Jacks or better is probably the most popular form of video poker available at brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling sites across the United States. The game’s simplicity has made it a hit with players since it launched.
As the game differs slightly from regular draw poker on which it is based, it makes sense that not all poker strategies are directly transferrable to the game. This may put you off, but the game has an estimated return of 99.54% when the best video poker Jacks or Better strategy is used.
If you want to learn more about playing Jacks or Better online, you have come to the right place! Below we have a look at what all US players need to know about playing this wonderfully exciting game.
This includes a guide on how to play video poker Jacks or Better, strategies to keep in mind while playing, and a list of the poker hands available in the game. We also list the casinos with the best video poker machines. So, what are you waiting for? Start playing poker and slot machines today!
As mentioned above, Jacks or Better is the most popular form of video poker available to US players. The name comes from the fact that a pair of Jacks is the lowest winning hand open in the game. As with all forms of video poker, the point of the game is to get a hand that matches the payout table.
Aside from the double Jack rule, the game uses standard poker rules. This means players are paid for any hand higher than a pair of Jacks.
Here is an example of a paytable often seen in Jacks or Better games. It is easy to see that players are paid handsomely for getting a Royal Flush, which is the most complex hand to get in the game.
Pair (Jacks or Better) 1
Two Pair 2
Three of a Kind 3
Full House 9
Four of a Kind 25
Straight Flush 50
Royal Flush 800
How to Play Jacks or Better Video Poker
As mentioned above, Jacks or Better rules are easy to understand and follow. All players need to do is form the best possible hand to qualify for a payout. If you’re still unsure about how the game works, follow our quick guide below:
Pick a Jacks or Better Game – find a casino that offers Jacks or Better. Often, there will be many sub-variations available to players. Find one that suits your needs and load up the game.
Place a Bet – adjust the bet you want to make in the game. Games generally allow players to bet anything from 20c to $5.00 at a time.
Draw – click on the “draw” option to deal your cards. Players will be given five cards, all dealt face-up.
Make a “Hold” Decision – decide which cards you want to hold. Players need to hold on to a minimum of one card. If you have a good hand, you can hold on to them if you like.
Click Draw for a Showdown – players are given new cards, and their winnings are established with their current hand. They will be paid out if they have been lucky enough to create a winning combination.
Best Jacks or Better Strategy and Tips
If you are looking for a Jacks or Better video poker strategy that will take you to the top, then look at the tips we have listed below. Of course, we don’t promise that any of them will always lead to wins, but they are sure to better your chances!
Only discard cards if you already have a hand higher than Three of a Kind. Statistically speaking, you will probably not be able to make a better hand, so save this one.
Don’t abandon High Pairs to complete Straights or Flushes. Again, it is likely that you will need to draw the card that you need to win. The only exemption to this rule is the Royal Flush – we recommend that players discard the fifth card.
If you are two or more cards away from a Royal Flush and holding a High Pair, we recommend sticking to the pair as you still have a chance to win something against just holding a high card.
Free Video Poker Jacks or Better USA
There are loads of free Jacks or Better video poker games available online or in Las Vegas. Practically, any casino worth playing at offers US gamblers the chance to play any game for free. However, we recommend that players always try games for free before playing them in real money mode for two significant reasons:
Players can try new casino games without the risk of losing any of their bankrolls. This is particularly important if you have never played online and don’t know how the online environment works. When you play Jacks or Better online free of charge, you learn how the game works without unnecessarily losing any money.
Players get to test out new tips and strategies and see how they work without running the risk of wasting any of their bankrolls. Many US gamblers like to try out tried and trusted strategies on games to see if they work. But why should you put real money at stake while testing them out?
Online Jacks Or Better Poker Hands
There are about ten types of hands available in Jacks or Better. We have listed them all with a brief explanation below:
Pair is a hand with two matching cards (for example, two Queens).
Three of a Kind is a hand with three matching cards (for example, three Queens).
Two Pairs – a hand featuring two sets of pairs.
Four of a Kind – a hand with four matching cards.
Whole House – a hand featuring a combination of a pair and a Three of Kind.
Flush – a hand in which all cards are of the same suit (for example, only Diamonds).
Straight – five cards in numerical sequence (for example, a hand with 5, 6, 8, 9, 10).
Outside Straight – four cards can be turned into a Straight by adding another card to either end.
Inside Straight – a hand of cards with a hole in the numerical sequence in the middle (for example, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10).
Straight Flush – a hand that meets both the requirements of a Straight and a Flush.
Royal Flush – This is the best hand in the game. A straight of 10, J, Q, K, and A, all in the same suit.