Vital facts:

  1. $1/$3 NL underground game
  2. $100-$800 buyin
  3. Not 1 player has any skill (except hero)
  4. Bad beat jackpot is at $15,000 and climbing
  5. Rake is fairly high (details to follow)

Bad Beat JackPot Requirements:

  1. Both cards must be used in both players hands
  2. AAAJJ+ beaten
  3. $24 minimum in pot
  4. 6+ players at table
  5. $6750 to loser, $4000 to winner
  6. 1/3 of all raked $ feeds BBJP


  1. No Flop, No Rake
  2. HU Flop of
  3. 3way+ Flop of
  4. Hu Flop of >$24 = $5 Rake
  5. 3way+ Flop of >$24 = $6 Rake

Key Questions

Assume nothing about your opposition. Working only with the facts above, how would you calculate your EV in this game with a special emphasis on the BBJP?

Now, assuming your Poker IQ test result is 109 (~=100NL Winner) and your opposition's mean score is roughly 80, how would you calculate your EV?

Thanks, I look forward to the discussion.

  • I suck at formatting. I'll be back later to make it pretty if no one else wants to. Oct 10, 2015 at 0:30
  • You should not care about that. Just keep playing your game and if it eventually comes than congratz. You have no more edge than others in playing that format.
    – Marcio
    Nov 11, 2015 at 4:33

1 Answer 1


Bad beat Jackpots are zero sum. There is really no skill involved in hitting one. The hands you need to start with, essentially pocket jacks or better, you are usually going to be playing anyway. Then there are the small suited connectors. Many players play these hands for way to much on the premise that a jackpot justifies it.

The big problem with a big Jackpot is that any particular player is not likely going to come out ahead. You can play a jackpot game daily and you will more likely die of old age before you hit a jackpot. Jackpots are simply a lottery. And even if you get a positive EV, your still not likely to hit one ever, or hit one where it actually makes up for the amount of jackpot drop you have paid. In other words even if you get lucky and hit one you may still be losing in the long run. Even if you just play large mature jackpots, the litle positive EV you get, your not likely to realize.

I have met players that have hit jackpots more then once. But they generally are not ahead of the game. They have hit these jackpots a little more then average because they play to hit the jackpots. They play all the suited connectors, often for big raises, and then any kind of draw they play, meaning if they have a five six of hearts and an eight or nine of hearts flops they stay, no matter the action. They loose much more then the upside of a jackpot offers them with bad play.

Personally to me I think the only upside to Jackpot games is that it attracts players that know the only way they may ever get ahead of the game is to hit a jackpot. I don't play to hit a jackpot, I will make much more money, with much less investment in futures, if I play to take advantage of the players playing for the jackpot. Even then I am not sure that it is worth paying the extra amount taken out for the bad beat. This is true for any promotion and not just bad beats

  • I have to agree that playing for BBJ value is just poor play and any promotional based play is only a drain on your EV for the game.
    – mah
    Nov 9, 2015 at 17:08

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