When you hear about progressive jackpots, they are normally associated with electronic games like slots and video poker. However, skill and table game players also have the opportunity to cash in on these prizes, as well. Some of the most generous non-slots prizes are awarded by Bad Beat Jackpots, which actually pay out to losing players.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘bad beat’, it refers to a very strong hand that ultimately loses. For example, a player who has four-of-a-kind kings that loses to a player with four-of-a-kind aces has experienced a bad beat. As a consolation, online and land-based poker room operators provide victims with the chance to win a generous progressive jackpot.
The rules for winning a this type of jackpot are quite similar regardless of where you play. The minimum qualifying hand is normally quads. At some venues, it is four-of-kind 6s. At others, it is four-of-a-kind 8s. So, the jackpot is triggered whenever any player that holds this hand (or higher) and loses.
Some of the biggest wins ever seen in the poker world have been the result of bad beat jackpots. In 2009, Carbon Poker awarded a jackpot worth $1.2 million to a player named Ruggio, who lost a $1000 pot with a Jack-high straight flush to a player with a King-high straight flush. In 2008, Caesars Casino awarded an $800 000 prize to a player that lost four-of-a-kind 9s to a king-high straight flush.
However, the losing player isn’t the only one that wins. In the online casino world, the prize is split between all players at the table. The loser usually receives 50% of the pool, the winner gets 25% and the rest of the players split the remaining 25%. In some land-based casinos, the jackpot is split between players at all venues that are connected to the network. For example, all poker rooms that are operated by Caesars are connected to the network. When the jackpot is won, every poker player at every venue receives a share of the prize.
Bad beat progressive jackpots are common in the land-based casino world, but they are becoming increasingly rare at online poker rooms. Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars do not offer bad beat jackpots, and Party Poker has recently removed all of its bad beat jackpot tables. However, you can still find games that offer this type of progressive prize at Microgaming-powered poker rooms and 888 Poker.