How does backing work in poker?

But how does support work? And what additional services does the beker provide? This guide will answer these questions and many more.

In poker, backing refers to an agreement between an investor (commonly known as the backer) and a poker player (commonly known as the horse), where the investor puts up funds on behalf of the player in exchange for a percentage of their winnings. Backing is similar to staking, although backing implies a higher degree of involvement on the part of the investor than simply submitting a bet.

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Relevant terminology

See above for back, back and horse.

  • profit – money made (on a bet).
  • Shares – a percentage of potential profits that is owned by an investor. Otherwise known as an action or sell/buy a piece.
  • Makeup – the amount the player owes his backer after losing the bet. For example, consider a newly backed player who loses $1000 in his first week. While the backer is reloading the funds, the player is now said to have $1000 in compensation, meaning they must subsequently pay back their losses before the winnings are split. If a player wins $2,000 in their second week, they are first required to pay out $1,000 before splitting the remaining winnings ($1,000/2 = $500 win each).
  • Marking – an additional fee associated with the purchase of shares by a player. The player decides what marking they think is appropriate based on their skill and experience. For example, consider a strong player who sells 10% of his actions in a $1000 tournament. The player has maintained a 10% return on investment (ROI) against a significant sample in similar tournaments; therefore, the player is a better investment than the average player and can charge a premium (markup) for investments. When the face value of a 10% piece is $100 (10% of $1,000 = $100), the player charges $110 for the same piece because that price better reflects their expected value (EV).
  • Stable – a group of players who are staked and often coached by a particular investor. Coaching for Profits (CFP) is a common type of stable where a promoter or promoters bet and coach a group of players over a period of time in exchange for a cut of their winnings.

How does backup work?

Both the backer and the horse must negotiate and agree on the terms and conditions of their agreement. These terms and conditions should spell out all the necessary details for each side, such as what the horse can play, volume requirements, trainer requirements (if applicable), what percentage of the winnings each side has, etc.

What is the difference between Backing and Staking?

As mentioned earlier, the terms “support” and “betting” are often incorrectly used interchangeably. Although the two are similar, the promoter will also provide additional non-stakes services. These services may include:

  • Coaching.
  • Study materials.
  • Access to a community of like-minded people (often known as the CFP team).

Backers can also provide profitable rakeback deals for their players. Take advantage of exclusive rakeback deals with no commitment by registering with a partner like!

Should you consider support?


  • Reduced financial risk. The differences in poker can be severe; by betting as part of a backing deal, you can relieve some of the associated financial pressure by not risking your own money.
  • Coaching and support. Coaching, support and other benefits you can expect from a support agreement can be extremely valuable
  • Opportunities to play in larger games. Betting is common when it comes to playing high-stakes tournaments and cash games. By getting backed (betting), you give yourself a better chance to play in bigger games.
  • Networking and Community. Mostly associated with poker stables, networking and a sense of community can be invaluable in a game as independent and often isolating as poker.


  • Reduced profit share. The main disadvantage of betting as part of the support is inevitably that you are no longer entitled to all your winnings.
  • Contractual obligations. From volume requirements to game and format selection, contractual obligations mean you’ll have someone (your backer) to answer to.
  • Makeup. Although your financial exposure is greatly reduced, the idea of ​​makeup (being beholden to your sponsor) can be intimidating to some.

To summarize, support can provide a much-needed financial safety net, along with countless other benefits, such as regular training and a sense of community. However, it is also important to consider the potential downsides of support, such as a reduced profit share and various contractual obligations. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if support makes sense as part of your unique poker journey.

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