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If you’re a live poker player, you have probably heard about bad beat jackpots. Many live poker rooms use a bad beat jackpot as a way to drive more traffic to their cash games. It is not uncommon to see a jackpot go into six figures and sometimes eclipse a quarter of a million bucks.

Recently, the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA started their new bad beat jackpot promotion. While that wouldn’t normally be the type of news we’d report on, this one is a bit different. This bad beat jackpot, if hit, will pay out $1 million.

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What is a Bad Beat Jackpot?

A bad beat jackpot is just like it sounds; it is a jackpot prize that is awarded to a player that suffers a qualifying bad beat. The qualifier varies from casino to casino but is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of quad tens or higher losing to a superior hand. In most cases, both hole cards must play in both the winner and loser’s hand.

Everyone presently playing at the table when a bad beat jackpot is hit will receive a part of the jackpot prize. For example, based on the normal rules for the jackpot at Rivers Casino, the loser receives 40% of the prize while the winner gets 30% and the remaining 30% is split up between the remaining players at the table.

In a nine-handed table that hits a $100k jackpot, the loser gets $40,000, the winner gets $30,000 and the remaining $30k gets split between the other 7 players (just over $4,285 each).


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Rivers Casino Will Pay a $1 Million Bad Beat – But it is Going to Be a Doozey

Starting on July 1 and running through the end of 2016, players will have an opportunity to play for a $1 million bad beat jackpot prize. However, it is going to be the most difficult bad beat possible.

A queen-high Straight Flush must be beaten by a Royal Flush. There are additional qualifiers that will apply to this jackpot.

First, the winning player must have A-K suited and the loser 8-9 suited. Next, the flop must fall Q-J-10 of that suit. Any of those cards appearing on the turn or river will apparently nullify the jackpot.

“IF” this jackpot is hit, and based on present payout rules for the casino, the loser will get a staggering $400,000. The winner will get $300,000 and the remaining players will get at least $42k each (assuming 9 handed play).

What Are the Odds of The Jackpot Being Hit? Do We Look Like Bill Chen to You?

We have no clue what the odds are to hitting this jackpot but suffice it to say that we wouldn’t be surprised if we got to December without someone hitting. This begs the question as to whether the casino will then modify their rules to allow the jackpot to hit during that last month.

While this promotion seems a bit impossible to hit, it still captures the imagination and could be worth traveling to the Rivers to try and hit. I know if I get a chance to go to Pittsburgh in the next few months, I am going to go play a couple of days there.

Who wouldn’t want to play for a shot at $300k or $400k? Heck, I’d settle for the $42k observer prize. One thing is for certain. Ever time the flop falls Q-J-10 suited for the rest of the year, the players are going to be getting more excited than Al Bundy at Hooters.

Bad beat jackpots are a mainstay of live cash game play and a great gimmick to drive traffic. We applaud the Rivers Casino for devising this promotion and wish the players good luck on hitting a life-changing bad beat jackpot.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.