PokerStars Rake Structure
PokerStars cash games are 'no flop, no drop' - no rake is deducted from the pot if a hand ends on the initial round of betting. In other words, if you win preflop in Texas Hold'em & Omaha, before 4th street in Stud, or predraw in Draw variants - then you pay 0% rake.
Prior to 2012, PokerStars' rake structure was set up to take 5% of each pot up to a cap of $2 at microstakes, $3 at low stakes, $5 at high stakes and 50 cents in heads up pots.
PokerStars used an incremental rake calculation, in which no rake was paid until the pot size hit specific increments. At for example $0.25/$0.50 stakes the increment was 5 cents per dollar. $0.99 pots were unraked, $1.01 to $1.99 pots were raked $0.05, $2.01 pots were raked $0.10, etc.
From 2012 onwards, PokerStars is now using a linear method in which rake begins from the first cent. To compensate for this, the rake percentage was reduced below 5%, and the rake caps lowered. Levels of rake taken by PokerStars were actually made even lower - particularly at microstakes - and PokerStars remains the online poker room with the lowest rake in the industry.
PokerStars No Limit & Pot Limit Rake
PokerStars Fixed Limit Rake
MTT buy-ins are made up of two parts - a larger part added to the prizepool, and a small part covering the site's operating costs. The latter is the tournament 'rake', or 'fee'. Usually the rake is 6 - 10% of the total buy in.
For example in a $100+$9 event on PokerStars, $100 from every player forms the prizepool that you compete for. $9 rake from all participants is taken by PokerStars.
Want to earn more at PokerStars? Check out the PokerStars Bonus, and see how much more you could be making.
PokerStars calculates rake uses the weighted-contributed method. In each hand, you are credited with contributing a proportion of the rake according to how much your contributed to the pot size.
In heads up pots, you and your opponent will receive the same amount of VPPs - VIP Player Points used to clear bonuses - regardless of who wins. If you bet $10 preflop, then fold and the final pot reaches $100, you'll receive 10% of the VPPs. Folding preflop earns you no VPPs.