What is Stake in Poker?

Staking generally means that one or more individuals provide money for a participant to play with. In the best case, the staker gets back his “stake” and an agreed share of the (potential) profit.

There are a variety of modalities possible. Staking is available in both tournaments and cash games.

For example, in cash games, a participant can be cased for a certain number of hands; in tournaments for individual Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs), or a number of Sit-n-Gos (SnGs).

Stake’s purpose, for example, is to reduce the variance of MTTs or to be able to play limits that their own Bankroll Management (BRM) does not yield. For the Staker, it is a form of investment in which they promise a return.

Types of Stake Player Deals:


Where the staker puts up all or part of the entry fee and agrees on a percentage of the profits.

Selling Action

An individual may sell parts of their action in an upcoming game to several investors. This spreads the risk and allows others to invest in their success.

Role of the Stakee

The stakee (individual being staked) must adhere to the agreed-upon terms and follow any specific guidelines set by the backer. They are typically accountable for their performance and must maintain open communication with the staker.


Sometimes, an individual who is staked might charge a mark-up. This is an additional percentage on top of the buy-in that the backer pays for the opportunity to invest in a skilled participant.

Long-Term and Short-Term Agreements for Staking

Staking agreements can be for a single tournament, a series of games, or an extended period. Each has its considerations and must be outlined in the staking agreement.

Risks for the Staker

Staking an individual can be a risky investment. Unlike traditional investments, staking in poker is contingent on the stakee’s performance, which can be unpredictable.

Mutual Benefit

Ideally, staking is beneficial for both parties. The stakee receives the financial support needed to play in higher stakes games, while the staker gets the opportunity to profit from the winnings.


If an individual wins, a Stakee first pays back buy-ins or make-up and then splits profits. That is, a Stakee does not receive any profit until they have recovered make-up.

Example 1:

Participant A offers Stakers a $1000 worth of pack and wants full staking. A cut of 40/60 is agreed. Participant A now wins $2000 in what follows. First, $1000 will be repaid to a staker and then remaining $1000 will be distributed according to cut (here $400 / $600). Each staker receives its percentage from $600 that is distributed to stacks.

Example 2:

Participant A offers Stakers a $1000 worth of pack and wants full staking. A cut of 40/60 is agreed. In what follows, Participant A wins only $400. Entire amount will be distributed to Stakers in percentage terms.

Transparency and Trust for Player and Staker

Successful staking requires transparency, honesty, and trust between parties involved. Without these elements, conflicts and misunderstandings are likely to arise.

In summary, staking in poker is a multifaceted arrangement offering opportunities for both staker and stakee. It allows a participant to engage in games that might otherwise be financially out of reach and offers a staker an alternative form of investment with potential returns. Both parties must approach arrangement with clarity, professionalism, and adherence to agreed terms to maximize success of staking relationship.

Staking Poker Player as Investment

Staking poker participants involves financially backing a poker participant in tournament or cash game play. This can be a way to engage in poker without actually playing. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Finding Players: Often, a backer (person providing funds) will find a player in need of financial support to enter poker games. This can be an up-and-coming player, skilled amateur, or professional.
  2. Agreement: Backer and player usually enter into a contractual agreement spelling out terms of stake, such as profit and loss splits, fees, duration of stake, and more.
  3. Profit Split: Agreement generally defines how profits are split between backer and player. Common splits might be 50/50, but this varies based on player skill, competition level, and other factors.
  4. Managing Losses: Clauses in agreement may outline what happens if player loses. Backer might assume all losses, or there could be an arrangement where player assumes part of losses.
  5. Monitoring and Coaching: Some backers actively contribute to player development, offering coaching, advice, and monitoring progress.
  6. Ethics and Integrity: Staking requires trust, and both parties should act with integrity. Misrepresentation or unethical behavior can lead to legal disputes.
  7. Legal Considerations: Depending on jurisdiction, legal considerations, including contracts, taxes, and regulations, might apply. Consultation with a legal expert in jurisdiction where staking occurs is advisable to ensure compliance.
  8. Risks: Like any investment, staking a poker player has risks. Player may lose, and backer may not recoup investment. Understanding player skill, competition, and other factors can help mitigate risk.
  9. Use of Staking Platforms: Sometimes, backers use staking platforms connecting them with players. Platforms may offer additional safeguards, like standardized contracts and dispute resolution mechanisms.

Staking offers an exciting way to engage in poker, and it can be profitable for both parties if handled properly. Careful consideration, due diligence, and often legal advice are essential to protect interests of both parties.

Latest Trends in Poker Staking

Emergence of Online Staking Platforms

Traditionally, poker staking relied on personal connections or specialized websites. Recent years have seen a shift with emergence of global online staking platforms. These virtual environments enable players and backers to connect worldwide, simplifying staking and expanding opportunities. This change not only makes finding staking arrangements more efficient but also adds transparency and security.

Fractional Staking Gaining Traction

Fractional staking, allowing a backer to contribute only part of a buy-in for a game or tournament, is becoming more popular. This approach lets players enter higher stakes without huge bankrolls and allows backers to spread investments across various players. This inclusive, risk-averse method appeals to a wide spectrum of poker enthusiasts.

Live Poker Staking Increasing

Poker staking, once primarily an online activity, is seeing noticeable growth in live play. This trend is linked to resurgence of live tournaments and realization that live staking can be more profitable. Live games offer unique opportunities and challenges, drawing both professionals and newcomers.

Data Analytics Integration in Poker Staking

Decision-making in poker staking, once based on gut feeling and relationships, now includes data analytics. Modern backers evaluate players by analyzing past performance, skill, and future potential. This data-driven method adds precision and objectivity, enhancing prospects for success.

Regulations and Compliance Role

As online staking platforms expand, regulatory landscapes evolve to maintain fairness and integrity. Authorities and industry leaders collaborate to create standardized practices that protect all participants. Measures include fraud prevention, responsible gambling enforcement, and transparent, accountable staking environments.

Social Impact and Community Building

Today’s staking ecosystem fosters social engagement and community growth. Many platforms provide forums, educational resources, and mentorship, enhancing camaraderie and shared development. This community spirit enriches not just poker staking, but also broader poker culture.

Poker Staking in the Online Poker Business

Doug Polk just published a very interesting video about this topic. So if you are interested to stake some players in future with the goal to make some money, we recommend you to use 20min of your time and watch this video.

Scam is a serious topic when it comes to staking

Of course you have to decide by yourself if you give to someone money and if this is profitable for you. Important is that you are aware about it that a poker staking is based on trust. Even if you have the datas of the person you stake and made a contract/agreement, there is not much to someone decide to brake this agreement or for example to scam you and run away with some money. Everybody know it and this not really a secret.

Neither the poker room nor we can do something if something like this happen. But a small protection we can give you, if you bring for example a player to YourPokerDream who agreed a staking deal with you. If you inform us about this in the beginning, we will make not to this player and if he scam you for example and do not pay you as agreed we have the possibility to hold some of his bonuses/rakeback what he receive any pay it to you. In such case we need of course a proof like screenshots from skype for example, that we can see that you had a clear agreement and that the player do fulfills his part.

At least something we can do. But we highly recommend that you choose the players very carefully to make your staking business so profitable and safe as possible.

Author: YPD-Admin
last updated 04.08.2023