A poker prop (or "proposition player") is a person who is paid by the casino to play poker at their tables in order to increase the volume of players and the liquidity of the games. Props are typically employed in situations where the casino is worried that there won't be enough volume. This can be several situations: (1) the card room is not a popular place to play overall (2) there are particular games which are less popular (3) It is during a particular time of day (such as weekday mornings) where there aren't many players.
Most casinos (and states) have rules that regulate the use of props. For example, if customers ask, casino management must identify prop players (and casinos must post a sign stating that they will do so). Another possible rule is that the casino may allow no more than a certain number of props at a given table at one time.
The difference between props and shills
Props typically use their own money to play in the games and take on any gains or losses. A shill plays with casino money and gives their winnings to the house. Shills are generally viewed as being unfair since the casino has a stake in the game, as well as the fact the shill has no financial risk. The term "shill" has even become a generic derogatory term to refer to someone who is has a bias in supporting someone else's interests. Shills are legal only in some states. People generally have a more mixed view of props. Some players appreciate the liquidity that is provided by props, while others question the practice. The Double Eagle and Gold Creek Casinos in Cripple Creek, Colorado has said that they couldn't operate a successful poker room without employing props.
Poker strategy as a prop
The poker room manager may ask prop players to give up your seat when tables start to fill up. This means that game choice (one of the most critical factors in playing profitable poker) is not as controllable as it would be otherwise. Also, prop players play many of their table hours playing in short-handed games, which may or may not be an advantage - depending on a player's skillset. Besides providing liquidity, prop players also are expected to be friendly to other players at the table.
Example of Poker prop
Casinos typically don't advertise their prop programs to the public. Props can be employed by online or brick-and-mortar card rooms. Back in 2004, Intercasino Poker (now known as "Interpoker"), used to solicit any of their online players who were currently logged on to play new tables. Truepoker also used to employ props. Here is a screenshot of the poker prop invitation by Intercasino.
Get Paid to Play Poker
InterCasinoPoker are proud to offer a poker room that is completely robot free. In order to balance the tables and start new games we are prepared to pay you instead!
Every player who registers an InterCasinoPoker account and has more than $20 in his or her account is eligible for a prop player invitation. When invited you will see a pop up message (see screenshot below) telling you which table needs to be started, the limit of the table, and the amount we are prepared to pay you to play on that table.
Payment will start as soon as play begins. The amount you are paid per hour will depend upon which table the system sends you to. You will not be sent to a higher limit table if you have insufficient funds in your account for the buy in.
|Game Stakes ($, £ & €)
Proposition play comes to an end in one of three circumstances.
1. If at any time you leave the table, or sit out from play.
2. When four or more players have joined the table.
3. When two hours have passed.
When the proposition play has ended you will see a pop up message telling you the amount of money that will be credited to your account. You will then receive an email confirming this amount.
If you do not wish to received proposition invitations simply click on the “No, Do Not Ask Me Again” button. This decision can be reversed by clicking the appropriate checkbox in the Options screen (accessible from the lobby, or the game menu in the table).
What is the Prop Player Incentive Scheme?
The InterCasino Poker Prop Player Incentive Scheme is an automatic system that helps us balance the tables, start new games and ensure that you won't be waiting for a game for any length of time.
How do I join up?
Any player registered with InterCasino Poker is already a member of the Prop Player Incentive Scheme. If you are waiting for a game on a full table a message may pop up offering you a cash incentive to go to a particular table and start a game. If you accept the offer you will be taken to the game, if you do not accept the offer you will remain on the waiting list for the table you wish to join, and you also have the option to exclude yourself from receiving such offers in the future. If you have recently taken part in the Prop Player Incentive Scheme your name will be placed at the end of the queue and you will not see the message again until your name reaches the head of the queue. Depending upon how many people there are in the poker room you could see the prop message several times a day.
How much can I earn?
InterCasino Poker will pay you up to $30 per hour pro rata for any amount of time you play on the specified table, but NOT if you are waiting or sitting out. If at any time you either sit out of the game or leave the table the prop player incentive scheme comes to an end. The Prop Player Incentive Scheme also comes to an end after two hours of play ($20) on the specified table.
How and when am I paid?
If you leave the table before the two hour prop period the payment will go through to your Poker Account at the same time your table balance (the chips you have in front of you on the table) is returned to your Poker account. If you remain on the table for two hours or more the credit will go into your poker account as the two hour period comes to an end.
Here's a great tip
When you are offered the Get Paid to Play incentive and go to the table if there are no other players on that table you can wait on that table and play on another! That way you get paid to be sitting on the one table, while playing in another. Simply click on the View Lobby button in the top left of the table view, then select another table and play as normal. When the game starts on your prop table the software will automatically flash up to tell you so.
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