Are Bad Beat Jackpots Good for Poker?

5 months ago
Are Bad Beat Jackpots Good for Poker?
10:57
22 Dec

Bad beat jackpots have been around for a long time. Used as an enticement to get punters through the door, or signed up to their poker room, the sometimes insanely high payout provides an extra dimension of entertainment.

But are they actually good for poker? 


Thrill Seekers

When each hand offers a possibility of walking away with something like half a million dollars, that tends to get people’s attention. More accurately, it tends to attract the thrill seekers.

Thrill seekers and hardcore gamblers are every poker professional’s wildest dream. With a decent bad beat jackpot on offer everyone gets what they want. Well, almost everything.


Somebody Has to Pay

Unfortunately, the money in the bad beat jackpot has to come from somewhere, and casino bosses are not known for their generosity. So, the only way this can work is that the rake increases.

Now we are left with a simple math problem that we can never answer accurately, or with any real confidence. Is the extra rake worth paying in order to get more recreational players sat down at your table.

Just think that not only are some of these jackpot chasers clueless about poker, but they are also going to play incredibly sub optimally to increase their chances of hitting bingo. Anything that can bring these guys into the fold is a great thing for poker.

Another bonus of having a bad beat jackpot live at your table is that the extra action stimulated by the rec can sometimes get the other regs feeling a rush of blood to the head. If you can keep your calm among all this craziness you stand to be in a very good game, regardless of the increased rake.

So, the final judgement has to be that bad beat jackpots are good for poker. They might be cheesy, and super unlikely to happen, but they have so many good points and that makes them worth having.


The Biggest Bad Beat Jackpot in History

It is unknown who first came up with the idea to run a bad beat jackpot. They kind of appeared and were copied by everyone right away. The insane sums on offer would be displayed in neon lighting hanging from the ceiling, enticing the unsuspecting non-poker player.

As for the bad beat jackpot record, it was only last year that we saw a new benchmark being set. On January 16, 2018, at Detroit’s Motor City Casino, a huge jackpot of $1,068,590.80 was paid out.


Scott, from Oxford Michigan, thought his luck was in when he found himself looking down at quad threes. Unfortunately, his opponent Kenneth was holding quad queens. The pair collected 40% and 20% of the jackpot prize respectively - $427,452.52 and $213,712.97.

The remaining four players at the table took home $106,856.28 each. 


Not only was the hand in question a rare event, but the players lucked in with the circumstances too. This hand took place six-handed at a ten-handed table where there is rarely a spare seat to be had, meaning everyone picked up around double what would have normally been the case.


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Mark from Stamford in the UK is a professional cash game player, and part time journalist. A massive chess fan and perpetual traveller.He also produces strategy content for our sister wesbite PokerVIP.com.Read more

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