27 Oct

Jackpot! The Upside of Bad Beat Poker

Bad beat poker jackpots make the sickest losses the sweetest.

Bad beat poker jackpots make the sickest losses the sweetest.Every seasoned poker player knows the heartbreak of a sick bad beat. Skill and probabilities dominate the game, but every once in a while, someone gets lucky. It’s usually some nimrod who doesn’t take the blatant hint that their bound to lose; making an ignorant call, only to hit the unlikeliest of cards on the river to win the pot.

But not all bad beats are bad. When you play at the right casino, or in the right online poker room, you can turn the sickest bad beat into a massive payout. I’m talking, of course, about Bad Beat Jackpots.

Bad Beat Poker Jackpots

A bad beat jackpot (BBJ) is a progressive prize that’s awarded to players who lose under the most inconceivable of circumstances. I’m not talking about losing to an inside straight on the river with pocket Aces underneath. (Exactly what happened to Matt Affleck in the 2010 WSOP, considered by many to be the worst bad beat in poker history). I’m talking about really bad beats…

What if you had pocket Jacks, and the flop comes down J-J-K? Those are some mighty fine quads! You’d probably check-raise that one, moving all in after the turn, if anyone else happens to stay alive that long. But what if the turn was another K? Who cares, right? Shove all-in with those quads! Now imagine your devastation when the sole survivor flips pocket Kings for better Quads than yours. That’s sick!

And, that’s the way most live and online poker rooms set the rules. You’ll need at least quads, and to be beaten, to unleash the big prize. To give you a better idea of how it all works, here’s the BBJ rules at one of our favorite Canadian poker sites, Betsafe Poker.

Bad Beat Jackpot at Betsafe Poker

Betsafe Bad Beat Poker Jackpot

A lot of internet poker rooms have done away with BB jackpots over the years. MPN-powered Betsafe is one of the few reputable, Canada-facing sites that still offers them. But you won’t unleash this oft 6-figure progressive on just any bad beat. There are some specific guidelines that must be met.

First, you have to play a Holdem cash game on a “bad beat table. You’ll find a lot of them in the cash game lobby, marked with the BB icon. They start at stakes of $0.10/$0.20 and up. You can also filter the table results for BBJs only to get a better view of what’s available.

Next, once you’ve taken a seat at one of these tables, you’ll see a Bad Beat Jackpot ticker in the bottom right corner. You have to click on the BBJ ticker to opt-in. By doing so, you’re agreeing to contribute $0.02 per hand to the BB jackpot.

Finally, the hardest part of all… You’ll have to be dealt a gorgeous qualifying hand, play it out to the showdown, and actually lose to a better hand.

Bad Beat Qualifying Hands & Terms

In order for a hand to qualify for a bad beat at Betsafe Poker, it has to rank as any Four of a Kind or better. That’s anything ranging from Quad Deuces all the way up to a Royal Straight Flush. Both of your hole cards must be involved in the development of the hand (quads on the board won’t cut it).

The hand has to play out completely, with at least two players still active in the pot all the way to the showdown.

I don’t suspect this would be a problem for anyone. I can’t imagine folding a qualifying hand under any circumstances, with or without a bad beat progressive jackpot on the line.

Everyone’s a Winner

Here’s the best part. Everyone at the online poker site who’s opted to contribute $0.02 to the BBJ when the epic hand occurs will share in a piece of the prize. You don’t even have to be playing at the same table! Distribution is as follows:

  • The player who loses with a bad beat hand takes the largest portion of the jackpot at 40%.

  • The winner of the hand collects 20%.

  • All other participants in the hand who opted into the BBJ receive an evenly spread 10%.

  • Another 10% is spread equally across all other players competing on, and contributing to, any other BBJ tables.

  • The last 20% is used to reseed the next bad beat poker jackpot.

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