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Bad Beats

What are of Bad Beat Jackpots?

by Jesse Knight
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Bad Beat Jackpot
Bad Beat –
1. A loss that was statistically unlikely to occur because your opponent had few outs.
2. A poker jackpot.


A bad beat happens when your opponent comes from way behind to beat you on a hand. There are no set in stone requirements that define a bad beat, rather, it is a subjective description of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Most players would agree that a hand would need to hit four outs or fewer, or some kind of running combination, in order to be considered a bad beat.

Players often like to relate their bad beats to each other. These sagas are called “bad beat stories,” and every poker player has a plethora of them. Bad beat stories are infamous for being absolute torture to listen to, but some players insist upon telling them anyway.

Many poker rooms offer a “Bad Beat Jackpot” for poker players. Bad Beat Jackpots are structured differently from casino to casino, but most often, they occur when a sufficiently strong hand is beaten by an even stronger hand. Additionally, several specific conditions must be met in order for a jackpot to be valid. These jackpots are generally progressive, which means they grow until they are hit. Payout can range from a few thousand dollars to a hundred thousand dollars or more. They are funded by a collection, taken every hand, in addition to the rake. The jackpot prize depends on the money in the jackpot pool. Most casinos take a predetermined amount per hand for the jackpot pool on top of the house collection (or rake) they are already taking. In the Los Angeles area, the house takes $1 from every hand played in qualifying games to build the jackpot. The jackpots typically range from a few hundred dollars to $100,000.

Most brick and mortar poker rooms offer some form of Bad Beat Jackpot, but most online card rooms do not.

Usage: Runner Runner Bad Beat, Bad Beat Story, Bad Beat Jackpot

Previous Poker Term: Backer
Next Poker Term: Bankroll

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