# Rake and Skipping Stakes

• Bronze
Joined: 28.07.2010
Hi,

Just a speculative question regarding moving between levels.

I've watched the first part of Boomer's Micro Surgery video, and he mentions the horrendous levels of rake that can be found in the micros; additionally, there's a post on 2+2 where a guy is considering avoiding \$1/\$2 and "bouncing" between \$0.5/\$1 and \$2/\$4 because of the substantial level of rake at the room he plays at for 1/2.

So, thinking purely about maximising our profits as poker players, is this a good idea?

I've thought about this, and I've come up with the following scenario, using the 2+2 post as an example:

You've set yourself a limit of 50,000 hands at each stake before looking at your win rate and considering moving up (using a 300BB BR rule for FR). After 50,000 hands you find that you're winning at .5/1 but you're thinking of skipping 1/2 because you know that the rake is around 4BB/100 (pulling a figure out of thin air), you know that you are under-rolled for 2/4 (let's say at .5/1 you've got your BR up to a semi-healthy 200BB for 2/4), but, by taking into account the money you would have lost in rake playing 1/2, you can set yourself a limit of \$2,000 (or 500BB at 2/4) to top up your roll should you need it ((50000/100)*4*\$2). (Caveat: I'm mathematically retarded, so some of these figures could well be wrong - but it's the principle I'm more concerned about.)

If you could be disciplined and stick to this, admittedly, rather utopian rule, would it be a good strategy in rake avoidance and maximise our profit? Or are you just asking to burn away your cash?

• 6 replies
• Bronze
Joined: 22.09.2010
Hi there

It's been a long debated topic this one but personally i would not recommend jumping stakes for a couple of reasons.

1) While there's not a huge difference between 0.5/1 and 1/2, and not a massive difference between 1/2 and 2/4 there are certain differences at each stakes you have to get used to and jumping stakes makes the leap all that more unfamiliar.

2) If you are at all prone to tilt and suddenly run bad in a game 4 times the stakes you're normally used to that's going to be really hard to deal with and could cascade into much worse things

3) Even on Stars the difference in rake between 0.5/1 and 2/4 is about 1.5BB/100 without taking into account VIP Levels which contribute somewhat but I'm going on gross rake here.

Taking into account the regs at 2/4 are far better than the 0.5/1 regs and the fish are more aggressive the rake certainly doesn't tell you everything.

The rake at 10/20 is less than 2BB/100 but I'm not about to tell myself that it makes up for the skill difference compared to a 3/6 table.

In the end, for me it's all about your own comfort level. If you're happy rapidly shifting between stakes there's nothing wrong with emplying slightly riskier bankroll management as long as you stick to the rules. There's nothing wrong with taking limited shots if your bankroll can handle it, personally I was taking 2/4 shots with a \$1000 roll because I always had the bankroll for 1/2 if it failed. Fortunately it didn't and the rest is history.
• Bronze
Joined: 28.07.2010
Hi Boomer!

(Big fan, by the way )

I should point out that this was not something I was thinking of doing - I'm a way off these levels, and will be for some time. I was more concerned with the soundness of the concept with regards to profit - should you plan out an attempt to try and skip a rake heavy stake, or not?

With the example I gave, you're setting aside an amount of your own money that would have been lost to rake ("phantom rake" - effectively) at one stake to supplement a shot at a higher level. This is not for easy-tilters. If you crash and burn, you'll drop two levels, however if you succeed then life is peachy.

What I was concerned with was, does anyone here know someone who's done something similar, i.e. targeted a stake to avoid, and has it worked out for them?
• Bronze
Joined: 28.04.2010
I got a friend whos convinced he is cursed on 50nl. so he played 25nl until he had a little bit overrolled br for 100nl.. and he moved up slowly you know one table at a time to get a feel for it. and it has worked out for him. I think he is playing 400nl or 600nl now (ofcourse this is limit forum but dont know any limit players whos done so)
• Bronze
Joined: 02.09.2008
hey guys

lets open this topic

i see the sites you put but i dont understand

i play 0.5/1-2/4 FR i like to know how much BB/100 i have to do to beat the limited and the rake

its good make me a litle more thight to have more equity? to had a better win rate?

Boomer2k10
i see some videos you make are excelent

how you make the calcul of the win rate necessery to beat a limit because the rake
• Bronze
Joined: 17.06.2010
Historically, there have been a few "population inversions" (to use a term from physics). For some time on Party, the 0.50-1 games were the lowest stakes games and they were very soft despite the high rake. The better players moved up to 1-2 and got stuck. I believe the 2-4 and 3-6 games were actually softer than the 1-2 games. I think few casual players wanted to play 1-2 and the games were infested with regs who were trying to move up from the 0.50-1 games, or who had made a convenient \$600 deposit and were trying to play with a 300 bb bankroll. Occasionally, the highest stakes games have been softer than the level just below it when high-rolling fish fill the highest games.

However, most of the time, higher stakes games are tougher to beat. The lower density of generous casual players and better play by regs are usually more important than the proportional decrease in then rake. You need a very clear reason to think there is currently a population inversion in order to skip a stake level. Note that while a 40/5 player is usually a more profitable opponent than a 30/5 player, a 40/25 player is not, so you can't just look at the average VPIP at each stake level.
• Bronze
Joined: 17.06.2010
Originally posted by makinazero
how you make the calcul of the win rate necessery to beat a limit because the rake
Tracking software takes into account the rake, so you only need to have a positive win rate at a level to win. In fact, do to rakeback, you can come out ahead if your win rate is slightly negative. Some tracking software can keep track of rakeback.

One rule of thumb I used was that for limit hold'em beyond 1-2, each step up costs less than 1 BB/100. If you beat a level for 1 BB/100, then you should at least break even at the next level. Of course, you need a large sample to know your win rate very accurately. If your standard deviation is 15 BB/100, then a rough 95% confidence interval for your win rate after n hands is about your observed win rate +- 300/sqrt(n) BB/100, so you need 90k hands for that confidence interval to be +- 1 BB/100.