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Q&A #115: How Time Charges Affect Strategy

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Today we have a quick Q&A about playing in a game with a time charge. A time charge is a way for the house to profit from the game. In lieu of a rake on each pot, in a time game the house simply collects a fixed fee from each player at the beginning of each new dealer’s down (typically every half an hour).

For instance, in the game described by today’s questioner, the time charge is $8 per half hour. At the beginning of each down, the dealer collects $8 from each player, and then all the hands are played rake-free.

On to the question from vb_rounder on the message board:

How would an $8/half-hour time charge affect a medium-stack (50-60 BB) strategy in a live $1/$2 cash game? Also consider tips are additional monies being removed from pots won.

Would you alter your strategy to include playing slightly more loosely pf, or simply play a normal tight strategy of raising big pf w/ premium hands, avoiding marginal drawing-type hands, and trying to get all-in on the flop with TP and big draw semi-bluffs?

The answer is simple. A time charge doesn’t affect strategy at all.

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4 Responses to “Q&A #115: How Time Charges Affect Strategy”

@ Wed Oct 08, 2008 08:37:47 PM

hmm.. The casinos here pretty much abandoned time charges (except for their high dollar Omaha games) in favor of rake.. combined with now allowing 100BB buy-ins, whereas they used to do only 50BB, that has really tightened the games up a lot.

Consider, if you were miraculously seeing 30 hands per hour, but you’re paying $12 per hour (6 per half) to sit there.. If you come in looking to play super tight,and get a super bad run of cards, you’re done in 4 hours/120 hands, just from the blinds and table collection.

@ Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:11:24 PM


Why on earth are you going to a cardroom with only 25 BBL in your pocket?

Ben Attenborough
@ Thu Oct 09, 2008 05:37:40 AM

At the Vic in London (where the recent EPT was played) they charge £6 per hour in the £1/£1 games that are self-dealt. This seems resonable if you are playing a big stack but a £25 / £30 stack struggles to make a profit when they are losing 20% of their stack every hour!

@ Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:47:44 PM

You’ll be fighting for the blinds more in a time charge game. In many casino raked games, if it’s folded around to the blinds they just muck their hands and split the pot without seeing the flop. This is because the initial rake (taken at flop time) is often such a huge percentage of the pot that there’s no possible profit for the winner if he contests the pot.

But in a time charge game, you’re competing for 100% of the blinds, so it’s worth it to try to steal the opponent’s blind, etc.

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