Jacks or Better

Fancy a crazy variant of video poker? Find Jacks or Better

New to the gaming world? In this case, take care not to confuse poker and video poker: the two games are very different. If you have already read our article which presents general video poker, you now know that this is a popular game which has many variations which are also very different from each other …

As you may know, we wanted to explore those, one by one. Here is now an article devoted only to the famous Jacks or Better version, certainly one of the most lucrative and interesting available on many casinos in the country!

Jacks or Better is a variation of 5 card draw (closed poker) suitable for video poker. Just like in this historical variant, you have to decide which cards to keep and which cards to discard in order to make the best possible poker hand.

It is an excellent game for those who want to master the rules of classic video poker before trying other variants, such as Deuces Wild or Joker Poker. As with these two variants, it goes without saying that at Jacks or Better, you will be paid according to the power of your final hand.

Jacks or Better

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What is Jack or Better video poker? Zoom on the particularity of this variant

Jacks or Better is the most famous video poker variant. Indeed, if you are an experienced player and you read these lines, it is very likely that you started video poker by making your weapons on video poker Jacks or Better. If you are a beginner, we suggest that you progress quickly in video poker thanks to Jacks or Better.

Why? Simply because your goal will be to get a suit that includes at least one pair of jacks. The term “Jacks or Better” sums up the game very well.

Thus, if your hand is made up of a pair lower than the jack, (between 2 and 10 therefore), you do not win any gain.

Take the time to compare the different Jacks or Better games available at your favorite casino. Indeed, the paytable is not the same and your goal is to earn as much money as possible while having fun.

How to play Jacks or Better?

At Jacks or Better, the payout scale starts from the pair of jacks. The object of the game is to get a poker hand that is at least as strong as a pair of jacks (and more, if possible), hence its name: ‘Jacks or Better’. Here are the different stages of a round of Jacks or Better:

  1. Make sure you have credited the player account of your online casino.
  2. Set the amount you wish to bet at the start of the Jacks or Better game.
  3. Click on the ‘Deal Cards’ button that appears on your screen to randomly receive 5 cards from an ordinary pack of 52 cards.
  4. Observe your hand properly and determine which cards you want to get rid of (if applicable). Make a decision after considering the power rating of your hand. Make sure you know the ranking of poker hands before making a rash decision!
  5. Click on ‘Deal Cards’ a second time to remove the cards you want to get rid of and replace them with others. 
  6. Now that your final hand is made up, it must contain at least one pair of jacks to hope for a payout. Any combination less than a pair of jacks (a pair of 5, for example) will be synonymous with defeat: you will lose your extra bet. 
  7. Click again on ‘Deal Cards’ to receive 5 new cards and thus start another round.

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The decisive hand at Jacks or Better

In time, you could only win with one hand on the video poker machines of yesteryear. Nowadays, you can play with multiple hands (often between 4 and 50, and sometimes even 100!) Using the same cards. You will have to choose a decisive hand (from which all of your decisions will flow). Only the rules of chance will help distribute the cards differently.


Let's go back for a moment to the combinations that make it possible to win on Jacks or Better poker

To help you, here are the winning combinations that will guarantee you Jacks or Better wins. If you find that these are the same hands as in poker, it is because these two games are distant cousins.

The pair of “Jack or Better” consists of two cards among the three silhouettes and the ace. The double pair is a combination of two identical cards. The set has a barbaric name but combines three cards with the same number (three 8s and two other cards for example). The fifth are five cards with consecutive numbers (4, 5, 6, 7, 8 for example), and five cards of the same suit form a flush.

Be careful, when we talk about color, these are the symbols: clover, square, heart, and spade. If you have mixed shamrocks and spades, despite being black in color, they do not form a flush.

A set coupled with a pair will give you a full house. A square is made up of four cards with the same number or the same silhouette. You will be very lucky, the straight flush, consisting of 5 cards following each other of the same suit, will bring you a lot of money.

As for the royal flush, it is the jackpot insured. It is an extremely rare combination since it is a suite of 10, valet, queen, king, and an ace, all of the same color.

On the basic game & on video poker Jacks or Better, there are strategies to follow: here they are

If you want to improve your skills on Jacks or Better poker, know that there are a few tips that will certainly increase your bankroll. Here is a sample of five Jacks or Better strategies, just for you!

Do not get rid of the cards that form a straight, full or square in the first draw, you might regret it. On the other hand, if you have a start of a straight, straight flush or a royal flush, change one of the cards to optimize your chances of having a winning combination.

Put the odds on your side and swap the last two cards completing a set, get rid of the fifth card in case of double pair. To attempt a nice gain, if you have a pair of silhouettes or aces, discard the last three cards to obtain, at best, an advantageous full house. Finally, if you have a weak winning combination, keep it! It is better to earn little than to lose everything, isn’t it?

The optimal strategy at Jacks or Better

In order to obtain the most profitable repayment possible, it is essential that you know which cards to eliminate and which cards to keep to maximize your chances of obtaining a winning combination. This may seem a bit convoluted, but it is crucial to know precisely what Jacks or Better strategy to adopt in the face of certain draws. Keep the table below handy (failing to memorize it):

First handOptimal strategy
Royal FlushKeep all your cards
Straight flushKeep all your cards
SquareKeep all your cards
FullKeep all your cards
4 cards that can lead to a royal flushDraw a card
ColorKeep all your cards
SetDraw two cards
AfterKeep all your cards
4 cards that could lead to a straight flushDraw a card
Two pairsDraw a card
High pairDraw three cards
3 cards that can lead to a royal flushDraw two cards
4 cards that could lead to a straight flushDraw a card
Low pairDraw three cards
4 cards that can lead to a sequenceDraw a card
3 cards that could lead to a straight flushDraw two cards
2 cards which can lead to a straight flushDraw three cards
2 powerful cardsDraw three cards
Powerful cardDraw four cards
5 independent cardsDraw five new cards

Read more about Jacks or Better video poker strategy »

The Jacks or Better Paytable

The paytable starts from the pair of jacks. If you hope to obtain a payment, you will have to constitute at least a pair of jacks. You will not make any money if you manage to get a pair of lower ranks (like a pair of 6, for example). Do not forget to consult the paytable of your online casino because each virtual establishment does not always offer the same payouts. Here is the payout table associated with the most common Jacks or Better:    

Hand obtained Payout
Royal Flush x 250
Straight flush x 50
Square x 25
Full x 9
Color x 6
After x 4
Set x 3
Double pair x 2
Pair of jacks or better x 1

Get your winnings or double them

If you wish, you can double your winnings when you play Jacks or Better. Some sites will allow you to bet only half or a quarter of your winnings in order to earn more. The computer (or video poker machine) will distribute a card (face up) to the dealer and 4 cards (face down) to the player. 

Choose one and, if you draw a card whose value is higher than the virtual dealer, you will double your winnings. If you feel like it, you can repeat the operation as many times as you want, but if you lose, all your winnings will go up in smoke! Note that you will sometimes find variants, such as those that offer you to bet on the color of the card to come (red or black) or on the face value of the dealer card.

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Switch from the basic version to this one by practicing free Jacks or Better video poker

Many internet fanatics are keen to start playing Jack or Better video poker on a non-paying version. It takes a little time to put into practice the strategies that vary slightly from those applied to the basic version.

As you may know, you can spend as much time as you like in our fun space, now including free Jacks or Better video poker. We have called on the best editors, to offer you the little gems that this bewitching variant will be able to offer you at the various casinos in the country.

I'm looking for a Jacks or Better Casino? How to find the operators offering this variant?

Playing Jacks or Better won’t be complicated overall, as a large number of online casinos offer the variant in question. However, it is recommended that you check this carefully with the establishment you want before registering, and thus ensure that you opt for a Jacks or Better casino.

Another thing to pay attention to, check that the welcome offer includes a Jacks or Better bonus. It would be a shame not to be able to use your promotion on your favorite game.

Whether you are a perfect beginner who has never played Jacks or Better in your life or an experienced player who knows all the intricacies of this game, you can appreciate the convenience of Jacks or Better in all the online casinos listed in our official list. Choose the one that suits you and start the game without losing another second!

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