Best Bad Beat Jackpot Poker Sites

Which online poker rooms offer bad beat jackpot poker tables?

While poker is a game of skill, that doesn't dampen the enthusiasm most poker players have for the opportunity to engage in a bit of gambling on the side.  One such gamble readily available at many poker rooms is the Bad Beat Jackpot.  Read on to learn more about the mechanics of bad beat jackpots, a bit of relevant history and (finally) rankings of the best online poker rooms offering bad beat jackpots.

How Do Bad Beat Jackpots Work?

The specifics vary slightly from room to room, but the basics go like this: Players at tables eligible for the beat bad jackpot pay a separate rake charge on top of the regular rake.  That separate charge funds the jackpot.  The jackpot is hit when one player with a qualifying hand (generally around four of a kind eights) loses to a player with a better hand on an eligible table.

At that point, the jackpot is distributed, usually via a formula along the lines of the following: The winning player gets a big cut, the losing player gets the biggest cut and every other player in the hand gets a small percentage as well.  Part of the jackpot is taken out and used to seed the next bad beat jackpot pool, and part is kept by the room.

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Are Progressive Bad Beat Jackpots Only Available at Online Poker Rooms?

No.  Bad beat jackpots are actually a promotional tradition with firm roots in live poker rooms.  While the exact date and location of the first bad beat jackpot is now lost to time, the practice has been around for several decades in card rooms across the nation.  Bad beat jackpots were once ubiquitous across online poker sites, but today bad beat jackpots are possibly more common at live poker rooms than at rooms online.

What is the Largest Bad Beat Jackpot in Online Poker History

To date, the largest bad beat poker jackpot online - and in fact, the largest BBJ that we're aware of in any poker room, live or online - took place on July 27th, 2011.  That's when the Boss Media / IPN Bad Beat Jackpot finally hit after growing for week upon week (upon week).  The lucky table took home €1,265,583 - or roughly $1.8 million at the current exchange rate.  The hand was quad kings versus quad aces, and just under €500,000 went to the "unlucky" player who "lost" with the kings.

Is it Profitable to Play Bad Beat Tables?

This is a trickier question than it might first seem.  On one hand, you're paying extra rake (and the chances of you ever seeing a part of it back are miniscule).  Paying extra rake makes it harder to be a winning player.  On the other hand, you could argue that weaker players are drawn to the Bad Beat tables, while smart players are turned off by the extra rake - making for a much weaker overall player pool than found at the non-BBJ tables.  It's difficult to answer definitively, so the best course of action is to sample the BBJ tables for a session or two and see if your sense is that they're softer than the average table.  If so, the extra rake might just be worth paying.

Top-Rated Online Poker Room With a Bad Beat Jackpot

With fewer and fewer rooms offering bad beat jackpots, it's pretty easy to pick a winner on this score: Ladbrokes.  The popular Microgaming skin offers a generous Bad Beat Jackpot with reasonable terms.  Players need to lose with four of a kind eights or better, with both players using both hole cards to make their hand.  At least four players must be dealt in to the hand, and rake must be taken.  The hand must go to showdown.

Ladbrokes keeps 10% of each bad beat jackpot, which is more or less average by industry standards.  You can locate BBJ tables quickly in the lobby using filters or simply sorting the tables of your preferred game.

Best Bad Beat Jackpot Poker Room for US Players

Carbon Poker takes the title among US-facing online poker rooms offering a bad beat jackpot.  The room - a past and frequent holder of the record for largest bad beat jackpot - requires you to lose with four of a kind sevens or better.  The hand must go to showdown and both players must use both hole cards. 

As for distribution, Carbon pays out 70%, reseeds with 20% and rakes 10%.  Players must be sitting in when the hand is dealt to claim any share of the jackpot.  Bad Beat tables in the lobby have a different table design and can be easily spotted by table title, using filters or referring to the icons Carbon assigns different tables in the main lobby view.

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