A poker ‘prop player’ or ‘proposition player’ is a poker player who is given an hourly wage by a casino to play poker at their tables. Prop players are expected to fund their poker playing activity from their own bankroll; if they lose, it’s on them.

Prop players are employed by casinos to help boost traffic at the poker tables. They are considered employees of the casino but their activities are limited to playing poker only. They generally must play any poker game requested by the casino.

In this guide we’ll learn the following - 

Why Do Casinos Employ Proposition Players?

Playing at a half empty poker table is not necessarily an enjoyable experience for the average recreational poker player. Casinos employ proposition (or ‘prop’) players to sit at the poker tables and help to keep the action flowing. Although prop players are technically employees of the casino, they play with their own bankroll and are not given any special advantages over regular players. 

How Do I Know if My Opponent is a Proposition Player?

Casinos generally require proposition (prop) players to be identifiable by regular players. This generally involves wearing some sort of casino ID badge. If we are unsure, the dealer is typically required to identify any prop players at the table on request. Casinos generally prefer to be transparent regarding who the prop players are otherwise regular players might become suspicious upon learning one of their regular opponents actually works for the casino. 

Can Proposition Players Play Any Game?

Generally no, although it will depend on the exact rules of the employer (casino). In most cases though, the casino will assign the prop player to play any game that requires a boost in traffic. This could easily end up being a different variant of poker or a different stake to that which is preferred by the prop player. 

Is Being a Poker Prop Player a Good Job?

Although the role sounds great at first glance there are definitely some significant challenges. For a start, prop players are playing on their own bankroll which means it’s possible to lose more than they make on any given day. Prop players are also required to play any game chosen by the casino which might not be the most profitable game going on that day. Having said this; for a skilled professional who is playing poker all day anyway, the extra cash can be a nice bankroll booster. 

How Can I Become a Poker Prop Player?

In much the same way that we might find any other job. Perhaps there is a listing somewhere advertising for the position. If there is no listing it might be a good idea to ask the casino manager directly if such positions are available and what the terms/conditions and going rate might be. 

Summary

Becoming a poker proposition (prop) player can be a great way to earn some extra side income alongside poker earnings. There are, however, significant challenges associated with this role. For a start, prop players must use their own bankroll meaning that their losses could exceed their earnings on any given day. Secondly, prop players must play at whichever table the casino chooses which may not be the most profitable game or even the preferred poker variant of the prop player. 
 

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