Poker Prop Players vs. Shills


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When most online poker sites open, they don't exactly have a lot of players busting down their cyber doors. So these new poker rooms often need people to fill seats until they get a legitimate customer base. And this is where both prop players and shills come into the equation.

You may have heard one or both of these terms before, and these players are hired by casinos to start games and keep other tables going. But there's a noticeable difference between props and shills, which you'll see below.

Prop Player - A prop is somebody who's hired by live and online poker rooms to start games, but they must use their own money to play with. So if a prop player earned a $15 hourly wage from casinos and won an additional $10 during their first hour, they'd end up with a $25 profit. However, the tricky part is that props can also lose money, which could potentially wipe out their hourly wage. Assuming a prop got paid $15 an hour, but lost $20, they'd end up with $5 in losses for that hour.

Shill - Much like props, a shill is hired by a poker site to start tables and keep them going. But the major difference is that they don't have to use their own money. So basically, this equates to a normal job where you work a set number of hours and get paid accordingly. However, it's worth mentioning that most shills are decent grinders because sites don't want them losing tons of house money to players.

Should you fear Props and Shills? - Many regular poker players are worried when they hear somebody is hired by a site to play games. And they may fear running into both props and shills because these people are basically paid to play poker. But while these grinders may be a little better than the average grinder, they shouldn't be a major deterrence from playing at new poker rooms.

After all, if shills and props were truly exceptional grinders, they'd be out on their own, rather than on the payroll of a poker site. So you needn't avoid shills and prop players like the plague at live or online poker rooms.