What is Bounty in Poker

As one explores into the world of poker, one comes across a fascinating variant that surprises both experienced players and newcomers alike with the fact that there is bounty poker. If you have not yet tried playing this variation of poker, consider this an invitation to familiarize yourself with a game that adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the traditional format. Bounty poker is not just another poker game it can be compared to a battlefield where every player has a price.

bounty poker

Bounty in poker refers to the cash prize that each player is entitled to. This means that in addition to fighting for the pot, players receive additional cash rewards for eliminating other players from the tournament.

Further in the text we will tell you how to play bounty poker correctly, what strategies to use in order to beat your opponents and knock out as many opponents as possible.

Super Knockouts

Superknockouts have a special place in bounty poker tournaments. Imagine a tournament where, after making a $100 deposit, you essentially enter a $50 multi-table tournament (MTT) and also receive a $50 bounty for each player eliminated. This structure divides the prize pool in an ingenious way, with half going towards the overall tournament winnings and the other half going towards the knockouts. The appeal of Super Knockouts lies in the direct reward for aggressive play and destroying opponents, making each knocked out player not only a step towards victory, but also an immediate financial gain.

Elimination tournaments in casinos

Turning to casino floors, we find another interesting type of elimination tournaments. In these, the structure often dictates that the bounty reward is 20% of the entry fee. This modest percentage creates a different dynamic where the focus is on traditional tournament play and the bounty becomes a sweetener rather than the main course. When competing in casinos, players must adapt their strategies to this format, balancing the pursuit of the bounty with the primary goal of finishing at the top of the standings.

Progressive SuperKnockout tournaments on PokerStars

PokerStars has innovated the bounty format with the introduction of Progressive SuperKnockout tournaments, adding an evolving element to the bounty system. In these tournaments, which start with a $100 deposit, each player receives an initial $50 bounty. The twist, however, is the distribution of this bounty after elimination. When a player knocks out an opponent, they only receive half of their bounty in cash. The other half is added to their own bounty, making them a more valuable target. For example, if you eliminate a player early on, you get $25 and your reward increases to $75. If you get eliminated, your winner will receive $37.50, with the remainder topping up their reward. This progressive element not only encourages aggression, but also brings strategic depth as players have to weigh risk and reward, becoming an increasingly valuable target as the reward accumulates.

Bounty Poker Math

Understanding the basic math behind bounty tournaments is essential for any poker player who wants to succeed in this format of poker. One of the fundamental principles that must be internalized is the value of every chip in the game, which may seem daunting at first, but upon closer inspection proves to be relatively simple. The key is to realize that, unlike traditional tournaments, bounty tournaments offer a dual path to profitability: through chip accumulation and through collecting bounties. Each of these paths requires its own strategic considerations and math.

Money Calculation Using a Tournament Example

Consider a $100 Super Knockout tournament in which $50 goes into the main prize pool and $50 is designated as a bounty for each player. If you knock one player out, you’ll get $50 in bounties directly into your bankroll, regardless of your final standing in the tournament.

Let’s say you start with a $1,000 bankroll and decide to enter this tournament. If you eliminate one player, you will instantly receive 50% of your $100 investment, regardless of the outcome of the tournament. If you manage to take out five players, you will earn $250 in bounties, more than double your initial buy-in, demonstrating the lucrative potential of aggressive play.

Calculating Profits in a Casino-Based Tournament

In casino-based qualifying tournaments where the bounty is 20% of the entry fee, the math changes a bit. If the entry fee is $100, the bounty for each player will be $20. By knocking out one player, you immediately replenish your bankroll by $20. The smaller bounty emphasizes the importance of playing longer in a tournament to maximize your profits, both from the bounty and the prize pool.

With the same initial bankroll of $1,000, entering a tournament and knocking out five players will earn you $100, which is the same as your buy-in. The focus here is on a balanced chip accumulation strategy and selective use of prize money.

Chip Value in Bounty Tournaments

One important aspect of bounty tournaments is the relative value of chips lost versus chips gained. In traditional poker tournaments, chips gained are of equal value to chips lost. However, in bounty tournaments, lost chips are inherently more valuable because of the opportunity cost associated with the bounty. Losing chips not only reduces your ability to win the tournament, but also reduces your potential to earn a bounty. Conversely, chips gained increase your potential prize pool income, but do not provide the same immediate financial benefit as earning a bounty.

This dynamic emphasizes the importance of aggressive play and calculated risk-taking in bounty tournaments. Players must be able to balance the pursuit of a bounty with traditional chip accumulation strategies, always keeping in mind the increased value of preserving and protecting their stack.

Varieties of Bounty Tournaments

There are several varieties of bounty poker, each with its own unique rules and appeal, catering to a variety of player preferences. There are also different types of knockouts and each has its own special features and interesting points.

Standard Knockout

The standard knockout tournament is perhaps the simplest and most straightforward version of bounty poker. In this format, each player has a bounty on their head from the start of the tournament. When a player is eliminated, the player who knocked him out receives his bounty as an immediate cash prize. The amount of the bounty is fixed and does not change throughout the tournament, making bounty calculation and strategy easier. This format encourages aggressive play, as players can significantly increase their earnings by tracking down opponents and getting bounties for them, as well as competing for the tournament prize pool.

Progressive Knockout

Progressive knockout tournaments bring a developmental element to the concept of bounties, making them increasingly popular with players looking for an extra level of challenge and strategy. In this variant, each player starts with a bounty on their head, but unlike standard knockouts, the bounty increases each time a player eliminates someone from the tournament. Typically, a portion of the eliminated player’s bounty goes to the winner and the remainder is added to their own bounty, making them a more valuable target. This progressive feature encourages not only aggression but also strategic thinking, as players must balance the risk of becoming an overly attractive target with the reward of accumulating higher bounties.

Mystery bounty

More recently, bounty poker has seen the introduction of the Mysterious Reward tournament. This innovative format introduces an element of surprise and variation, as the exact amount of bounty on each player’s head is not fixed and can change throughout the tournament. When a player is eliminated, the bounty awarded to the eliminated player may be higher or lower than expected based on predetermined or random factors established by the tournament organizers. This uncertainty gives each elimination a special character, as players may receive larger than expected rewards for eliminating their opponents. Mysterious Reward tournaments appeal to those who enjoy the excitement and unpredictability of the bounty element, providing a fresh and exciting poker experience.


I firmly believe that Bounty Poker is an exceptional option worth exploring for all poker enthusiasts. The unique challenges and rewards of this format offer a new perspective on the game, encouraging players to develop and refine a wider range of skills. The excitement of the heads-up chase, combined with the strategic depth required to successfully navigate these tournaments, makes bounty poker a highly rewarding endeavor. In conclusion, poker enthusiasts looking to enrich their gaming experience with a combination of strategy, skill and the excitement of the hunt should definitely consider bounty poker.

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Written by Alisa Kotsar
Over the past 7 years, Lean has diligently tracked the progress and transformations in the gambling industry. His distinctive writing style has contributed to the dissemination of important news and updates from the gambling world and clarified important trends in the industry.