing without looking tacky.

You might tell your players to bring $10 over the buy-in then ask them in the same sentence about their food and drink preferences. If there is too much coming and going you might propose doing it per hand or per unit time.

It's whatever you think you can get based on how you read your guests.

Last edited by tam470; 08-30-2011 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:51 PM   #22
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by eneely View Post
I'm not sure what this poll is really after. Does "acceptable" mean an individual preference, or a statement of what is moral conduct?

From my earliest days playing poker, it was common to contribute to a kitty for expenses. Kitty is a poker term specific to home games, as far as I know.

Anything a group of people agree to in a free society is by definition "acceptable" to that group. If it is not acceptable to one individual, they can play in a different game.

"Friends don't rake friends" does not even cover this, in my opinion. "Friends agreeing to share costs" is more like it.
The purpose of the poll is to get a feel on whats the acceptable to forum members.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:01 PM   #23
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

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Originally Posted by gedanken View Post
I prefer that any cost recovery happens some way other than rake. I'm OK with the concept of raking until the pizza is paid for, but I think it's simpler to just have people hand you a couple bucks a slice or whatever it works out to. A cover charge would sit a lot better with me than a rake.

Raking a home game for specific costs just feels like training the players to accept a "real" rake someday, the way stars rakes play-chip tournaments.
I didn t include 4 guys splitting the cost of a pizza because its not a host trying to recover costs. 4 Guys were hungry and they split the cost of a pizza.

Having a cover charge or door fee to me is the same as a rake. Everyone is paying for it and its a rake under another name.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:12 PM   #24
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

I think it is acceptable to ask ppl to bring food, or, chip in for food, or, ask for everyone to give $5 for food when they arrive, or whatever. Raking not so much.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:47 PM   #25
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Re: whats acceptable costs that a host can rake at a home game to recover costs

While I prefer the final option, I take no issue with raking (or any other collection mechanism) that pays for immediate shared costs like food and/or the Pay Per View fight.

In a club, league, or similar, I have no problem raking (or other collection methods) to cover durable goods that belong to the club or league and might move or travel.
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