5 Best Bad Beat Poker Sites – Losing Can Be Winning, Too!

Whenever you play poker, you always want to win. However, if you’ve been on the tables for any length of time, then you are most likely familiar with the bad beat poker experience.   You make it to the showdown with a made hand that you are sure will win the pot.  Much to your dismay, your opponent pulls out an outrageously good hand, beating you fair and square.   It’s a painful experience, and the poker sites know this as much as you do.

Bad beats can be fairly regular so some poker rooms and casinos will offer bonuses to those tragically affected players. This means that you can still walk away with a consolation prize. In most cases, there are certain qualifying hands. So with all that in mind, we are going to look at the best online poker sites that offer a bad beat bonus, so that when it does happen, you aren’t so frustrated that you want to throw your tablet across the room in outrage…

Bad Beat Poker Site Summary

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Editors Choice


Party Poker


Bad Beat Poker Site

  • ProsPROS
  • Fun and engaging atmosphere
  • Loose players
  • Lots of action
  • Good game selection
  • Excellent bad beat bonus
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited high stakes offerings

While Party Poker is not the largest or the best poker room in the world, when it comes to bad beats, they are at the top of the list. Part of the reason that this site has such a generous payout is that it attracts a lot of new and loose players. The people that come to Party Poker are looking to have a good time, which means that they are open to paying a higher rake for the chance at winning big.

As for the breakdown, Party Poker does the bad beat jackpot like this: to qualify, you have to lose with at least quad 8’s or better. The prize percentages are 70% to the players and 30% to the house for their cut and to reseed the next bonus. From the players’ portion, the loser of the bad beat gets 50%, the winner gets 25%, and the other players at the table split the remainder. As far as payouts go, that is one of the better ones. Additionally, the jackpot increases rather fast, as they take $.50 or $1.00 per hand, depending on the table limits.

Play at the best Bad Beat Poker Site Now!

Visit Party Poker »

$20 FREE! Plus 100% Match to $500!

2nd place

Carbon Poker



  • ProsPROS
  • Large signup bonus
  • Excellent software
  • Added gameplay features
  • Awesome pool of players
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited amount of action
  • Not open to US players

If you’re looking for an online poker room that has some of the best software around, then you should check out Carbon Poker. This site is part of the Merge Gaming Network, known for their great added features and smooth graphics.

With regards to the bad beat jackpot, however, Carbon breaks it down like this. Like Party Poker, you have to lose with four 8’s or better. The percentages are as follows: 38% to the losing player, 20.5% to the winner, 20.5% to the rest of the table, and 21% to reseed the next pot. While not quite as generous as Party Poker, the biggest difference is that the site doesn’t take as big of a cut, which means more money is distributed overall.

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3rd place

888 Poker



  • ProsPROS
  • Large signup bonus
  • One of the largest poker rooms in the world
  • Lots of high stakes action
  • ConsCONS
  • Limited game selection
  • Not open to US players

For those who want a healthy dose of competition twenty-four hours a day, 888 Poker is the place to be. As the second largest online poker room in the world, you can always find a table, day or night. That also means you can find plenty of fish (and sharks) on the tables, depending on if you want an easy meal or a challenge.

The site has a decent bad beat jackpot, which has the same qualifier as Party Poker and Carbon. While we don’t know the exact payout percentages, we do know that the site seeds its jackpots with a starting level of 5,000 British Pounds, and they go up from there. Given the amount of action on the tables, we imagine that when the jackpot comes around, people can walk away with tons of money.

Visit 888 Poker »

4th place




  • ProsPROS
  • Excellent signup bonus
  • Casual gameplay
  • Wide variety of games
  • ConsCONS
  • Not open to US players
  • Limited high-stakes offerings

Next, we have Bwin poker. What’s great about this site is that you have the option to play on the poker tables or you can engage in sports betting and races. That means that you can take care of all of your gambling needs on one site, which can make things much more convenient.

As for bad beats, this site does not offer a progressive jackpot. Instead, they pay out $200 to the loser and winner. What makes it unique, however, is that they change the qualifying hands week to week, so you don’t always need to have quads to get the money.

Visit bwin »

5th place




  • ProsPROS
  • Huge signup bonus
  • Lots of tournament options
  • Excellent software and features
  • ConsCONS
  • Site can be confusing to navigate for some users
  • Not open to US players

Finally, we have Red Kings Poker. This site is fantastic for anyone who wants to play with a more international audience. The games and tournaments offered here are some of the best you can find anywhere, and with a massive signup bonus, you can earn a lot of money without needing to spend hours on the tables.

This site also has a progressive bad beat. What sets it apart is the fact that the qualifying hand is just quad 2’s or better, meaning that the bar is slightly lower. 80% of the jackpot goes to the players, with 20% going to the house for reseeding. Of the winning money, the loser gets 40%, the winner gets 20%, and the remainder goes to the other players at the table.

Visit RedKings »

Bad Beat Poker Site Considerations

You know how it goes, you start off with a pocket pair or a flush draw, and then you bet and raise until you make a solid hand. It could be a high pair, trips, or even a straight. Feeling confident, you make it all the way to the river. It’s just you and one other person. He thinks you’re bluffing, but you have a made hand. Finally, you showdown, sure that you will scoop the pot.

Suddenly, he flips over his cards. Your pocket aces have been beaten by trips. Three of a kind is torn apart by a straight. Your run is demolished by a flush. Even with a good hand, if you wind up losing, it was a bad beat.

The frustration you feel with a hand like this is well known.  Players react differently – some will throw their tablet across the room in disgust, others will puff out their cheeks and soldier on with renewed vigor.  However, the reaction that all poker sites want to guard themselves against is the player who quits and shuts down their account in disgust.  That’s why several now offer a jackpot prize for players who suffer this travesty.

What are Bad Beat Jackpots?

As we mentioned, some poker rooms will offer a bonus payout to players who experience a bad beat. For the most part, these places will require a qualifying hand, which is usually four of a kind. In that case, if you have quads and they are beaten by anything higher, a bad beat jackpot will pay out.

The jackpot is seeded by a percentage cut from the previous prize. All players will fund the prize over time by playing on tables whose rake adds to the total. Once the bad beat occurs, the payouts will differentiate depending on the room that’s paying it out. Typically, though, the losing player will get the biggest cut of the prize money, the winner will get the second largest, and any other people in the hand will get a percentage.

Bad Beat

Progressive Bad Beat Jackpot vs. Instant Prize

When it comes to funding a jackpot win, there are two ways to do it. Most live games and casinos offer a progressive fund, which means that it increases for every hand played. That means that the more time between bad beats, the larger the prize when it finally happens. A lot of places like to do it this way because it is more enticing to the players, it offers more of a return for the house, and it can help reseed the next jackpot.

Conversely, some places may only have an instant prize, which is a set amount that you win for experiencing a bad beat. Typically, instant jackpots are paid on games that have odds, like Ultimate Texas Hold Em or Three Card Poker. Some variations of these games will have a bad beat bonus, which is either a fixed amount that is paid regardless of your bet size, or requires that you place a wager and it will pay odds. If that is the case, then you won’t make any money unless you bet on that bonus spot.

Overall, progressive bad beat jackpots are much better for everyone involved. A cut of the prize goes to everyone at the table. Most poker rooms that offer such a bonus choose to do it progressively, as the benefits are far better than an instant prize.

Bad Beat Payouts

To give you a better idea of how this all breaks down, let’s look at a hypothetical example.

Player One has four Tens.

Player Two has four Queens.

The Bad Beat Jackpot is currently at $1000. Once the players show down, then the money will be awarded as follows:

Player One lost the hand, landing the biggest cut. We’ll say that’s 30%, or $300. Player Two gets the second largest prize for winning the hand, which means that he gets 20%, or $200. The house usually takes a similar size cut to the loser, so we’ll say 20% this time as well.  If there is a full table of eight players, then the remaining six players will get 5%, or $50 each.  The house usually takes a small portion as profit (around 5%), and then the remaining balance will be kept for the next payout.  They wouldn’t want to lose their edge over the players.  Again, the exact numbers will vary, depending on the rules of the house, but this should give you some idea of how it all works.

Largest Bad Beat Jackpot to Date

Could you imagine getting a bad beat bonus payout that was worth almost half a million dollars? While that may seem like a fantasy, that scenario happened to an online poker player named Ruggio. He was playing on Carbon Poker’s site, which has a progressive bad beat jackpot. The total winnings had reached a whopping $1.2 million back in 2009, meaning that it was overdue for a payout.

The bad beat itself was pretty epic in its own right. Ruggio was competing on a $100 Max No-Limit Hold Em game, which means that the stakes were pretty low. Most of the time, players on that kind of table can walk away with a few hundred bucks, but getting over a thousand dollars is pushing it.

He was playing against another Carbon Poker user named Aelani when everything went down. Remarkably, both of them wound up with a straight flush, but Aelani’s was higher, so he wound up winning the hand. Ruggio, though, was the big winner, with a bonus pot of $417,396. Aelani “only” walked away with $209,000 for winning the hand. Everyone else at the table also made out like kings, making it one of the best payouts in online poker history.

Since then, nothing has even come close to matching or breaking that record, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream, does it?

Tips for Poker Bad Beats

Bad Beat Poker

While it may be nice to win a lot of money through a bad beat jackpot, the reality is that you will experience this phenomenon plenty of times where you don’t get a consolation prize. In any case, where you feel confident about your hand and get beaten by something better, the sting can be a lot to handle. Here are five ways to deal with and move on.

  • Focus more on the process, not the results
  • Take a break if it gets to you
  • Realize that it is part of the game
  • Sometimes bad players get lucky; it’s not the end of the world
  • Whatever you do, don’t go full tilt afterward. It’s only one hand

Bad Beat Poker Conclusion

Overall, while getting beaten in poker is never any fun, some of the pain of losing can be mitigated by winning a huge cash prize. Best of all, just by playing at a bad beat jackpot table you can earn money, as participation in the hand means that you can take a cut, even if you folded immediately. Thus, if you want another way to win that takes advantage of something that happens anyway, be sure to check out bad beat jackpot tables on your favorite poker site.

For more information on bad beat poker jackpots, you can visit this site.  We hope you enjoyed our list of the 5 best bad beat poker sites, and we look forward to reading your comments below!

Bad Beat Poker Site Summary

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I am a poker enthusiast who also enjoys sailing, rugby, and gaming. A relative newcomer to the world of online poker, I will be putting our strategy guides to the test as I start the Bankroll Challenge: how far can I get without depositing a single penny? Keep an eye out for updates.

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