Online Poker Bombs: Explanation + Strategic Implications
Over the past 15 years or so, bomb pots have continued to grow in popularity in the poker world. If you’re not familiar with the term bomb pot, a bomb pot is played by having all the players at the table post a certain number of big blinds before the flop. The flop is then dealt and action resumes as any normal poker hand would.
The popularity of pot bombs is mostly due to live poker. Bomb pots have appeared in live poker cash games and in many local casino card rooms. Bomb pots tend to encourage action by allowing the entire table to see the flop.
What is Bomb Pot?
Bomb Pot is a term used to categorize a poker hand in which all players present at the table post a predetermined number of big blinds before the flop. The flop is then dealt and action resumes as it would with a regular Hold’em hand. Usually players put about 5bb in the pot preflop and then the flop is dealt.
Bomb pots are not an uncommonly new thing, having been in use for over ten years depending on the source. The term first became known in 2009 in Sacramento, California at Casino Royale.
Although pot bombs have been around for a while, the term has grown significantly in popularity in recent years, in part due to the inclusion of pot bombs in a number of live streams such as Stones Live, which is the same venue where Mike Postle was accused of cheating on games of alive.
Pot Bomb Strategies
Playing a pot bomb can be exciting and can create additional action in a poker game similar to a straddle. The main thing to keep in mind when considering strategic adjustments is the fact that all players sitting at the table will see the flop. In turn, this means that the intrinsic value of your hand is much lower.
During a bomb pot, inexperienced players are much more likely to overestimate their hand. A fairly strong hand in a heads-up situation like top pair has much less value when there are 5-8 other players seeing the flop. To succeed in a bomb pot, you’ll need to be careful to gauge your hand strength and be prepared to bet all the money with only the strongest hands.
A few other key considerations here are stack-to-pot ratio, or SPR, and hand ranges. In a standard 100bb buy-in game at a 9-handed table, 45bb are already in the pot pre-flop. By the time you get to the flop, most stacks will be playing with an SPR of around 2:1. In turn, you’ll have to play your entire stack quite often if you do decide to continue post-flop during a bomb pot.
The other concept we touched on, hand ranges, becomes an almost useless concept when playing a pot bomb. We can usually try to place our opponents on a range of hands based on their pre-flop decisions. Likewise, it is best for us as a player to identify our ranges during key poker situations in order to balance our play, bluff effectively, and win the most money.
During a pot bomb, all of that goes out the window. Since each player is forced to cash in preflop with any two cards, players can no longer be assigned a range or hand. Instead, you should be prepared for your opponent to show up with any two cards, just as you might.
Online Bomb Pots
Although most bomb tournaments are played at live poker venues, there are also a number of online poker sites that have introduced bomb tournaments as a feature in certain cash games. Just like a live poker bomb, these pots are played exactly the same way. All players at the table post a certain number of big blinds, the flop is dealt, and then action resumes as usual.
There can be many different sizes of Bomb Pots depending on where you play. Usually this might be around 5 big blinds or so. Another variable is the frequency of bomb pots. On average, a poker table can play one bomb pot every 15 minutes.
Although not every site offers this feature, all sites on the Winning Poker Network offer bomb tables for cash games. At these tables, players will bet 5bb each pre-flop four times every hour, or once approximately every 15 minutes.
Where to play Bomb Pots online
As for reputable sites, we highly recommend playing at Americas Cardroom if you want to get in on the action with the bomb. Despite the name, Americas Cardroom serves many other parts of the world such as Australia. Bomb Pots are available for play at Americas Cardroom at a variety of stake levels and table sizes. Approximately four bomb pots will be done per hour.
In addition to Americas Cardroom, there are other sites that are affiliated with the ACR platform that offer Bomb Pots. Black Chip Poker, Ya Poker, Poker King and True Poker all boast the same full lineup of bomb cash game tables as Americas Cardroom.
If you are not familiar with WPN, Americas Cardroom is the flagship site. To find a bomb table on these sites, look for the tables with a small silver circle with a red dollar sign in the middle. This ticking time bomb symbol denotes the pot bomb tables at all sites on the Winning Poker Network.
New players who sign up at Americas Cardroom can take advantage of a free $10 no deposit bonus in addition to a 100% first deposit bonus worth up to $2,000. Please feel free to check out our page dedicated to the best Americas Cardroom promotions or click the button below and use our exclusive code PRB10 FREE to sign up at Americas Cardroom today.
Double board bomb pots and other variables
Bomb Pots can be played the same way during any style of community dealt poker game. To increase the action and intensity even more, many rooms have begun to offer additional features such as Omaha-specific pots, double bomb pots and more. We’ve seen a number of live streams use pot bombs as a method to engage viewers and create large pots.
Although many bomb pots are played with a standard hold’em structure, often poker rooms will introduce additional features such as two full rounds or boards. A double board bomb pot refers to a table that is dealt two full runs, including two flops, two turns, and two rivers. The winner of each board will receive half of the pot, so to win the entire pot you will need to win on both boards, which can be quite difficult.
By introducing two runs, the action is even more stimulated and the pots tend to grow quite large. Of course, these types of double board situations often lead to split pots.
Is it worth playing Bomb Pots?
If you already visit or play at a live poker site, you may have already encountered bombs. Although the feature is often used on television or in a live stream setting to draw viewer interest, Bomb Pots are also great for generating action and excitement in any poker game.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that poker room operators are somewhat incentivized to offer features like bomb pots, as they create larger pots and the operator can in turn generate more rake. All in all, it can be a bit difficult to determine whether playing bomb pots is +EV or a smart thing to do for you as a player. Below we have compiled a list of some of the most relevant pros and cons of bomb poker games:
- Professionals – Exciting action and bigger pots. Anyone can see the flop. If you are an experienced poker player, you will probably have an extra advantage over your opponents in a bomb pot situation. By understanding your hand value and the situation, you can gain a strong advantage during the bomb pot.
- cons – Newer players may tend to lose more by overestimating hands. Poker rooms can generate additional rake by incentivizing these larger pots. Some tables may break early due to players being stacked during a bomb pot. Winning players may want to “buck up” and walk away.