Jacks or Better Strategy For Video Poker Fans


Video poker is one of the most thrilling and enjoyable casino games you can play at an online casino. Also, it’s one of the games with the best payouts.

Jacks or Better video poker provides some of the best winning odds. The 9.6 games, which is the best version, come with a 99.5% payback guarantee.

It’s for this reason that you should play Jacks or Better to maximize your wins, rather than spending all your time playing pokies.

Jacks or Better video poker is a more unique game since players can assess each game’s returns. The game is usually determined by the paytables shown on the game screen for different video poker versions.

Professional video poker players can get long-term profits if they employ the best Jacks or Better strategy.

In every single hand of video poker that you play, you have to contend with the fact that there are 32 total ways to play your hand, including not discarding anything at all. As the most basic and fundamental game in the genre, Jacks or Better strategy forms the basis for all other video poker games, so if you learn how to play this game well, then you’ll have a great foundation to play all other titles.

What we’re going to dig into here is one of the most basic parts of the strategy for this game but also one of the parts that people consistently make mistakes with.

In this article, we’ve explained different Jacks or Better strategies that you can use to boost your chances of winning when playing online or in a land-based casino.

Jacks or Better video poker strategy.

Jacks or Better Strategy: Dealing with Splitting Pairs

In video poker, splitting pairs refers to a specific situation where you have two different ways that you can play your hand. You’ll typically have some type of four-card draw (or sometimes a three-card draw) as well as a pair, and you have to decide to go with the pair or the draw since you can’t play both. It’s not very intuitive as to which way you should play it, and that’s where strategy comes into play.

You essentially have two types of pairs that you can get in Jacks or Better video poker, and which type of pair you have largely dictates how you should play your hand. High pairs are pairs of jacks, queens, kings or aces that will get paid on their own if they do not improve. Likewise, low pairs are all pairs from twos through tens that will not get paid unimproved. If you have one of these pairs, then you can decide when you’ll split your pairs and when you will not based on the draw you have.

The Rankings of the Draws

All of the available draws have rankings based on whether they are better or worse than high or low pairs. Four to a royal or four to a straight flush are both better than a high pair. A high pair is better than three to a royal and four to a flush, and both of those draws are also better than a low pair. However, a low pair is better than four to any type of straight (with one exception, see below) or three to a straight flush.

There’s one very specific exception to the rule that four to a straight is always worse than a low pair. If you have a K-high straight draw with a pair of tens, then you should actually go with the draw instead of the tens. In this case, the ability to pick up high pairs with the king, queen and jack swing things in the opposite direction as usual.

Bringing It All Together

If you need to, you can include these rankings on a small notecard or something to have while you play until you get them down pat. Jacks or Better is an excellent title to start with, especially if you get the full-pay tables like what they have at Microgaming casinos in particular and a number of other places online. This is known as the 9/6 paytable that gives 9x for full houses and 6x for flushes, and anything less than that will give you a worse payout rate.

Choose To Play Max Bets

Jacks or Better video poker offers a royal flush, which is the highest payoff in this card game. If you choose to play the maximum coins, they provide you with a bonus of the royal flush.

You might gamble 1 and 5 coins per hand. Nevertheless, in case you hit the royal flush, you’ll only get incentives after playing max, five coins for each hand.

However, if your wager is too high, the machine with the lowest wagering limits is always available.

If you opt to play less than the maximum coins, the game’s house edge considerably increases.

A perfect poker machine for players with a limited bankroll is a 9/6 paytable. If you cannot find one that perfectly suits your budget, you should possibly find another place to enjoy your games.

Some casinos don’t offer high paytables on poker machines with a lower limit. Therefore, it’s always important to consider bad paytables.

Find The Best Paytables

Jacks or Better video poker has an extensive range of pay charts. Every chart offers a long-term house edge.

As mentioned earlier, 9/6 is the best-paying Jacks or Better video poker game. This means that the house payout is about nine coins, whereas the flush has six counts.

You get to play with the bigger house edge if you see the paytable that offers less than these payouts. This makes it easier for the casino to pay more for every hand, which can ultimately add up.

Remain Focused

In case you lose focus when playing Jacks or Better video poker, all the strategies and practice you’ve mastered over time will be all for nothing.

The best thing you can do is trying to establish the same schedule as you would when playing at home. It would be best if you tried to retain the same routine when playing online.

Drastically changing your schedule or not getting enough sleep will ultimately affect the performance of your game.

Your gameplay will ultimately reduce after long hours of play; therefore, you shouldn’t play for extended periods.

This significantly minimizes your concentration.

Therefore, we strongly establish that you develop a gaming schedule and take regular breaks while playing.

Slow It Down

A few things that most players tend to ignore are the estimated loss of each hour. They usually forget that a significant factor in losing more money is the number of hands they choose to play per hour.

In case you’re quick, you can play hundreds of hands each hour.

It’s essential to take note of the fact that the more you continue playing, the more your chances of losing more cash at the online casino. Video poker’s main goal is to maintain the house, as is the case with other casino games.

Join The Players’ Club

If you haven’t yet joined the players’ club in any casino, you should consider joining one right away.

Using the card as a member provides bonus points for persistent players, free bonus money, or even free meals. The reward directly applies to the video poker game you will be playing.

Even a bonus that can be as low as $1 might increase your net winnings. Furthermore, the bonus gives you more money to continue playing, without necessarily risking much of your money.

This might include free drinks, free accommodation, bonus points, and other personalized gifts as you continue playing at the casino.

Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford

One of the most important things that you must always consider when playing Jacks or Better video poker is developing a proper bankroll management strategy. You don’t want to spend more than you can afford to lose. So, you should only risk money that isn’t intended to pay school fees, rent, or pay for meals.

If you have a limited bankroll, the best thing you can do is reduce the amount of money you wager. For instance, if you have $100 in your bankroll, you can place $5 bets so that you’ll have enough money to play at least 20 rounds.

If you set a budget, always make sure you stick to your betting limit. Most importantly, you should always avoid chasing losses.

Carefully Evaluate Progressive Jackpot Games

Most of the casino games featuring progressive jackpot games are very attractive because they provide a massive win for even the small bets. Your winning chances while playing progressive jackpot games are very attractive.

Nevertheless, almost all Jacks or Better video poker machines linked to the progressive jackpot could prove very costly mostly because of the many hidden charges.

These machines are overall low tables.

Don’t Drink While Gambling

If you play casino games or bets on sports while drinking, you’ll likely make bad decisions. This can ultimately result in poor results if you combine gambling with drinking.

Many land-based casinos provide players with free drinks.

Technically speaking, alcohol makes people place huge bets and play for extended periods, much longer than they had anticipated.

This results in people disregarding the betting limits they had set earlier, which will ultimately lead to more losses.

Developing The Best Jacks Or Better Video Poker

Computer systems can quickly determine the anticipated value for any hand. We have 32 different methods to play any hand, but there’s only one with the best anticipation for players. You significantly reduce the house edge if you choose to play your hand in such a manner.

But because there are about 2, 500,000 million different hands in Jacks or Better video poker, professional strategy usually group the hands based on the type, making the method easy to learn. This is because remembering 2.5 million different decisions is impossible unless you are a robot, but remembering different hand types isn’t as hard.

If, for example, you assume about 55% of the wagers you make will lose, you’ll see that the strategy decisions could be narrowed pretty fast. Technically speaking, Jacks or Better video poker makes about 21 per cent of the winning hands that you get. Basically, the small hands, like jacks or better, two pairs, and 3 of a kind, comprise 70 per cent of the game’s total return.

Jacks Or Better Strategy For 9/6 Machines

  • Flush
  • 4 of a kind
  • Royal flush
  • 3 of a kind
  • Four to a straight flush
  • Two pair
  • Full house
  • Pair of Jacks or Better video poker
  • Three to a royal flush
  • Four to a flush
  • Low pair
  • Four to the outside straights
  • Two suited high cards
  • Three to a straight flush
  • Two unsuited high cards
  • Suited 10/J/J/Q/ or Q/K
  • 1 high card
  • Discard everything

How To Implement This Strategy

It’s always important to adopt the strategy mentioned above or any other effective approach. Some players deviate from the strategy and instead ‘play a hunch’ in some situations. Keep in mind that everything that the poker machine does is automated and thus randomized. As a result, these machines don’t ‘go cold’ or ‘get hot’; therefore, if you choose to play them accordingly, you’ll be throwing away your money. Moreover, it might seem that specific machines generate a more specific hand that’s relative to other poker hands. For example, more full houses than 3 of a kind, more 3 of a kind than 2 pairs. In the short run, you’ll see an inordinate number of completed flushes, straights, or other hands. However, this will ultimately even help out in the long term. All the initial cards you get are randomized; the same happens with the replacement cards. It’s better that you understand this without being duped into buying some betting systems.

Final Thoughts

Jacks or Better video poker strategy is like the key to opening a safe stuffed with jewels and gold. Hypothetically, with the right strategy, you can play video poker games and significantly improve your winning chances.

Visit our list of trusted casinos that offer a wide range of video poker games by leading software providers. We also recommend that you visit our video poker casinos in our guide section.



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