View Full Version : Are Jackpots +ev?

12-24-2004, 06:34 PM
It seems like if you play enough poker, you'll eventually get a portion of a jackpot (at minimum, witness a qualifying bad beat). I've received 3 table shares amounting to over 4400 in the last 6 weeks. I pay $1 into the jackpot pool each time I win a pot. At that rate, I have to win 4400 pots before jackpots are not paying off for me.

Is the expense of having jackpots being subsidized by the casual once-a-month player to the benefit of the play all-the-time player?

I've heard people say they've played for 20 years and have never so much as seen a table share of a jackpot. Heresay of course. But may be true.

12-24-2004, 07:29 PM
Casual players win jackpots at a lesser rate. Usually only 1/5000 hands for them instead of the 1/1000 hands for all the time players. Casinos love jackpots because they lose money on them. So they are +EV for you

12-24-2004, 08:00 PM
Alrighty then ... flame away.

I understand my question may seem a little (or a lot) silly. But there might be more to consider -

When you play with poor players, they play "jackpot" hands and they go too far with them. So the result is you win money from the bad players and they offer more opportunities for a share of the jackpot. So while you DO pay $1 every time you drag a pot, those pots are bigger because of the bad players you're against + bad players love the concept of the jackpot, so they play the "Jackpot hand". They get mad when you want to chop and check don't check first to see if they have a jackpot hand.

Am I just grasping at straws?

It sure does seem that if you play long enough, you'll see a bad beat.

I've seen 5 in all. 2 before I started playing many hours/month and 3 in the last 6 weeks. One of them was in stud where my first 4 cards were 2's and another guy got his fourth king on his last card. There was no jackpot at that casino /images/graemlins/frown.gif and thet's the only time I participated in one of the hands of the bad beat.

01-13-2005, 03:51 PM
This is an interesting point I did not consider. Since you are winning pots at a smaller rate than everyone else, you are not contributing to the jackpot as much. If you win 8% of pots with a jackpot contribution, you are paying for only 8% of the jackpot, but have 10% of the benefits. So you are getting a 20% increase on your earn on the jackpot. The question now is asked, is it like Party Poker, who takes a cut of the jackpot? If they take over 20%, you are getting the short end. This could make it +EV in itself. Also, players playing poorly is always +EV.

01-14-2005, 01:00 PM
I can't say I agree with your 8% --> 10% thing. I think you have to look at it as you're giving up $1 to the jackpot for each pot you take. If that was all there was to it, I'd say jackpots are seriously -ev.

But as I play I hear many players saying things like "do you have a jackpot hand" before they chop in the blinds. And I see people playing 34s and show their loser and say "I played it for the jackput". And when these players do these things other players sincerely commend them for their "jakcpot prowess"!

So these players are making -ev plays induced by the jackpot. And another players -ev play is +ev for me and you.

Also, even though these plays they make are -ev, they are plays that increase the change of a jackpot occuring, that's why they do them. And this increases your and my chances of getting a table share of the jackpot.

I think these factors make jackpots profitable for some proportion of players - may be the top 30%?

01-14-2005, 05:13 PM
All these factors combined to sometimes make jackpots tables +EV. No one denies that bad play is +EV, jackpot or no jackpot. But is the jackpot itself +EV?

That question comes down to 2 factors-
1) The amount of money you put into the jackpot vs. the EV of hitting it for something

2) The increased chance of hitting it (by others foolish play) without the risk of actually making a -EV play.

These two factors may play into it, but the jackpot would usually have to be quite large for this to be true. A large portion would have to be payed out as well.