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News: Poker Basics – Last Longer Bets


We explain another form of side bet you see in poker tournaments that make the game interesting between friends.

Last longers can be against one other player or many

We recently looked at crossbooking which is a form of side bet you can make with other players to make a tournament more interesting, though it could become much more costly. 

Another form of side bet you can make in tournaments is the last longer bet. This is where one or more players make a private wager about who among them will last longest in the tournament. The final survivor then wins the money. 

So if Bill, Jane, Paul and Sally are all playing in their local €30 game at the casino and all have a €5 last longer bet. Bill busts out first hand, Jane finishes in 20th position, Paul finishes in 18th position and Sally bubbles the tournament but finishes in 10th position. Sally then takes €20 from the last longer bet even though she didn’t make the money in the tournament itself. 

Tournaments are a format where you cannot game select as well as cash games because the seat draws are random, but last longer bets are a form of game selection. If you can find players you are better than to make last longer bets with, it is a good way to lower your variance. 

Last longers with online qualifiers

Even if you don’t cash the MTT you can win a last longer

By their nature, it is also a good idea to make last longer bets with loose players and avoid them with tight players. Loose players will sometimes gather a big stack but also will bust early a lot of the time. Tight players tend to hang on for much longer and are bad players to bet against, even if they win the whole tournament rarely. 

Most last longer bets are made privately but some operators include them as part of a promotion. Sometimes an online poker room will put their players in a free last longer bet if they qualify for the tournament with them online. Paddy Power and partypoker have both previously awarded six figure prizes to the online qualifier who lasted the longest in the target live event, for example. This is done as an incentive for players to play the satellites online.

There are also last longer betting markets in sports books. Poker tournaments are hard to bet on because the fields have so many unknown players in them, but a last longer market of well known players is a good way to give railbirds a sweat in big events. 

Unlike crossbooking your losses are capped in last longer bets and while they can be profitable, they are mostly considered a bit of fun between players who know each other. 

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