June 10, 2023 Poker Strategy, Featured Articles, Poker News John Bradley

Poker Staking Guide 2023: How does staking in poker work?

Poker tournament crusher John “WhatA298” explains in this poker strategy article what staking is, its benefits and how you can getting staked right away.

Poker Staking Guide 2023 How does staking in poker work

If you are wanting to play higher stakes than your poker bankroll will allow, then staking may be just what you are looking for.

What is Poker Staking?

Poker staking is a financial agreement between two parties.

One party (the backer) invests money in the second party’s (the player’s) cash games or tournaments.

In return, the backer receives a percentage of the player’s winnings.

The Benefits of Poker Staking

Staking has the potential to be a win-win arrangement.

The player, can play higher stakes than they usually would and, even when giving away a percentage of their profits, can make more money for themselves.

The backer, can make a very good return on investment and, while volatile, this can far exceed other investment types.

How does staking in Cash Games work?

A traditional cash game staking deal, will involve the backer bankrolling the player completely, for a fixed period.

The backer, will traditionally receive 50% of the player’s profits, and if the player ends up with losses, the backer will assume 100% responsibility for those losses.

 How does staking in Poker Tournaments work?

Tournament staking is possible in the same way as cash game staking. However, due to the higher variance inherent in tournaments, other modalities are preferred.

Many ‘stables’ that back multiple poker players, will adopt the agreement above, but with the caveat that, if a player ends the deal in losses, then they are in make-up.

Make-up essentially means, that the player owes the money they are down, but only if they enter further staking deals with the stable or other stables.

Make-up is a little bit of a grey area, and somewhat confusing as to the rules. All parties’ motivations become different as a player gets further into make-up, and this can lead to a lot of issues.

GGPoker’s Online Staking Platform

When GGPoker introduced their Online Poker Staking Platform to the poker world back in 2020, the staking landscape changed significantly.

No longer would staking deals require interpersonal trust. All agreements would be automatically upheld within the poker client software and there would be no make-up.

The software allows you, as a player, to simply apply for staking for any individual tournament.

You decide what markup you would like to apply, and how much of the tournament buyin you would like to sell.

Poker Staking Guide 2023 How does staking in poker work1

There are numerous benefits to selling action this way:

  • You do not need to find one backer willing to back you. You are essentially crowdfunding and many different backers can buy small pieces of your action.
  • Backers will pay a higher markup. In a traditional deal, backers need a lot of incentive to invest due to the risk that the player may pull out of the agreement. The agreement is automatic within the client, and thus the backer will accept a smaller return for investing.
  • Once the tournament is over, there is no make-up and you can move forward without owing anything to anybody. It is a clean deal.
  • Listing your action is quick and efficient and GG Poker offer many functions to help you, such as, the option to automatically unregister the tournament if you do not sell enough action to backers.
  • There is no fee. GGPoker charges nothing for this service. They will make more rake the higher stakes people play and so they have an incentive to help players get staked. In this way the staking agreement becomes a win-win-win.

Check out our GGPoker Review along with details of how to sign up if you do not yet have an account.


Poker Staking is a great way for a player to move forward in their poker endeavours, be it through a traditional staking deal or through the newer staking platforms.

Staking is an opportunity to create a deal which is beneficial for both the player and the backer. However, in the past, there have been many pitfalls for both parties.

GG Poker’s Online Staking Platform has made many of these problems a thing of the past. The innovative platform is fantastic, and I would encourage anybody interested in being staked to use it.

Good luck on your poker journey and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the poker coaching section of the VIP-Grinders Discord Channel.