Jacks or Better video poker strategy

Video poker called Jacks or Better was the first of its kind and appeared in casinos in the early seventies of the last century. However, despite such a solid age for such games, Jacks or Better is still popular. It is also considered to be the best option for initial learning about video poker in general. The thing is that this game does not differ in the intricacy of the rules and is easy to master.

Jack or better video poker

In the early days of video poker machines, payouts were made starting with only two pairs and above, and the players’ chances of winning were so low that most gambling fans soon refused to play them. This forced the developers to reconsider their position. Initially, the probability of winning was seriously increased, and then it was the turn of the payout system, which now begins with a pair of jacks, hence the name of the game – Jacks or Better (“Jacks or Better”). The players liked this approach, which significantly increased the popularity of this type of video poker all over the world, including the post-Soviet space. And with the advent of online casinos, Jacks or Better began to be played even more often, because it became much more accessible.

Gradually the game Jacks or Better became ubiquitous, it has various variations. The very best versions of this video poker have a very low mathematical house edge, which can be no more than half a percent. There are not so many games in casinos with such a low edge. Of course, for this you need to play according to the most effective strategy and eliminate mistakes.

Therefore, let’s take a look at the basic principles of Jacks or Better video poker strategy in an accessible form. We will discuss the most common situations in which the player finds himself after the cards are dealt to him. We will not decipher the names of the combinations, assuming that they are known to all game lovers.

Basic principles of Jacks or Better video poker strategy

CardsYour actions
Royal Flush, Straight FlushWe leave all the cards
Four of kindWe leave four cards of the same rank, change the remaining card
Full houseWe leave all the cards
4 cards for Royal FlushWe leave the cards on Royal Flush, change the remaining card, even if for this you need to break the finished Flush
4 cards on Straight FlushWe leave the cards on Straight Flush, change the rest, even if you need to split a pair for this (a ready-made Flush does not break in such a situation)
FlushWe leave all the cards
StraightWe leave all the cards
Three of kindWe keep Three of Kind, change the remaining two cards
Two pairsWe leave Two Pairs, we change the remaining card
KQJ or QJT of the same suitWe leave these cards, change the remaining ones in the hope of getting a Royal Flush or another combination
JJ or higher pairWe leave only a couple, we change the rest
3 cards on Royal Flush out of orderWe keep these cards, change the rest, even if this requires discarding low pair.
4 cards on FlushWe keep these cards, we change the rest, even if for this we need to fold low pair.
KQJT of different suitsWe leave these cards, we change the rest, even if it is T
Any low pairWe leave only this pair, change the rest of the cards
4 cards on Straight without pairWe leave these four cards, we change the remaining card
3 cards of the same suit in order without a pairWe leave these three cards, we change the rest of the cards
QJ of the same suit without a pair and other optionsLeave QJ, change the remaining three cards
AKQJ of different suitsWe leave these cards, change the remaining card in the hope of catching a Strait or a high pair
2 cards higher than T of the same suitWe leave only these two cards, we change the rest of the cards.
3 cards on Straigt Flush out of orderWe leave these cards, we change the two remaining,
JT of the same suitWe leave these cards, we change the remaining cards
QT of the same suit (if there are no other cards of this suit)We leave these cards, we change the remaining cards
One of the cards J, Q, K and four small miscellaneous cardsWe leave only this card, change four small cards
Full discord from small cards or with one AChange all cards without trying to make a Flush of three cards or Straight with a space

Remembering this entire table is not as difficult as it might seem at first glance. It is enough to consistently deal with each combination , starting with the maximum ones and understand in which situations it is worth trying to collect them. Then you can move on to considering cases with different pairs and inconsistent cards.

Following the above principles will greatly improve the quality of your Jacks or Better video poker game. Luck is important in any gambling game, but relying only on it is a very gross mistake that has cost most of the novice gamblers a significant amount. Do not be lazy to carefully study all the nuances and success will not keep you waiting.

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