According to Facts & Factors, the global online poker market size reached $76.7 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $170.12 billion by 2030. While the market is experiencing constant growth, individual poker operators will always seek ways to make the poker business more profitable.
The basic business rule is to increase income and decrease expenses to boost profit. In the online poker room, income can come from various sources. Today, we’ll specifically focus on the topic of rake because it is the core of the online poker room’s revenue.
Let’s review the general principles and specific methods of increasing rake. The operator’s benefit from rake consists of:
- Number of players
- Time players spend in the game
- Commission percentage
- Pot amounts
- Number of hands played per hour
Thus, you need to influence these aspects without harming customer satisfaction.
Improve Player Acquisition and Retention
You should aim to increase the number of users and the amount of time they spend in the game. To achieve this, focus on providing a better user experience.
- Reliable Software. A successful poker room requires poker software free of critical technical issues. Game clients should operate quickly, servers should remain stable, and the software provider should be customer-oriented, promptly addressing any arising issues. It’s crucial for the software to offer technical capabilities for flexible room customisation, enabling the implementation of various business strategies at both tactical and strategic levels.
- Smooth Onboarding. Utilise special acquisition tools to allow new players to enjoy the game without significant investments. Offer starting bonuses and provide freeroll tournaments. If players realise that playing in your room is enjoyable, they are more likely to stay for an extended period.
- Safety. Trustworthiness is crucial. Pay attention to data protection and anti-fraud systems to ensure a secure gaming environment.
- Make it Fun. Offer players a variety of games and their variations, numerous tournaments, and other events. Implement various missions and leaderboards to introduce gamification within the game. This diversification enhances the user experience and prevents players from getting bored.
Use promo and marketing tools to attract new users and provide quality service to increase their Lifetime Value (LTV).
Keep Players Playing
In online poker, players lose money to other players, not to the operator. Therefore, a player’s loss does not generate profit for the operator. Moreover, the operator is interested in players preserving their stacks for as long as possible: continuing to play and generating rake.
If you implement settings that help preserve the stack in critical moments, you will increase your revenue, and players will appreciate it. Additionally, it will diversify the gameplay.
Run It Twice or Double Board
“Run It Twice” is a feature that can be activated when all players at the table go all-in. In this scenario, all players involved need to have the “Run It Twice” checkbox enabled, and once this condition is met, two separate card boards appear on the table. The remaining community cards are dealt to each board, resulting in two potential outcomes for the hand. The pot is equally distributed to each winning hand, adhering to the standard rules of the game.
By allowing players to “Run It Twice,” the feature decreases the likelihood of a player losing their entire stack and leaving the game. This reduction in risk encourages players to continue playing, contributing to longer play sessions and increased rake.
A similar feature is Double Board: the difference is that there is no requirement for players to go all-in.
Another feature that decreases the likelihood of kicking off a player in the all-in situation, but also can become an additional source of income for the room.
When a player goes all-in and opts for Cashout Insurance, they receive a predetermined payment regardless of the hand’s result. However, they forfeit any rights to the main pot. This means that even if they win the hand, they’ll only receive the insurance claim amount, which is typically a fraction of the pot.
The insurance claim amount depends on the player’s winning chances and the total pot size. The lower the player’s odds of winning, the smaller the insurance claim.
If the insured player loses the hand, the poker room pays out the insurance claim. However, if the insured player wins, the poker room deducts the insurance claim amount from the remaining pot.
Reject Commission Percentage Raise
While raising the commission percentage might seem like the easiest way to increase rake, it’s likely not the best approach. High commissions can upset players and lead to churn, resulting in even less rake for the poker room.
Conversely, decreasing the rake can become a well-thought-out marketing tool that could be more effective. You just need to implement a rakeback system to encourage players to play more.
Increase Pot Amount
Rake, a small share of each pot, can be increased by encouraging players to raise the stakes. However, creating tables only with high blinds or forcing everyone to play no-limit poker isn’t a feasible solution, as the pot amount is closely connected with players’ skills and habits. Subtler moves are needed.
The simplest way to increase the pot amount is to introduce an ante. An ante is a small, mandatory bet made by all players before the initial deal. While it’s a traditional aspect of Stud games, it’s not typical for games with blinds. There are more interesting methods that not only increase the pot but also enhance the overall gaming experience.
The straddle is a move wherein a player, seated next to the big blind, raises the stakes even before the hole cards are dealt. This manoeuvre is precisely double the big blind, enhancing the intensity of the game. Depending on the table settings, the next player can be allowed to re-straddle, i.e. to double the bet once again.
The straddle is more than just a bet — it’s a strategic statement. It can be a powerful tool to unsettle opponents, increase the stakes, and inject an element of surprise into the game. It can be a psychological tactic, throwing opponents off balance and making them reconsider their strategies for the upcoming hand.
It is a special feature for cash tables. It appears at a random time, and each player pays a fixed ante, usually equal to several blinds. Besides the pot increasing, it influences the player experience.
The Bomb Pot appears suddenly, providing vivid emotions to the players. Players have to improvise and play aggressively when the Bomb Pot appears. So, this feature spices up the game and increases the average pot at the table.
Speed Up the Game
Each hand played at the table brings you rake, therefore to get more rake you should make the users play more hands. The simplest way is to increase the speed of the game. A lot of players like “Rapid” and “Turbo” tables, so you can just offer them in your room. However, there’s some features that increase the number of hands per hour even for those who don’t like playing fast.
Fast Fold Tables
Fast Fold is a dynamic variant of cash tables. As soon as a player folds a hand, they are swiftly moved to a new table to commence the next hand. The seating arrangement is randomised with every hand, adding an element of surprise and excitement.
Players don’t have to wait around after folding a hand. They’re immediately dealt into the next game, intensifying the action.
The thrill of not knowing where you’ll sit for the next hand adds an element of unpredictability. It keeps players on their toes, adapting to new scenarios and opponents constantly.
Operators often dislike regular professional players because they tend to withdraw money more often than depositing. However, they also generate the rake while playing and you can increase the amount.
Regular players enter the game only with a specific combination of hole cards. They discard other combinations on the preflop. Smart Fold allows automating this aspect. Players can configure under which situations their cards will be automatically folded, eliminating the need to press the button themselves. This enables them to play at more tables simultaneously, increasing the number of hands played per hour.
Get More Tips
Despite the rake, online poker rooms have various income sources. For example, you can increase revenue from tournaments and additional fun options. Exclusive details on these options are available for our newsletter subscribers.
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Numerous methods can boost online poker room revenue, enhancing players’ happiness with a diverse and thrilling gaming experience. Implementing these features doesn’t require significant investments, especially if your supplier provides flexible software with a wide range of room management tools. Every feature mentioned in this article can be implemented with EvenBet Gaming software. Contact our managers for details or to discuss your project.