Some casinos have added a monster bad-beat jackpot is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

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Many casinos offer bad-beat jackpots as a means to encourage players to sit at their poker tables and be dealt in, hand-after-hand. You must be dealt cards to be able to participate in the jackpot.

Typically, the dealer takes one chip out of every hand and drops it through a slot in the table, down into a collection box under the table. (Sometimes the slot gets jammed with all the chips the dealer drops as the game progresses. Figure about 30-35 chips per hour.)

It’s called a “bad-beat” jackpot because the winner is the player whose hand is beaten by another player. The beaten hand must be a monster like Aces-full-of tens or higher, beat by four-of-a-kind; and both of each player’s hole cards must be used to make the hands involved.

Jackpots usually run over $15,000 in low-limit cash games – considerably higher in high-limit games. The jackpot is distributed with the largest share going to the player who suffered the bad beat; half that amount goes to the winner of the hand; and the remainder is divided equally among the other players who were in that hand.

Bad-beat jackpots happen so infrequently you can easily tell when there’s one at a nearby table. The shouting and clapping is LOUD – very loud! People jump from their seats at other tables to go see what is happening, vicariously joining in the celebration!

Another bigger bad-beat jackpot: More recently some casinos have added a huge-monster bad-beat jackpot: Four-of-a-kind beat by another four-of-a-kind, again with both hole cards involved.

The jackpot in this promotion is $100,000! It is offered only during specified hours. I have never seen anyone win such a jackpot, but it is possible, theoretically. Can you imagine the odds against two players holding quads at the same time? I am pleased to say I have won two of the smaller bad-beat jackpots during the last few years.

A jackpot hand to remember: After signing in at the board for a $4-$8 limit game, while waiting for a seat, I stood behind the dealer to watch the play at one of the tables. (Gets me a bit of a heads-up if I later happen to be seated at that table.)

Jill, in the under-the-gun position, raised preflop with K-K in the hole. Jay, in a middle position, re-raised with A-A. Wow! Only the Big Blind called as they saw the flop three-handed.

And what a flop it was: Ace, King, King. Jill had quad kings! And Jay had Aces-full-of-Kings. Two monster hands, to say the least. Both of them raised and re-raised until Jay was all-in.

The Big Blind had folded. They showed their hands, as everyone watched with rapt interest – more than just curiosity. There was a loud roar from all of the players! Another Ace on the board would yield a monster jackpot. (I thought to myself that I wished I had been seated at that table. What a score it would be!)

Even if the fourth Ace didn’t materialize on the board, they had a jackpot hand: Four Kings beats Aces-full of Kings! With $16,000 in the jackpot, Jack’s full-boat would net him $6,400. Jill’s quad Aces gets her $3,200; and the seven other players in the hand would share the remaining $6,400. That’s a lot for a $4-$8 limit game.

The dealer called over a floorman to observe the rest of the hand – just in case. Standard practice. Of course, the odds were very high against Jay catching the fourth Ace – about 25-to-1 against with two shots at it, the turn and river, dropping to about 50-to-1 on the river.

As you might expect, the fourth Ace did not find its way to the board, but everyone at the table was happy to share the $16,000. Now that’s a happy table.

“The Engineer,” a noted author and teacher in Greater Los Angeles, is a member of the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame. Contact George at [email protected].

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About the Author

George Epstein

A retired engineer, George Epstein is the author of “The Greatest Book of Poker for Winners!” and “Hold’em or Fold’em? – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision.” He teaches poker courses and conducts a unique Poker Lab at the Claude Pepper Senior Center under the auspices of the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks and at West Los Angeles College.

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