Home Poker Rake

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pokersmiley

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I am wondering if anyone has ever been busted for taking a rake at a home poker game? If you use chips how the heck can they prove anything, I mean other than questioning other players or actually witnessing it I don't see any other way to prove it (I mix the chips in with the chips used for buyins and change just like at the casino, but I know where they are). I live in a small town and have ran a game for over a year and take $1 pot rake to pay for food, electricity, cards, chips, etc. etc. My players never want for anything, they have all they can eat, all the drinks they want (no alcohol unless they bring their own), and I play until the last one leaves. Someone has told a family member of mine that I am being watched by ATF, it is a small town and not sure whether to beleive it or ignore it and right it off as a rumor. I know the local police chief personally as a friend and have asked him if I need to "cool" it and he laughed at me and told me I was pretty much paranoid and that the least of his worries was a poker game, if the ATF was involved wouldn't he know? The players at my game have been playing together for several years and I don't see any of them turning on me as they don't have anywhere else to play like they have at my home poker game. The only thing I can figure is all the cars parked at my house 2 or 3 nights per week. I dunno, maybe I am just paranoid but I would sure like some input and thoughts from you guys.
 
Chiefer

Chiefer

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if you are taking a rake at your games, then i would be carefull and not let just anybody in to play. only allow people that you trust. i live in a town that sounds pretty similar to yours and we just had a well respected lawyer get busted for an illegal game.

the thing is, he had the dime dropped on him by a guy that was busted for drugs. then he started getting monitored, then he got raided. word travels fast in small towns. just take caution.
 
cardfetish

cardfetish

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I agree with Chief....You leave yourself open for busts wheen you let anyone play. We have something similar here. You could find a local charity and do a poker run once a month and if any one pokes around you can say that you are playing a "practice tourney". Works well here as the 'game' I mentioned got broke up a few times by local police that had received "complaints" (usually a scorned player who busted out), but in the end they couldn't touch them.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

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2 or 3 nights a week...$1/pot....You're not just covering expenses you're running an illegal room. Just admit to this fact and get on with it. If you get busted hire an attorney and get through it, but don't kid yourself saying you're just trying to cover expenses for a friendly home game.

Electricity....lol. gl
 
slgalt

slgalt

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Dude

I have been hearing so many news stories of games getting busted. Figure out how to do what you are doing legally or stop what you are doing.

Here are the laws in the states:
State Gambling Laws
 
Effexor

Effexor

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You are getting a snowjob. The ATF has no jurisdiction over gambling at all. If you spoke to the local police (who DO have jurisdiction) and they don't care, then don't worry about it.

The local game I play in twice a month takes a 0.50 a hand rake to pay for the beer, which is all you can drink.

Did you see that Chuck?

All you can drink
 
vanquish

vanquish

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1. just do it
2. ???
3. prophet
4. sex
 
P

pokersmiley

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In reply to WVHillbilly

Evidently you have not ran a home poker game if you think I am making money at $1 pot. Add it up, we cook a meal every night, have all and every kind of soda, snacks, candy, popcorn, cookies, and the like that you would ever want, increased utility bills, Copag cards that stay in new condition, clay chips, nice tables, nice comfortable chairs, etc. etc. You add up the expenses and I'm not getting rich here.

As to everyones elses replies thank you for the input. I would assume that if this was not a rumor then my local police chief would be aware of the situation and according to him would tell me. Heck he wants to play but thinks it would look bad since he is the chief in the bible belt.

The Georgia game bust is no suprise as Georgia is very strict on gambling in general, you can't even have a home slot or video poker machine, which in alot of states is perfectly legal.

Keep up the comments and suggestions and THANX IN ADVANCE!
 
premierplayer

premierplayer

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cut away the candy/soda its bad for people's health anyways. then u can save and then cut away some rake.
 
T

Tanagra

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Evidently you have not ran a home poker game if you think I am making money at $1 pot. Add it up, we cook a meal every night, have all and every kind of soda, snacks, candy, popcorn, cookies, and the like that you would ever want, increased utility bills, Copag cards that stay in new condition, clay poker chips, nice tables, nice comfortable chairs, etc. etc. You add up the expenses and I'm not getting rich here.

As to everyones else's replies thank you for the input. I would assume that if this was not a rumor then my local police chief would be aware of the situation and according to him would tell me. Heck he wants to play but thinks it would look bad since he is the chief in the bible belt.

The Georgia game bust is no surprise as Georgia is very strict on gambling in general, you can't even have a home slot or video poker machine, which in a lot of states is perfectly legal.

Keep up the comments and suggestions and THANX IN ADVANCE!


This post is almost a year old, but I came upon it today and thought I would share my feelings for what it's worth. Maybe even spark up some discussion...


Any unlicensed game with a rake is illegal in most states (perhaps all). You argue that the 'rake' is covering the food / beverages / supplies / electricity. The Copag Cards, clay chips, nice poker tables and chairs are not things you can legitimately 'rake' on because when everyone goes home for the night, those supplies still belong only to YOU. Consider this: if you sold all of your poker equipment, would you divide all of the profits among your guests? I think not. In effect, the end result is that YOU are PROFITING from the monies collected in the rake.

In my opinion at least, the fact that you would have your guests pay for your electricity is disturbing. This sounds like a 'business' more than a bunch of 'friends'.

If you look at this as a business, and your guests are 'patrons', you might think twice about using your personal residence for such enterprises. Lots of heated arguments and drama can come off of a card table, and from time to time people will go home broke - can you sleep at night knowing that the safety of your home could be at risk because someone you hardly know wants to burn your house down? If there are minors around, it will even further complicate things if the law does get involved.

Alternately, if your guests are 'friends', I hope they charge YOU for using their electricity when you are over there watching football or having dinner, and by your reasoning they should charge you for the depreciation to their couch/chairs when you sit in them and their floors when you walk on them. After all, just as you wouldn't buy a poker table and chairs if you had no one to come over, they wouldn't have purchased extra chairs if they didn't have you and others over.

Since you are friends with the law in your area, I wouldn't worry at all about your situation. Even if somehow your game is discovered (from what I hear it usually involves a stabbing, fire, fight, gunshot, robbery, ect..), first offenses are almost always misdemeanors or felonies that get plead to misdemeanors.

If you really WANT to play it safe, determine how much an average night brings in, and divide that amount evenly among the attendants, charging them at the door making sure they understand it is for the food, snacks, and drinks. My gut feeling? I don't think you really want to play it safe, I think you just want to convince us that you are not profiting from this routine, and I would even go as far as to say you are trying to convince yourself.

For what it's worth, I have hosted my own game for over four years now as well. I also make a full home-cooked dinner and have all the nice amenities that make some casino poker rooms look bad. I have the Copag cards and Shuffletech Shuffler, custom ASM chips, the drop-box and Money Paddle, over-sized poker tables, dedicated chairs, and draught beer / hard liquor all at no cost / rake. I am the only dealer, and I do not play in my own games. I do it purely for the fun of poker and to spend time with my family / friends / coworkers.

But let's be honest with each other, according to your testimony, you have poker 2-3 nights a week and I can realistically assume that you flop a MINIMUM of 200 hands per evening. That comes to $26000 per year - TAX FREE! You are arguing that your patrons are paying $26,000 a year for snacks, candy, soda, popcorn, cookies, and a home cooked meal. Yes, they are *really* there to play poker, but by law you cannot 'charge' them for your supplies or for the game itself.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not condemning what you are doing - I am all for it! You have found a need for a card room in your community and you are providing a service to local gamblers. They are happy to pay the rake in turn for playing the game - plus your rake is highly favorable to a rake any casino could offer. But let's call it what it is: an illegal underground card room that you are profiting from because you take a rake. To convince anyone you are not making money is ludicrous.

If I were you I would leave things just the way they are, but forget about cooking dinner - no one is there to eat even if they say they are. The gratitude you get from your guests is not worth the trouble you put into the meal.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

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Total posts
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This post is almost a year old, but I came upon it today and thought I would share my feelings for what it's worth. Maybe even spark up some discussion...


Any unlicensed game with a rake is illegal in most states (perhaps all). You argue that the 'rake' is covering the food / beverages / supplies / electricity. The Copag Cards, clay chips, nice poker tables and chairs are not things you can legitimately 'rake' on because when everyone goes home for the night, those supplies still belong only to YOU. Consider this: if you sold all of your poker equipment, would you divide all of the profits among your guests? I think not. In effect, the end result is that YOU are PROFITING from the monies collected in the rake.

In my opinion at least, the fact that you would have your guests pay for your electricity is disturbing. This sounds like a 'business' more than a bunch of 'friends'.

If you look at this as a business, and your guests are 'patrons', you might think twice about using your personal residence for such enterprises. Lots of heated arguments and drama can come off of a card table, and from time to time people will go home broke - can you sleep at night knowing that the safety of your home could be at risk because someone you hardly know wants to burn your house down? If there are minors around, it will even further complicate things if the law does get involved.

Alternately, if your guests are 'friends', I hope they charge YOU for using their electricity when you are over there watching football or having dinner, and by your reasoning they should charge you for the depreciation to their couch/chairs when you sit in them and their floors when you walk on them. After all, just as you wouldn't buy a poker table and chairs if you had no one to come over, they wouldn't have purchased extra chairs if they didn't have you and others over.

Since you are friends with the law in your area, I wouldn't worry at all about your situation. Even if somehow your game is discovered (from what I hear it usually involves a stabbing, fire, fight, gunshot, robbery, ect..), first offenses are almost always misdemeanors or felonies that get plead to misdemeanors.

If you really WANT to play it safe, determine how much an average night brings in, and divide that amount evenly among the attendants, charging them at the door making sure they understand it is for the food, snacks, and drinks. My gut feeling? I don't think you really want to play it safe, I think you just want to convince us that you are not profiting from this routine, and I would even go as far as to say you are trying to convince yourself.

For what it's worth, I have hosted my own game for over four years now as well. I also make a full home-cooked dinner and have all the nice amenities that make some casino poker rooms look bad. I have the Copag cards and Shuffletech Shuffler, custom ASM chips, the drop-box and Money Paddle, over-sized poker tables, dedicated chairs, and draught beer / hard liquor all at no cost / rake. I am the only dealer, and I do not play in my own games. I do it purely for the fun of poker and to spend time with my family / friends / coworkers.

But let's be honest with each other, according to your testimony, you have poker 2-3 nights a week and I can realistically assume that you flop a MINIMUM of 200 hands per evening. That comes to $26000 per year - TAX FREE! You are arguing that your patrons are paying $26,000 a year for snacks, candy, soda, popcorn, cookies, and a home cooked meal. Yes, they are *really* there to play poker, but by law you cannot 'charge' them for your supplies or for the game itself.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not condemning what you are doing - I am all for it! You have found a need for a card room in your community and you are providing a service to local gamblers. They are happy to pay the rake in turn for playing the game - plus your rake is highly favorable to a rake any casino could offer. But let's call it what it is: an illegal underground card room that you are profiting from because you take a rake. To convince anyone you are not making money is ludicrous.

If I were you I would leave things just the way they are, but forget about cooking dinner - no one is there to eat even if they say they are. The gratitude you get from your guests is not worth the trouble you put into the meal.

The OP probably hasn't been back since his last post in this thread, but ummm...where do you live and are you looking for any more poker playing friends? Got any pics of your ASMs?

Welcome to CardsChat.
 
T

Tanagra

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Where do you live and are you looking for any more poker playing friends? Got any pics of your ASMs?

Welcome to CardsChat.

Below are some pics of my setup. I live about 30 miles northeast of Detroit, in Chesterfield, Michigan. Since the advent of SO many local charity poker rooms, and having three detroit casinos and Caesar's Windsor (formerly Casino Windsor) so close, my friendly game has deminished to every other Saturday and we rarely fill a table.

DSC00859.jpg

Picture043.jpg

DSC00849.jpg

DSC00848.jpg

DSC00850.jpg
 
lektrikguy

lektrikguy

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If it really is for your friends thn do like we do-everyone pays their buy in plus another $15 or $20 for food and beer. That way it's taken care up front and there's no chance of anyone thinking you're running a cardhouse. It's all friendly and we BBQ-if they don't want to pay they don't show up. Easy.
 
Grossberger

Grossberger

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Yea taking money from a rake is not legal in any way. I would find a new friend if they were taking money as a rake and especially not providing beer as one of the drinks, asking for $5 or $10 each for food is even pushing it. When i have a game at my house I will usually ask if they want to pitch in for pizza and they bring all their own drinks.

Also I know of a game in the area that I would love to see busted just because I'm not a big fan of the person running it and they are making entirely to much money from it, this is what is going on at the game.

They have a game 3 nights a week with any where from 16-24 people, the buyin is $300 + $20 for the house then they take an additional 10% off the prize pool and the people who are running the game also deal and people tip the dealers at the end of the night, so lets do some calculations

average of 20 people a night


$20 per person

20x20= $400

then 10% off of prize pool

300x20= $6000 - 10% = $600

so before tips to the dealers they are up $1000 a night

$1000 a night times 3 nights

1000x3= $3000 a week

$3000 x 52 = $156000 a year

Oh yea and neither of them work and are drawing unemplyoment now tell me where this is fair to any one except them and remember that is not including tips which probably are additional 500-600 between the 2 of them.
 
L

LukeSilver

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I got banned permantly from my older brothers games for been to mouthy, kinda harsh I am nice guy I just had to point out that 1, some of the plays were retarded (They really were thought) 2, the best player there was just playing text book poker right out of a poker book I had read I had to quote the book and the page numbers and compare to his hands.
didn't really care about the stakes was to low was just been sociable but apparently this not sociable, I am really bad with people.

side note my local casino takes £1 out of every pot which is $1.60 last time I checked they have a full time paid dealer there, and they taking that from every pot summary your taking enough to earn a living thats beyond covering expenses thats a business, great pr Love it the authorities may not even suss it.
 
MDTed

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All the home games I've been to that were medium level ($200NL or up) have just charged a fee as you came in to cover the dealers pay, the food and drink and less than $5 per person for the house itself, I suppose to cover wear and tear on the tables. All the games I've been to have multiple tables, no more than 5 at the most and have been run exceptionally well.

I was in NC for a family dinner over the weekend and was invited to a house game there. They had 3 tables of $200NL and were full after the first hour. I felt pretty secure since there was a state trooper and a town cop playing in the game too, in uniform. It cost $25 entry fee which I thought was reasonable considering it covered the food and drink, except alcohol. They didn't offer it, if you wanted that you brought your own bottle or beer. There was no tipping of the dealers nor any other cost to play.

Oh and the players, they had too much money and no skills or luck. If I lived down there I would take all their disposable income so it's good I was just there for the one evening.
 
Mortis

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Tanagra, can I come over? I just want to play your Golden Axe arcade machine :D

Love the set up!
 
ukaliks

ukaliks

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Tanagra that is one sweet set up! if i was ur friend i'd never leave ur house! U even have a beer pump!!!! So jealious.
 
Zorba

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AU
All the home games I've been to that were medium level ($200NL or up) have just charged a fee as you came in to cover the dealers pay, the food and drink and less than $5 per person for the house itself, I suppose to cover wear and tear on the tables. All the games I've been to have multiple tables, no more than 5 at the most and have been run exceptionally well.

I was in NC for a family dinner over the weekend and was invited to a house game there. They had 3 tables of $200NL and were full after the first hour. I felt pretty secure since there was a state trooper and a town cop playing in the game too, in uniform. It cost $25 entry fee which I thought was reasonable considering it covered the food and drink, except alcohol. They didn't offer it, if you wanted that you brought your own bottle or beer. There was no tipping of the dealers nor any other cost to play.

Oh and the players, they had too much money and no skills or luck. If I lived down there I would take all their disposable income so it's good I was just there for the one evening.
Did they have to check their firearm at the door.
LOL at being in uniform.
 
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