Poker staking is the activity of providing a bankroll for a poker player in exchange for a share of the profits. The exact terms of the staking agreement should be agreed on beforehand. The poker player who receives the stake is often referred to as a horse

In this guide we’ll learn the following - 

What Does it Mean to Get Staked in Poker?

Staking is an arrangement where a backer lends money to a poker player for the purposes of playing in certain poker games. If the poker player wins, the backer will take a percentage of the profits. If the poker player loses the backer incurs the loss. The poker player hence plays with zero risk while the backer gets the opportunity to profit from poker without actually playing. 

How Does a Poker Staking Deal Work?

The backer provides the bankroll to a poker player in exchange for a percentage of his profits. While the split is often 50/50 it depends on the limit being played and the skill/track-record of the poker player in question. The exact rules of a staking deal depend on the backer, so it is really important to make sure that all involved parties are clear on the terms before the deal is initiated. 

What is ‘Makeup’ in the Context of a Poker Staking Deal?

Makeup is where a staked poker player loses money at the poker tables meaning the backer is down overall. The rules of the profit split will often be weighted in favour of the backer until the backer is back in profit. For example, the backer might elect to keep all (or a larger percentage) of the profits until he is back to even. Some staking deals allow a player to terminate the contract while in makeup whereas others do not. Ask your backer beforehand about makeup terms.

What is a Staking Stable in Poker?

A staking ‘stable’ refers to group of poker players who are all backed by the same backer (or group of backers). The individual members of the stable are referred to as horses. The horses often participate in group coaching sessions (provided by the backers) and discuss poker together. In some senses a stable is hence a poker ‘team’ although they do not work together while at the actual poker tables. 

What is a Backer and a Horse in Poker?

The terms backer and horse are often used in the context of a poker staking agreement to refer to the two main parties involved. The staker (the one who lends the poker player money) is referred to as a backer while the stakee (poker player who borrows the money) is referred to as a horse. A group of horses that are all backed by the same organization is referred to as a staking stable

How Can I Get Staked to Play Poker?

It’s usually a case of searching the internet for backers looking for new horses. Most backers won’t stake just anyone however. They will generally request to see a graph showing recent results along with some sort of written request detailing why a stake is being requested. Some backers may even request identity documents so that they have legal recourse if the horse disappears with the stake. 

Summary of Poker Staking

Staking is an arrangement where a backer (staker) provides a bankroll to a poker player (the horse) for the purposes of playing real money poker games. The horse will give a percentage of his profits to the backer in exchange for fronting the bankroll. 

The most important take-away for any poker player considering a staking deal is to make sure you fully understand the terms of the deal and avoid any awkward surprises further down the line. It is not uncommon to find poker players in staking deals that they never would have agreed to if they’d taken the time to consider the terms carefully.

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