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What is VIG?

A detailed explanation on how we track online poker player to player (P2P) trades, values, "vig", and much more.

Vig is short for vigorish, which has a few literal meanings in the poker/gambling world. But as it relates to what we track, vig is the delineator used for the difference between poker room (or skin) money and real money (or other form, such as gift cards) in a player-to-player trade.

For example - a player trades $100 from ACR to another player for $90 on a prepaid card. The vig on that deal would be .90, since the skin funds were sold at 90 percent of their numerical value. Another example would be a player trading $500 from Intertops to another for $480 through a bank transfer. The vig on that deal would be .96, or 96% of it's numerical value.

Some skin funds trade at 1:1 value at times, which is a straight up even trade ($100 True for $100 prepaid, or $500 Pokerhost for a $500 gift card). Other skins can trade at vig values as low as .25 at certain times. Vig is influenced by tracked market rate of reported value trades - which is what comprises our reports. However, other factors can influence vig, such as individual player needs, or outside determinants like skin or network cashout timeframes.

We break down vig into specific categories to better give you an accurate view of what skins are trading for, and at what values. For each tracked skin, we separate vig value by three methods of payment (bank, prepaid, and gift cards). For each method, we break vig into three ranges ($100 and lower, $101 to $500, and $501 and higher).

Vig example breakdown

Please note - as showcased in the above graphic, all GIFT CARD (GC) trades are segregated from bank/prepaid trades. They are not included in any total categories and are considered a standalone portion of our reports. This is largely due to the wide differences in value in the types of gift cards that can be traded - and, obviously, since gift cards are not valued the same as our "real $" delineators (bank and prepaid).

Here is a breakdown on key terms and abbreviations found on our vig reports pages.

Player to player trade chart

NOTE: Any category with a gray background means that no daily action took place in that particular category - except for "AVG TRADES", in which daily +/- movements are not indicated and thus always remain with a gray background.

#1: TOTALS -- These are the total amounts of skin funds and "real $" (bank/prepaid) traded in the tracked month.

#2: (Month, Year) VIG -- This is the overall vig value for all "real $" (bank/prepaid) in the tracked month. This number begins anew each month, and as the example above shows, is tracked daily. A green background in the +/- section denotes a positive overall gain in vig value for the day, while a red background denotes a negative overall loss in vig value for the day.

#3: (Month) TRADES -- This is the total amount of "real $" (bank/prepaid) trades that have occured in the tracked month. Any daily increases in trades will be accompanied with a green background.

#4: VIG <100, VIG 101-500, VIG >501 -- Each of these categories represents the current monthly vig value for each stated range. All bank/prepaid trades made for $100 in skin funds or lower are represented in the "VIG <100" category. All bank/prepaid trades made for between $101 and $500 in skin funds are represented in the "VIG 101-500" category. And, all bank/prepaid trades made for $501 in skin funds or higher are represented in the "VIG >501" category.  A green background in the +/- section in any of the three categories denotes a positive overall gain in vig value for that range for the day, while a red background denotes a negative overall loss in vig value for that range for the day.

EXTRA: 1:1 TRADES -- This category represents all 1:1 valued bank/prepaid trades made in the tracked month. Any daily increases in 1:1 Trades will be accompanied with a green background.

Some commonly asked questions regarding vig and how it's tracked:

--  Where is this information derived from?  We currently pull data from reported value trades on two of the leading online poker forums that allow and moderate P2P trading. In the future, in an effort to bring you the most accurate information that we can, we will be looking to expand our tracking to other forums and sources. Our data is triple-checked for accuracy with redundant safeguards in place, and we only include reported value trades posted by actual traders.

--  So, what does "reported value trades" mean?  Any trade that lists both the skin amount and the bank/prepaid/gift card amount in a post is considered a "reported value trade". Obviously without both of those being reported, we can't diseminate vig value - so, any trades made where values are not posted do not count towards our vig reports. The only exception to this is when a trader posts something like "trade made...moved $5,000 Intertops at .95 vig". Since we can calculate the amount of whichever payment method used, we have the information needed to count this as a reported value trade for our reports.

--  Are "skin to skin" trades counted?  We record any reported value skin-to-skin trades made (ex: $500 Intertops for $150 Lock), but do not include them in the reports here on the website. Most skin-to-skin trades involve skin funds on the same network, and since they are usually of the same worth, values are seldom reported. We will continue to record and track this, however - and we may add these trades to our reports in the future.

--  How are "three-way trades" reported?  For the most part, player-to-player trades involve two players. Sometimes, three players or more may swap skin funds for different payment methods. As long as skin, payment method, and/or vig values are reported, these trades count as separate deals since the actual transactions are not all done simultaneously. We do not record three-way trades involving only skin funds, however (ex: player A trades ACR funds to player B for Pokerhost funds, who trades that for Lock funds with player C).

--  Why aren't Bitcoin trades tracked?  Due to the volitility of the Bitcoin market in general, tracking Bitcoin trading value would be difficult to say the least. However, if more reported value Bitcoin trades appear as time continues, we may begin to report those here on the website.

--  Why do skins on the same network trade at different vig rates?  There isn't a definitive reason for why this occurs - however, several factors as stated above can contribute to a skin's vig value. Some players may need funds in a timely manner, while others are comfortable waiting for better value. A skin's reputation - which can be based on customer interaction, cashout times, available tournaments or SNG action, or any number of other factors - can play into vig value as well. Typically, most skins on the same network will trade at or near similar value, especially when looking at historical data over a period of time. However, as you will see with a skin like Lock, or Juicy Stakes - who both suffer from long wait-times on cashouts and have generally negative reviews on a number of issues - this is not always the case.

--  What prevents "made-up trades" from being posted in order to manipulate vig values?  Moderation is key and must be heavily involved on the forums we monitor for P2P trading to count toward our report. Currently we only track reported value trades from one source. However, if in the future we do expand to other sources for trades, we will make sure there are proper safeguards in place to ensure the accuracy of our reports.

--  If I make a P2P trade but do not post it, can I contact you to include it in the report?  No, we do not currently allow traders to contact us to insert their non-reported trades in our reports.