3 Fun Types of Prop Bets to Make While Playing Live Poker

By Robbie Strazynski
September 01, 2013

One of the main differences between playing live vs. online poker is that live poker is significantly more slow-paced. Even if online poker action seems a bit slow to you, you can always just fire up another table at a site like Titan Poker and use a bonus code to help keep you from ADD-ing. That’s just impossible to do while playing live poker… meaning that more often than not you’ll have lots of “dead time” to fill.

social poker

While I personally advocate using breaks in live action to take poker notes, there are plenty of poker players who prefer to fill the time by making fun and entertaining prop bets – and every so often I do too.

On shows like High Stakes Poker and Poker After Dark, we all bear witness to poker pros like Phil Ivey and Antonio Esfandiari taking part in prop bets. While nobody has to go as far as doing dozens of pushups at the felt, here are 3 fun types of prop bets you can engage yourself and your tablemates in to help pass the time while playing live poker:

1. Red or Black

Pretty much the simplest type of prop bet there is, a red or black prop bet is best made with one of your two immediate neighbors at the poker table. Essentially you’re betting on which cards will turn up on the board in any poker game that uses community cards (like Texas Hold’em or Omaha). A red or black prop bet can be made on the flop, turn, or river (or all three) and it’s a nice way to stay engaged in the hand taking place, especially if you’ve already folded your cards, possibly pocketing a little extra side cash along the way if you’re a lucky guesser.

red or black

2. Prop Betting on Sports

Many live poker rooms in casinos are located right near the Sports Book or alternatively are loaded with multiple TV screens broadcasting sports games and competitions from all over the world. Rather than “mindlessly” watching events unfold, why not get your juices flowing by making a small bet on the outcome with one of your tablemates?

prop betting on sports

Naturally, you can engage in almost any type of prop betting on sports – from the overall outcome (who wins?) to which team will score next to how well any individual will perform. This is especially fun if your home team happens to be playing, as you’ll have given yourself even more reasons to have a rooting interest in them while you’re playing poker.

You don’t even need to be in a live poker room for sports prop bets, as even at a home poker game you can follow a game or two on the host’s TV and wager a little with your buddies on the outcome.

3. Prop Betting on Horse Racing

Prop betting on horse racing is particularly exciting to do in a casino’s poker room – and I speak from a lot of personal experience. As mentioned above, since poker rooms are often located next to a casino’s Sports Book, around 99% of the time they’ll often some horse race from somewhere around the world being broadcast.

prop betting on horse racing

Neither you nor your tablemates may know the first thing about horses, but there’s nothing more exhilarating than the couple minutes of the race itself when you’re pulling for your horse to win against you’re poker opponents’ horse. A number of times, quite a few of us at the table just randomly picked horse numbers… While just a couple players were still involved in a hand, the rest of us were whooping and shouting and hollering for #8, #4, #1 and of course #10 to win the race… or at least finish ahead of the other horses we placed a prop bet on. Who needs odds and race sheets when you’ve got the camaraderie of other poker players?


Obviously in poker your goal should be to win as much money as you can. And of course nobody likes to lose money on any bet they make. That said, prop bets at live poker tables are surely not primarily about the money. It’s about being social, injecting more action into a friendly game, and keeping the poker play as exciting as you can. I assure you that engaging in any of these 3 types of prop bets will add a whole new level of thrill to live poker play for you.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]


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