A bad beat jackpot is a prize awarded to a player who loses a hand despite having an exceptionally strong holding. There is usually a minimum requirement – for example perhaps the losing hand must be at least four-of-a-kind fives using both hole cards. 

Bad beat jackpots are traditionally quite large and smaller rewards are often paid out to the entire table. 

We will discuss the following in this guide.

What Hand Strength Is Required for the Bad Beat Jackpot?

It depends on the casino in question. However, it is nearly always some type of four-of-a-kind hand, which must be made using both hole cards. In many cases the winning hand also needs to be made using both hole cards. 

What is a ‘Rolling’ Bad Beat Jackpot?

A rolling bad beat jackpot is one that continues to grow until it is finally won (at which point it is set either to 0 or to a default starting amount). A casino might attribute a certain amount of the rake it takes each day to the bad beat jackpot causing it to grow over time. 

Where Does The Money for a Bad Beat Jackpot Come?

In many cases the bad beat jackpot is taken from the rake paid by players. Some rooms even charge extra rake for this purpose. 

Does a Bad Beat Jackpot Need Both Hole Cards?

Generally, yes, for both the losing and the winning hand. If this rule wasn’t in place it means that a bad beat jackpot would be triggered every time the board came down quads (i.e. KKKK2) since all remaining players technically make quads on such a texture. 

Bad Beat Jackpot Summary

A bad beat jackpot is a prize awarded for losing a poker hand despite having a very strong holding. In most cases we will need at least four-of-a-kind fives (made using both hole cards) in order to qualify. While the biggest prize goes to the loser, the other players at the table usually receive a smaller part of the jackpot also. 

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