Bodog changes rake structure, micro stakes players pay

February 15, 2010

bodoglogoBodog recently changed the way in which it calculates how much rake to take from every pot in cash games where a flop has been dealt. Bodog did not come forth with an official statement about this change, but it was noticed in a review of rake and rakeback for micro stakes players on The article shows precisely how much rake different online poker rooms charge at the micro stakes (up to NL25).

According to the article Bodog Poker only charged an average amount of rake of 2.1% with their old rake structure at NL10 games ($0.05/$0.10 blinds). This was a very low rake amount that made Bodog cheaper to play at for NL10 players than most other online poker rooms, even if they would be playing on a rakeback account somewhere else.

Bodog’s new rake structure is similar to that of PokerStars for no-limit games. At NL10 the biggest difference with the old rake structure is a rake cap of $3 instead of $0.10. Although the new structure is still very attractive for low stakes no-limit players (on average 4.1% rake is charged at 10nl with this rake structure) this still means that NL10 players on Bodog all of a sudden have to pay almost twice as much in rake.

At mid to high stakes games the change in rake structure will have no influence on the amount of rake paid. At these stakes the rake cap remains the same.

The impact of this change on the win rate of NL10 players playing poker at Bodog is enormous. With the new rake structure they would be winning around 9 big blinds/100 hands less than at the time when the old rake structure was still in use. This is the same as the win rate of a solid winning player! Despite the impact of the change in rake structure, low stakes poker players don’t seem to have noticed it as discussions on major poker forums have stayed out.

When asking Bodog support why Bodog made the change to their rake structure that will cause a drop in the win rate of micro stakes players they answered assuring that:

“There is no reason for us to put our reputation in jeopardy. We collect our 5% and never exceed $3.00 per pot, or a small tournament fee, regardless of who wins or who loses. The rest of the money is divided between our players. The only way we benefit is by making, and keeping, more customers. Fixing hands would only lose us customers and is neither ethical nor sound business. We have an excellent reputation in the industry and very loyal customers – we would not risk that for anything.”

This reaction makes you wonder how often they get complaints from so called ‘rigtards’, people who believe online poker is rigged, and it also shows that Bodog support is not aware of the low rake percentages the old rake structure resulted in for low stakes players. Unfortunately an additional question asking what makes Bodog more attractive than other online poker rooms for micro stakes players now they changed their rake structure was not answered.

The old rake structure at Bodog could easily compete with rakeback programs on other online poker rooms for low stakes players. The micro stakes rake review mentions that a room like Full Tilt Poker would have had to give their 10nl players an overall rakeback percentage of 67% to be equally as attractive for example. With the change Bodog loses this attractiveness for micro stakes players: the big difference in amount of rake charged with some other online poker rooms is now gone and at the same time Bodog does not offer a very beneficial VIP-program like for instance PokerStars does.


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