Brick and Mortar vs Online Jackpots

Brick and Mortar vs online bad beat jackpots

Many jackpot hunters wonder which is better, land based bad beat jackpots or online bad beat jackpots. That answer: It kind of depends. However, there are certain advantages to both.


The largest difference between brick and mortar jackpots and online jackpots is the sheer size that the bad beat jackpots reach. Online has a much larger player base and the game is much more accessible, so there are at least 100’s of tables playing even at low traffic hours. This added with the fact that most online jackpots have slightly higher hand requirements allowing for bigger jackpots. This also allows for the jackpots to quickly rebuild once hit. The largest jackpot was hit on the Aced network for over $1.2 Million, I don’t think you will ever see a land based casino have a bad beat jackpot that big.


The traditional payouts for bad beat jackpots for B&M casinos are as follows: 50% to the “Losing” hand, 25% to the “Winning” hand and 25% split among the remaining players at the table. Most land based casinos follow this payout structure. Online casinos however follow a different payout structure. Their payouts are typically: 35% to the “Losing” hand, 17.5% to the “Winning” hand, 17.5% is split among the other players, 20% seeds the next jackpot, and 10% is retained by the house. Some may say that you get screwed with the later payout structure (online), but you are talking about very large sums of money online vs land based casinos. The 20% seed is a good thing because the jackpot restarts at $60 if a $300k jackpot is hit; where land based casinos typically seed their jackpots with around $5-10K, not to mention they take forever to build.

Absolute Poker offers a unique split payout that is not found at any other casino. Instead of just splitting the “remaining” pot among the players just a jackpot table, the split is offered to all players currently playing at any table that matches the game type and stakes where the bad beat is hit.

Rake Rewards You Online

The rake is typically the reason why online is better than land based jackpots.  A typical casino will take 10% of the pot for rake, plus $1-$2 for the bad beat jackpot.  Online it varies but the rake is usually capped at $3 and they only take $.50 cents for the jackpot!  Generally online you won’t pay more than $.50 – $1 per hand.


The odds of hitting the bad beat jackpot depend on the requirements for qualification. The main factor is of course the hand qualification. The lower the hand qualification, the easier it is to hit the bad beat jackpot. Since land based casinos typically offer lower hand qualification, the odds are definitely better at bricks and mortar casinos vs online. There are some other qualification factors that change the odds slightly, but most of them are pretty uniform except for the hand qualification.  This is why jackpot hunting at land based casinos gives you better odds.

So which is best?

If I’m playing to hit the jackpot, online is definitely the way to go. Online offers the ability to jump from room to room and play at which ever real money poker room currently has the highest jackpots, most of which are at least $100k at any given time (which is rare and B&M’s). Either way, bad beat jackpots are great a chance to “hit the lotto”, but even if you don’t, big jackpots tend to bring out the big fish, looking to gamble. The loose players that bad beat jackpots tend to attract are the best reason to play where a bad beat jackpot is offered.

Written by Matt White