It is safe to say that if you have played in at least one poker game before you have heard a story about a bad beat. If you have played poker enough, you have probably even told a few bad beat stories yourself. You may or may not understand what a bad beat is. If you think you do, then you have to ask yourself … Do I really know what a bad beat is ?
Definition of a Bad Beat in Poker
A bad beat is pretty simple, but is often mistaken. The basic meaning of a bad beat is when you lose a hand that you should not have lost.
Understand that poker is a game of statistics and odds. If you know the odds and the probabilities, then you are more likely to understand what a bad beat is. It is a bad beat when your probabilities of winning a hand are high, and you still end up losing a hand.
Example of a Bad Beat
If you are up against your opponents and you have pocket Aces before the flop, the proper move is to get as much money as you can into the pot and to make sure that you are only playing against one other player (two at the most). So assuming you do that in this position you will be heads up with just one other player who will re-raise you all in. Of course you would call with the best hand in Texas Hold-em.
You flop over your hand and your opponent shows you pocket kings and gives a big gripe. Of course you would be very happy to know you are more than an 80% favourite in this hand. On the flop you catch an ace, which makes you even surer that you will win. But wait a minute, then comes a King on the turn. Now you are still pretty sure you will win but that chant (NO KING NO KING!) comes out as you sweat a bit. Then, sure enough that king comes on the river. You had a 99.9% chance to win after the flop, and still lost.
That is a Bad Beat
Bad Beat Misconceptions
Many people think that they have gotten bad beats but in reality they are very wrong. It is possible to have gotten a “bad beat” because you played the hand the wrong way. A lot of people think that you cannot lose with pocket aces and that if you do, you are getting a bad beat. Those are the same players that try to slow play a hand like that. This is the surest way to get beat by pocket aces. If you are in a hand with 7 other players and you have pocket aces going into the flop, you are probably going to lose. It is not a bad beat if you do because you did not play the hand the right way.
If you lose when you have a very high chance of winning, and you have played the hand the right way; you can then say you have received a bad beat.
Bad Beat – Royal Flush vs Quad Aces – WSOP 2008
Probably the worst bad beat in history of World Series of Poker at WSOP 2008 Main Event. With an all-in hand between Justin Phillips and Motoyuki Mabuchi, Phillips makes a Royal Flush on the river so has an easy call when Mabuchi goes all-in, although they are both shocked when the hands are turned over. The chance of royal flush and quads aces happening in the same hand are a 1 in 2.7 billion chance.