Merge Gaming to Remove Bad Beat Jackpot Tables

Merge Gaming has decided to end the bad beat jackpot (BBJ) feature on the poker network. When the existing jackpot, already at over $300k, is hit, the BBJ tables will be automatically removed.

The decision to pull the tables is to “ensure a healthier poker room ecology,” according to a Carbon Poker representative who announced the network policy change today. The decision—which hopes to provide players “with a better ring game selection and increased players at the stakes the BBJ tables use to be”—came after a “long analytical review,” according to the rep.

Regular readers will recall a similar move by PartyPoker back in March. The network cited similar reasons, aiming for “a healthier poker room, offering better cash games and more players to play against.”

Bad beat Jackpots are basically a casino game of chance built into poker. When very specific requirements are met—usually requiring one player to lose with quads or better with both players using their hole cards—then the Jackpot is triggered and all players involved in the hand receive a percentage of the prize pool. The prize is built with extra rake taken from the pot and the house takes a cut; in the case of Merge Gaming, this is 50c extra rake and a 10% cut for the network.

When the final BBJ is hit on Merge, the 20% normally used to reseed the next jackpot will instead go to the players, making it slightly more tempting to play, but unless it grows significantly its likely still a losing proposition given the increased rake. And they certainly can get big—the Merge BBJ last popped in January of this year for over $1m, and Boss Media’s—one of the few networks who still have BBJ tables—went for a whopping €1.25m in July 2011.