Jacks or better is probably the most popular form of video poker available at both brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling sites across the United States. The game’s simplicity is really what 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 would like to find out more about playing Jacks or Better online, you have come to the right place! Below we have a look at what all US players really 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 available 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 that players are paid out 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 out handsomely for getting a Royal Flush, which is the hardest hand to get in the game.
Pair (Jacks or Better)
Three of a Kind
Four of a Kind
How to Play Jacks or Better Video Poker
As mentioned above, Jacks or Better rules are very easy to understand and follow. All players really need to do is form the best possible hand in order 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 would like 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 in order for your cards to be dealt. Players will be given five cards all dealt face-up.
Make a “Hold” Decision – decide on which cards you would like to hold. Players need to hold on to a minimum of one card. If you have got a good hand, you can hold on to all of them if you like.
Click Draw for a Showdown – players are given new cards and their winnings are established with the hand they now have. If they have been lucky enough to create a winning combination, they will be paid out.
Best Jacks or Better Strategy and Tips
If you are looking for a Jacks or Better video poker strategy that is going to take you to the top, then you may want to have a look at the tips we have listed down below. We don’t promise that any of them will lead to wins all the time but they are sure to better your chances!
Don’t discard any cards if you already have a hand higher than Three of a Kind. Statistically speaking, you are probably not going to be able to make a better hand, so don’t waste this one.
Don’t abandon High Pairs in order to complete Straights or Flushes. Again, it is unlikely that you will draw the card that you need in order to win. The only exemption to this rule is the Royal Flush – only then do we recommend that players discard the fifth card.
If you are two or more cards away from a Royal Flush and you are 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 Las Vegas. Practically, any casino worth playing at offers US gamblers the chance to play any game for free. We recommend that players always try games for free before playing them in real money mode for two major reasons:
Players are able to try new casino games without running the risk of losing any of their bankroll. This is particularly important if you have never played online and don’t really know how the online environment works. When you play Jacks or Better online free of any charge, you get to learn how the game works without losing any money unnecessarily.
Players get to test out new tips and strategies and see how they work without running the risk of wasting any of their bankroll. 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 10 types of hands available in Jacks or Better. We have listed them all with a brief explanation below:
Pair – this is a hand with two matching cards (for example, two Queens).
Three of a Kind – this 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.
Full House – a hand featuring a combination of a pair and a Three of a 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 that can be turned into a Straight with 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, A all in the same suit.