How to Play Jacks or Better | 2019

Jacks or Better Video Poker - Where It All Started

Jacks or Better video poker is one of the many variations of video poker that you can find in a typical online casino. If you are new to the world of online video poker, you may not be aware yet of just how many variants there are of the game. Each variant has its own rules and nuances that make it slightly different from other forms of the game.

In this guide, we will take a closer look at the Jacks or Better video poker game, and help you to understand why it is different to other forms of video poker. By the time you have read the article, you should be ready to log onto your favourite online casino and play Jacks or Better successfully.

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Jacks or Better Rules

The first thing to look, perhaps obviously, is the rules for Jacks or Better. As with other forms of online video poker, it is important to remember that you are not playing in a poker room against real-life human opponents. Rather, you are locked in a battle against the dealer, who in this case is a computer programme.

It is vital to remember that the outcomes in a game of jacks or better video poker are not determined by emotion or the whims of a dealer, but by hard mathematics. This is what you should always keep in mind when playing video poker online. It is important to remember that video poker offers a very different sort of poker experience to playing against real people at a poker table, whether in real life or online.

The Jacks or Better rules really are very simple. The game is played with a 52-card deck with no wild cards. Games are programmed so that each card is dealt at the same probabilities as you would expect from a standard 52-card deck in real life. A Random Number Generator (RNG) ensures that every hand is randomised and the game is fair.

When you start a game of Jacks or Better video poker, you need to first select your betting options, such as the size of your stake. After that, you are dealt a hand of five cards. You must then evaluate this hand to see which of the cards you will keep and which you will discard. Your discarded cards and then replaced by new ones, and the outcome of the game is decided by your hand at that stage. You can see how much each hand is worth by using a Jacks or Better pay table.

Jacks or Better Pay Table

One really useful thing about playing Jacks or Better online is that there is almost always a pay table displayed on the screen alongside your hand. This helps you to see the relative value of each of the hands that you are dealt. This can be very helpful when you are looking to make decisions about which cards to hold and which to discard.

The Jacks or Better pay table really comes into its own when you use it alongside a Jacks or Better strategy chart. Checking the information on the pay table alongside the information on the strategy chart will help you to make better decisions when it comes to calculating the value of each hand. You will be able to see an example of a Jacks or Better strategy chart later on in this article.

Below is an example of a Jacks or Better pay table. This tells you how much you can expect to receive in winnings for each bet on a certain hand. The table below is for 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker, which gets its name from a full house paying nine coins and a flush paying six. You can find this version of full pay Jacks or Better video poker at many online casinos.

9/6 Jacks or Better Pay Table

Hand

1 coin bet

2 coin bet

3 coin bet

Royal Flush

250

500

750

Straight Flush

50

100

300

4 of a kind

25

50

75

Full house

9

18

27

Flush

6

12

18

Straight

4

8

12

Three of a kind

3

6

9

Two pairs

2

4

6

Jacks or Better

1

2

3

Hand

4 coin bet

5 coin bet

Royal Flush

1000

4000

Straight Flush

400

500

4 of a kind

100

125

Full house

36

45

Flush

24

30

Straight

16

20

Three of a kind

12

15

Two pairs

8

10

Jacks or Better

4

5

As you can see from the pay table, a royal flush really is the hand that destroys all others when it comes to playing Jacks or Better video poker. When you are trying to formulate a jacks or better video poker strategy to maximise big wins, you should focus on the royal flush, as this is a good way of dealing with the problem of facing an RNG rather than a real life dealer.

It is important to remember that collecting smaller wins can be a good strategy too, but these smaller wins will often only allow you to afford to play for longer, and any profit will be minimal. If you are serious about taking home a big Jacks or Better payout then focusing on the royal flush is what you should do.

Jacks or Better Strategy

A great way of sharpening up your Jacks and Better video poker strategy is to make use of versions of the game that offer you the chance to play for free. You can then get a real handle on the game without having to risk any of your own money. Most online casinos offer this opportunity. This is a good way of getting used to using a Jacks or Better strategy chart, of the type that you can see in the next section of this guide.

Jacks or Better Strategy Chart

As with any other form of online video poker, it is always a good idea to use a strategy card to help improve your chances of taking home a bigger win. The Jacks or Better video poker strategy card we have provided you with below should help you decide whether to keep or discard cards when you have been dealt certain hands.

Note: You should keep any two pair or better paying combination, unless you also have a four card royal flush. If you have a four card royal flush, then you should always draw to the royal flush.  

Hand

Keep or Discard

4 card straight flush

Keep

Any three cards to a royal flush

Keep

Any four cards to a flush

Keep

Any pair lower than jacks or better

Keep

Any four card open straight draw

Keep

Any unsuited Ace, King, Queen, Jack

Keep

Any two suited cards

Keep

Any three cards to a straight flush

Keep

Any unsuited King, Queen, Jack

Keep

Any two unsuited high cards

Keep

Any King, Queen or Jack if you have a 10 of same suit

Keep

Any single high card

Keep

Tips and Hints

The Jacks or Better strategy chart we have given you above is very simple to understand, as long as you know the names of all the various poker hands. We cannot stress how important it is to make sure that you have as broad a knowledge of poker hands as possible before you start to play Jacks or Better video poker. Without that knowledge, you are going to find the game almost impossible to follow.

Keep cool, calm and collected

Of course, while mathematics and logic are the main drivers of any effective Jacks or Better strategy, you are a human being, and emotion is bound to play its part in many of the decisions that you make while playing. It is important to understand that playing while you are angry or frustrated is not a good idea.

These negative emotions will always cloud your judgement, and can lead to you making silly decisions when real money is at stake. A vital part of learning how to play Jacks or Better video poker is to keep emotion out of all your decisions. Anger can lead to you betting foolishly large amounts of money, which can lead to you chasing your losses with every bigger and riskier bets. Keep cool and calm, and allow maths and logic to dictate your decision-making process, not emotion.

Jacks or Better Online Poker Variants

As you become a more experienced Jacks or Better video poker player, you might notice that there are several versions of the game that you can play. Some of these are listed below. It should be noted that these versions should be attempted after you have mastered the basics of the most simple version of the game that you can find.

Hot Roll Video Poker

This variant of the game comes from software developer IGT and offers you the chance to play three, five or 10 hands at once. If you bet 10 coins on a hand you become eligible for the Hot Roll Multiplier, which multiplies your wins based on dice rolling across the screen.

Jacks or Better Power Poker

This version of the game is developed by software developer Microgaming and gives you the chance to play from four to 100 hands at a time. There is a double or nothing bonus round where you can chance your winnings in a bid to double them.jacks or better power poker

Jacks or Better Progressive Jackpot

Software developer Playtech offers a progressive version of the basic Jacks or Better game. A game with a progressive jackpot has a jackpot prize that increases with every bet players make on it. This means that you can collect a really big Jacks or Better payout by playing this version of the game.playtech jacks or better

Nothing Better Than Jacks or Better!

Playing video versions of Jacks or Better online poker is a very accessible way of enjoying the game of poker. The game itself is very easy to understand, as long as you have a good working knowledge of the terminology of the game of poker, especially when it comes to the names of the various hands.

If you have good basic poker knowledge then you are well on the way to knowing how to play Jacks or Better video poker. Your Jacks or Better video poker strategy should be based on mathematics and logic, rather than any kind of intuition or emotion. Keeping cool and calm while playing is vital if you are in search of a big Jacks or Better payout. You should also make full use of pay tables and a good Jacks or Better strategy chart that is suitable for the version of the game that you are playing.

If you keep these things in mind then you should soon get a good grasp on how to play Jacks or Better video poker successfully. Always remember that any kind of gambling is dependent on how much you know about the game you are playing and the more knowledge about Jacks or Better video poker that you can glean from your own research the more successful you will be.

Jacks or Better Poker FAQs

Do Jacks or Better video poker games get hot and cold streaks like fruit machines?
The notion that any game that is controlled by an RNG can ever go on ‘streaks’ is a fallacy that affects many gamblers, even the most experienced. The truth is that every hand is entirely randomised, and there can be no such thing in a game of Jacks or Better online video poker as a hot streak. Stick to your logical strategy, and avoid such mumbo jumbo as ‘streaks’.
How does a Random Number Generator work?
An RNG is a computer program that cycles through a collection of numbers constantly, at a rate of thousands of numbers per second. This cycle stops when you hit the ‘deal’ button on your game of Jacks or Better video poker. The RNG has a number that corresponds to every card in a 52-card deck. This is similar to a slots game, only the number of probabilities is limited to 52 playing cards.
Can I play Jacks or Better video poker on my mobile device?
Yes, of course. In order to play Jacks or Better video poker on a mobile device, it is best to find one of the many online casinos that offers you the opportunity to download a mobile app. Apps will provide a generally better gaming experience that simply playing in your device’s internet browser.

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