Record-Breaking Bad Beat Poker Jackpot of $1.9 Million Hit in Canada

3 min read

The largest bad beat jackpot in poker history was hit at the Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake, Quebec, giving all the poker players in the building a piece of CAD $2,590,185 (about $1.94 million USD). It happened Wednesday evening at a low-stakes table and of course the players involved got the lion’s share.

Playground Poker Club bad beat
These unnamed players in Canada and the dealer have a good reason to sip champagne: They just were part of the biggest bad-beat jackpot in history. (Image: Playground Poker Club)

The bad beat jackpot payout distribution is as follows:

  1. 40% of the Bad Beat Jackpot is awarded to the Bad Beat hand (losing hand).
  2. 20% of the Bad Beat Jackpot is awarded to the winner of the hand.
  3. 20% of the Bad Beat Jackpot is awarded in equal shares among the balance of signed-in players at the table where the Bad Beat Jackpot was hit.
  4. 20% of the Bad Beat Jackpot is awarded in equal shares among all other signed-in cash game Hold’em players anywhere on the property. In the event that there are no other Texas Hold’Em or eligible mixed games on the gaming floor, the 20% allocated for the rest of the room will be equally distributed among all players at the winning table.
Bad beat
Now that’s a pretty river. (Image: Playground Poker Club)

So that’s about $776,166 to the loser holding quads, $388,083 to the winner who hit a straight flush on the river with 69 of diamonds, $388,083 split among the remaining players at the table, and $388,083 split between the rest of the players playing in the room at the time (in U.S. dollars).

It’s the second enormous bad beat jackpot to be hit at the Playground Poker Club. In June of last year, one worth $1.7 million American was hit at another low-stakes table. And strangely enough, the loser also held pocket 10s against a red six-to-10 straight flush — only it was hearts and not diamonds.

The jackpot is reseeded with $700,000.

Love them or hate them, bad beat jackpots do generate excitement and headlines whenever they grow like Jack’s beanstalk into the stratosphere. But the money does come from the players, who see a little bit of each pot they play go into the bad beat box.

Each casino handles bad beat jackpots a little differently — so be sure to check with card room staff for clarity — but they all have qualifying losing hands that change as the jackpot grows. Here’s the Playground Poker Club’s criteria:

WeekQualifying Hand
1 – 4Quad Aces (AAAAx)
5 – 8Quad Kings (KKKKx)
9 – 12Quad Queens (QQQQx)
13 – 16Quad Jacks (JJJJx)
17 – 20Quad Tens (TTTTx)
21 – 24Quad Nines (9999x)
25 – 28Quad Eights (8888x)
29 – 32Quad Sevens (7777x)
33 – 36Quad Sixes (6666x)
37 – 40Quad Fives (5555x)
41 – 44Quad Fours (4444x)
45 – 48Quad Threes (3333x)
49 – 52Quad Twos (2222x)

It sometimes takes months and months and hundreds-of-thousands of hands for a dealer make a bad beat hand, as was the case at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, which owns the record for the largest bad beat jackpot in U.S. history.

Last August, a bad beat of $1,226,765 was hit after quad aces lost to a royal flush. It took more than 16 months for that bad beat jackpot to reach that heights. It was hit in the early afternoon at a $1/3 table.

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