News: Poker Basics – Crossbooking

With the WSOP on the horizon expect to see a lot of prop bets made and one particular type of side bet often confuses new players – crossbooking.

cash Big upside and big downside

The best way to think of crossbooking is that it is the opposite of staking a player. It is an agreement to gamble for an additional percentage of what they are currently playing for. 

For example, if two players both play in a $100 tournament and agree to crossbook for 10% of it. If both players bust before the money, the bet is a push. If Player A comes 3rd and wins $1,000, Player B has to pay them $100 on top of that. However, if Player B wins the tournament for $3,000 then Player A owes them $200 ($300 minus the $100 they would get in the crossbook for coming third). 

You can crossbook any game but the bet type is very common in a tournament series like the WSOP where players crossbook each other over the entire series, or at least every event they both play in. 

Like short selling or spread betting

saver Crossbooking can get very expensive in tournaments

Crossbooking is essentially a bet that you will perform better in a game than the person you are betting with. For many high stakes players it is a way to make a small (for them) series more lucrative. 

The upside with crossbooking is very high. If you play a tournament series and win one of the events you can stand to make a lot of money as your winnings scale. Unlike, for example, a last longer bet which has a fixed prize. 

However, the downside can be huge. Unlike other prop bet types your potential losses are unknown and can really scale in the opposite direction. Sometimes players crossbook for 100%, 200% or 300% of their actual buy-in amounts, making the swings huge. It is like spread betting and short selling in that regard, it is not for the feint hearted. 

Crossbooking really is not a good idea for an amateur player so our advice is to just rail it from afar when an inevitable crossbook bet happens at the WSOP this year. 

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