Jacks Or Better Video Poker – Rules, Odds, Strategy

Jacks Or Better Video Poker

Jacks Or Better is one of my favorite video poker games. The reason for this is that it is very simple to learn and when played optimally, has a very very low house edge. For that reason, you stand a great chance of beating the casino whilst playing this game. That is, assuming you understand the rules, odds and strategy for playing the game perfectly.

Jacks Or Better Rules

Jacks Or Better rules are simple. You first make a wager or bet. After you have made your wager you are dealt 5 cards.

You then choose which cards you would like to hold and then you click draw. You then draw again on the cards that were not held.

The object of the game is obviously to get a poker hand that is stronger than Jacks Or Better. So for example, you will win if your poker hand is a pair of queens, but you will lose if your poker hand is say a pair of tens or ace high.

The skill and strategy in Jacks Or Better is deciding which cards you want to hold and which cards you do not.

Online Jacks Or Better Video

Jacks Or Better Odds

Players need to be wary of the payouts of each Jacks Or Better machine. If you play an optimal strategy on a 100% return Jacks Or Better machine you will theoretically break even over the long run. Different Jacks Or Better machines range from a 100% payout to a 93% payout, so the difference is huge between machines.

The Wizard Of Odds has made a great page comparing the different Jacks Or Better payout tables. It is advisable that you compare your casino odds with the odds on this page to see what kind of deal you are getting on your gambling money.

Jacks Or Better Strategy

The following represents a simple strategy for playing Jacks Or Better. The strategy is easy to learn and remember and gives approximately a 99.5% payout on a full pay Jacks Or Better machine. You must proceed down the list of hands as a hierarchy of requirements of when to hold.

  1. Royal flush
  2. Straight flush
  3. Four of a kind
  4. Four to a royal flush
  5. Three of a kind
  6. Straight
  7. Flush
  8. Full house
  9. Two pair
  10. High pair
  11. Three to a royal flush
  12. Four to a flush
  13. Low pair
  14. Four to an outside straight
  15. Two suited high cards
  16. Three to a straight flush
  17. Two unsuited high cards
  18. Suited 10/J, 10/Q or 10/K
  19. One high card
  20. Discard everything.

Based on the above you work from the top down. So obviously if you have a strong hand like a full house, straight, flush etc you keep those hands.

Common mistakes are when people discard low pairs for two high cards. As you can see from the hierarchy above, a low pair is higher up the list than two high cards.

Also three to a royal flush is more valuable than say a low pair. So for example if you have KQJ of the same suit and 22 being displayed, you would hold the three to a royal flush and discard the small pair.

Final Tips

We enjoy playing Jacks Or Better and when compared to other online casino games, the payout is extremely good (Assuming you can find a version of the game that has full payout or close to full payout). For that reason we endorse jacks or better as a great way to play against the casino.

Players should learn the basic strategy mentioned above to avoid giving away any equity to the casino and assuming they do this they will have a good chance of winning.

Jacks Or Better may not be the prettiest or most exciting casino game, however it is one of the best and if you want to beat the casino, Jacks Or Better is definitely worth a shot.