What Are Bad Beat Jackpots?

John Mehaffey - April 10, 2012

Some online poker rooms offer Bad Beat Jackpot tables. These tables give players the opportunity to win life changing money by losing a big hand. Bad Beat Jackpot tables can be found on several poker networks. These include Boss Media, Merge Gaming and Microgaming. Unlike live bad beat jackpots, online Bad Beat Jackpots tend to have very difficult requirements to hit. This is due to how much bigger and faster the online poker rooms are compared to brick and mortar rooms.

A Bad Beat Jackpot table online will have several requirements. Typically these Bad Beat Jackpot tables will require four players to be dealt in, the pot will need to be at least $5, the hand must go to showdown and both players must use both hole cards. Sometimes if four of a kind loses, the requirement will be that a player must have used a pocket pair to make quads. When the pot reaches $5 the house will take $.50 in jackpot rake that goes towards the funding of the Bad Beat Jackpot.

Each poker room will have their own hand requirements. Merge gaming requires four of a kind 7’s or better to lose. Microgaming requires that a player loses four of a kind 8’s or better. Boss Media will require a player to lose four of a kind jacks or better and if quads lose a pocket pair must be used.

When the Bad Beat Jackpot hits at most poker rooms, 70% of the jackpot is paid to players at the table. Of that 70%, 50% goes to the player that lost the hand. The winner of the hand receives 25% and the rest of the table divides the remaining 25% of the Bad Beat Jackpot. The new jackpot starts with 20% of the previous jackpot and the house keeps 10% as an administration fee. It is safe to call that 10% extra rake for offering the Bad Beat Jackpot.

Bad Beat Jackpots are not offered at micro limit games. That is because few pots would reach $5 and the $.50 jackpot drop would take a lot of money off of the tables compared to the pot size. Typically a player must play $1/2 fixed limit and higher or $.50/1 no limit and higher to participate in a Bad Beat Jackpot table. There are no jackpot tables for Omaha or Stud.