Common Promotions Found in Live Poker Rooms
Poker rooms in live casinos have historically been a losing proposition for casinos. Some room like that at the Bellagio in Las Vegas can turn a profit, but most struggle to make money. As such, you will find many live poker room offering promotions to drive in additional traffic.
Today, we will take a look at five of the most common promotions you will see in live poker rooms. Poker rooms that offer promotions generally promote them on their website or in the poker room, so call ahead or go online to see what offers are available at your poker room.
Deep or Double Stack Tournaments
Deep stack or double stack tournaments are nothing new, but many live poker rooms will still advertise them as an incentive to come to play there. Generally, the tournament has twice to three times the amount of chips compared to standard poker tournaments.
The catch with this format is that you are generally looking at a fast structure. There are times where the event will become a virtual crapshoot for most players by level four. Also, the rake on these events may be extremely high, sometimes as high as 30 to 40 percent of your buy-in.
If you play in daily poker tournaments at a live poker room, you will often see a “dealer add-on” option. This option gives you a set amount of chips for an additional “tip” to the dealer. In some cases, the amount of chips is so significant that you almost are forced to take the option in order to compete.
Note that the dealer add-on does not go towards the player pool and you should count it as rake when figuring out how much you’re spending on poker.
High Hand Promotions
One promotion you’ll see run often in live poker rooms are high hand promotions. These generally come in three forms. The first is the “High Hand of the Day” where the player with the highest hand during the day gets a prize.
Next is the “High Hand of the Hour.” The same concept applies but the promotion is held every hour. Finally, you have a general High Hand promotion that may be during a set period of time during the day.
They type of promotion run depends on the size of the poker room and the amount of cash game action. Also, some casinos will automatically award you a prize if you hit a Royal Flush during the high hand promotion. I once hit a Royal on Thanksgiving Day at Harrah’s in Atlantic City and ended up getting $200 in comp dollars.
Cracked Aces Bonus
Some live poker rooms offer a cracked aces bonus for their cash games. If you get pocket aces, go to showdown, and lose, you will get a bonus. The most common bonus for this is $100.
Note that poker rooms are right strict on this type of bonus. If you let players know you have aces during the hand, you will generally forfeit the bonus.
While $100 doesn’t sound like a lot, it can take away the sting of losing a big pot with aces. For lower stakes games like $1-$2 NL Hold’em, $100 can replace your initial buy-in and let you try again.
Bad Beat Jackpot
The most popular live poker room promotion is the bad beat jackpot. With this promotion, you’re effectively playing for a progressive jackpot that hits when you lose with a qualifying hand. Most commonly, you must lose with at least four of a kind in order to hit the jackpot.
For example, if you get dealt pocket aces, flop two aces and someone hits runner-runner, straight flush, you will win the jackpot. Generally, the jackpot is divided with 50 percent going to the loser, 25 percent going to the hand winner, and the rest divided amongst the players at the table.
There are a few rules that will apply. First, you cannot make it known that you might have a potential jackpot hand. Next, the pot generally has to exceed a certain amount. Lastly, both of your hole cards have to play in order to qualify. If you have A-K and flop four aces, you cannot qualify for a bad beat jackpot.
Bad beat jackpots are typically NL Hold’em only but a few casinos will have them for Limit Hold’em, Stud, and Omaha. Also, there’s usually an extra drop taken out of each pot to contribute towards the bad beat jackpot.