Poker Bad Beat Jackpots (BBJ’s)

Bad beat jackpots are progressive jackpots that pay out when a player receives a particularly painful bad beat. An extra rake is taken so the cost of playing on bad beat jackpot tables is higher than on regular tables but if you hit the jackpot you could be in for a huge payday as some online BBJ’s have been known to get over $1 million.

Which hands qualify?

Although the minimum qualifying requirements vary a little between sites, the general rules remain similar across all sites. (Check each site for exact details)

– The losing hand must be four of a kind, usually 8s or better.

– Both players involved in the bad beat must use both of their hole cards.

Due to the way they are structured (with an extra rake per pot used to add to the jackpot) bad beat jackpots are only available for cash games.

Who wins the money?

The largest portion (usually 50%) of what is paid out goes to the player who received the bad beat (the losing hand). The player who wins the hand receives the next biggest chunk (usually 25%), and the remaining amount is split between any other player that were dealt cards in the hand.

Note: The whole jackpot is not paid out as some of the jackpot is used to seed the next jackpot and the site usually takes an admin fee. The amount that is paid out is normally about 70% of the total jackpot, with around 20% going to seed the next jackpot and 10% taken as an admin fee (essentially an extra rake).

Which sites have bad beat jackpots?

Not all poker sites offer bad beat jackpots but here’s a list of the ones that do:

Party Poker, currently the largest site to offer a BBJ

– Merge Network, sites like Carbon Poker

– Microgaming Network, sites like Unibet and Ladbrokes

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on any jackpots that are getting very large as the payoff will obviously be huge if you hit it and the traffic and action on the site/network will be significantly increased. Most sites that offer jackpots will display the amount proudly on their website so it’s not hard to find out.

Strategy variations

Some players will alter their ‘normal’ game when playing on BBJ tables to increase the chances of hitting the jackpot. An example of this would be calling with suited connectors when normally they wouldn’t. Take note of players who are doing this so you can take advantage of their poor play. Don’t fall into the trap of calling with hands you would otherwise lay down in a heartbeat just because it has the potential to be a jackpot hand.

For more poker strategy and tips, check out the rest of our online poker guide.