Jacks or Better Strategy to Win More Often

You know that Video Poker is one of the games with the best odds. But can you really say that you know the ins and outs of the best Video Poker strategy to improve your chances at Jacks or Better? In this article, we are going to show you how to maximize your winning chances at video Poker and how to use the best Jacks or Better strategy to get the most value out of your cards. The Video Poker strategy tips in this article are not a surefire way to win at Jacks or Better. Remember: Jacks or Better Video Poker, like all the other games of its kind, is a gambling game. As such, the house has always had an advantage. With the right Jacks or Better Video Poker strategy, you can reduce that advantage to a minimum and increase your chances to win.

Why Play Jacks or Better

Video poker is one of the most entertaining games one can play at a Casino. But, if you think that is what makes the Jacks or Better variant as popular as it is today, you are wrong. Video Poker happens to be also one of the Casino games which offer players the best return. Why is Video Poker so good for the players? When you play using the video Poker optimal strategy, on a full pay game, you can have an expected return of up to 99.54%.

The Importance of Poker Hands at Jacks or Better Strategy

The Importance of Poker Hands at Jacks or Better Strategy

If you want to become good at Jacks or Better video poker, you need to understand its card combinations. It comes without saying that you must know the basic video poker rules for a solid start, and we recommend this article for that. Now, let’s check out the possible poker hands that result in winnings.

  • Royal Flush. It can’t get any better than that. This hand has to include these cards: {a-}{k-}{q-}{j-}{10-}. Most games don’t require them to be consecutive. All cards must be in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush. Five consecutive cards from the same suit. Example:{3-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}.
  • Four of a Kind. Nothing complicated here: four cards of the same value. Example: {k-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{k-Spades}{8-Spades}{k-Clubs}.
  • Full House. You collect Full House when you receive five cards that are comprised of one pair and three of a kind. Example: {q-Diamonds}{q-Spades}{4-Clubs}{4-Spades}{4-Hearts}.
  • Flush. Five cards of the same suit. Example: {a-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{3-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{8-Hearts}
  • Straight. Five cards form a consecutive sequence. The suits are mixed. {6-Spades}{7-Clubs}{8-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}
  • Three of a Kind. You get Three of a Kind when you receive three cards of the same value. Example: {8-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{2-Hearts}.
  • Two Pair. Two pairs of two cards of the same value. Example: {9-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}{a-Hearts}.
  • Jacks or Better. The easiest one to collect, this combination includes only one pair of jacks or a higher value. Example: {j-Clubs}{j-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{9-Hearts}

Suit abbreviations:

  • {x-Spades}Spades (s)
  • {x-Hearts}Hearts (h)
  • {x-Diamonds}Diamonds (d)
  • {x-Clubs}Clubs (c)

The most important thing is to choose the casinos with the highest payment possibilities.

Tip: If a game has full payouts, it should pay two times your bet for Two Pairs.

How to Actually Play Jacks or Better Poker

Jacks or Better Strategy: How to Actually Play Jacks or Better Poker

If you’ve ever played Jacks or Better, you know that this is a casino game that depends on both luck and your choices – a characteristic, this one, that is common to all online poker machines. It goes like this: You get five cards and must choose the ones that you want to keep for the next round. You click ‘deal’, and get your final combination. The problem is: Which cards should you hold? Luckily, this choice is not as difficult as it might seem. Below, we prepared an easy Jacks or Better strategy for beginners that you should use when dealing with your cards.

Jacks or Better Strategy Made Easy

Here are the main tips for a basic Jacks or Better poker strategy:

  • First, when you have four cards to a Straight or a Flush, hold all four of them and draw only one additional card.
  • When you have three cards to a Royal Flush, keep them! Draw two additional cards and you might be lucky.
  • Need only two more cards for a Straight Flush? Hold the three lucky cards you have and draw two more.
  • When you get a pair of cards, hold them and draw three additional cards. However, this tip is not always applicable.
  • If you have no matching cards in your hand, hold a card that is higher or equal of value to Jacks.
  • No combinations and no Jacks or higher? Draw five new cards.

Top Jacks or Better Strategy to Improve Your Chances at Video Poker

A good video poker strategy is all about taking actions that have the best possible expected rate of return. Obviously, you can’t beat video poker in the sense that you’ll win every time you play. That’s not possible and it is not going to happen.

  • The game of Poker revolves around the probability of certain outcomes coming to fruition.
  • Understanding the odds of these outcomes in various situations is how professional Poker players gain an edge in the games they play.
  • Playing with the Jacks or Better optimal strategy allows for no mistakes and demands the strictest level of discipline.
  • A pair of Jacks or Better is the lowest winning hand in this game of Video Poker. When you hit a pair of Jacks through to aces you win your money back.

The Problem of Low Pair Vs. High Pair

A couple of the main questions that most video poker players have are as follows: When is it best to hold a low pair? When should I hold a high pair? Let’s take a look at what you should do in different situations.

Jacks or Better Poker Strategy: Low Pair

Usually, we suggest you keep all the low pairs you receive. However, there are certain situations when it’s better to skip them.

This is when you should keep a low pair:

  • When you have four to a Straight, always keep the pair that you got. Example: 55678. In this case, hold 55 and discard 678.
  • When you have three to a Straight Flush, keep the low pair. Example: 3h4h5h5s9c. Hold 5h and 5s.
  • When you have a low pair and two cards that could result in a Royal Flush… you should still hold the low pair! Example: 6s6h2cKhAh. Hold 6s and 6h and discard the rest.

Here are the cases when you should discard your low pair:

  • When you have three to a Royal Flush. The probability to get the best outcome is simply too high to keep the low pair. Example: 2sJhJsQsKs
  • In case you have four to a Flush, break that low pair! Example: 5d5h8d9dQd

Jacks or Better Game Strategy: High Pair

The crucial difference between a low pair and a high pair in video poker is that the latter is a guaranteed win. However, there will be certain situations when you’ll think that you need to break the pair for a bigger win. BUT – a seemingly right decision can cost you your bet. Here are the cases when you have to keep your high poker pair no matter what.

Note: A high pair consists of two cards of the same value (Jacks or higher).

  • If you have four to a Flush and a high pair, hold the pair and draw three other cards. When an identical situation occurs with a low pair in hand, you should break it.
  • When you have four to a Straight, keep your high pair to have a higher chance to win.
  • If you have three to a Royal Flush, it is still better to hold the pair! The odds to get a Royal Flush are not high enough in this case.
  • It’s more beneficial to keep the high pair when you have three to a Straight Flush. Over time, this will produce better results.

On the contrary, there is one case when you should break your high pay in Jacks or Better poker game:

  • When you have four to a Royal Flush. In this situation, it would be a waste not to do it as the odds are simply too high for that sweet winning sequence!

Note: As soon as you decide to use a video poker game strategy, stick to it. Whether you play online or at a land-based casino, discipline is your truest friend when it comes to beating Jacks or Better.

Breaking a Winning Pat Hand

When most players are dealt a winning pat hand such as a Straight, a Full House, or any form of Flush, you should hold all your cards and take the win. This is correct for the most part. However, you will leave some edge on the table unless you make the following adjustments. Although this may seem crazy, it happens to be backed up by solid math around the probability of certain outcomes occurring.

  • When dealt a pat flush such as 5-9-T-J-Q-K we also have what is called four to a Royal Flush. In this situation, the correct play is to discard the 5 and go for the Royal Flush.
  • When dealt a pat straight that is also four to a Royal Flush such as a Ts-Js-Qh-Ks-As, we should discard the Qh and go for the royal. The payoff when we hit the Qs is worth it.

Optimal Jacks or Better Strategy Recap

Playing Jacks or Better video poker in an optimal way maximizes your expected return as a player. It takes extensive practice to understand each situation and the relevant action necessary to play perfectly. You should employ the use of a Jacks or better strategy trainer to test yourself and practice your play. The more efficient you get in making these decisions to faster you will start to play at an optimal level.

The main concept behind playing video Poker profitably is discipline. The math is clear around the probabilities involved with certain outcomes and all that is left is for you to make decisions on your actions based upon those probabilities. Using statistics is always the right move. Learn to rely on numbers rather than on emotions, and you’ll become a better player right away. (Source: Casino Smash)

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