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Jacks or Better strategy

2023 Apr 27 7 min read
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In terms of video poker games online, Jacks or Better ranks very highly.

Renowned for its rapid style of play, this game can be found at many online casinos, and it is a great game if you can assemble a winning hand, as it comes with a high pay rate.

At some online casinos, you will find special features, such as a doubling feature where you can double your money after every winning hand.

In the next section, we will show you the rules for this game for those who want to start playing.

How to play Jacks or Better

If you haven’t played Jacks or Better before, it is worth noting that this video poker game depends on a couple of things — luck and the choices you decide to make.

And this poker game goes a little like this. Firstly, you will receive five cards or five coins, and you must choose the ones you wish to keep or discard. You will then need to click ‘deal’ to get your final combination.

After this, if you land a winning combination with all the cards you are holding, then you win. If you haven’t, then the next round will begin.

These are just a few of the hands you need to land which will increase your win rate when you play:

  1. Royal flush – The hand will need to include high cards, such as an ace, King, Queen, Jack, and 10.
  2. Straight flush – Comprising a consecutive sequence of five cards from the same suit, such as 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of diamonds.
  3. Full house – You will collect a full house when you have matching cards that form one pair and three of a kind.
  4. Four of a kind – Nothing too difficult here. You just need to have four cards of the same value, such as Kings, but they don’t need to be of the same suit.
  5. Two pairs – With two pairs, these are two cards of the same value, such as a pair of 9s or a pair of 8s.

Jacks or Better strategy

Let’s now dive into video poker strategy, and give you some Jacks or Better strategy pointers to help you improve your game.

Double when you can

In terms of video poker strategy tips, there will be some games online where you might find casino promotions, such as doubling your wins. Although this can be a risky strategy, if you are confident with your poker hands, you can reap the rewards.

Keep hold of a royal flush

The royal flush is the key to you landing more money in the game, so make sure you don’t discard this hand, as you will win more at casinos when you land this hand.

Play carefully when you have at least a pair

Ideally, if you have at least a pair of cards, then make sure you keep hold of them when you play online, and draw three additional cards. It may not be an optimal strategy, but it is a poker strategy that will make you more successful when playing such casino games.

Draw five new cards if there are no Jacks

One of the better strategies when playing Jacks or Better, is to draw five new cards if you are not sitting on Jacks or higher.

Pros and Cons of Jacks or Better

Compared to other games, Jacks or Better is one of the better games out there, and therefore, there are several advantages and disadvantages of this gambling game. We have outlined a few of the pros and cons associated with this video poker game.


  1. Easy to understand – Jacks or Better is one of the most basic but also better video poker games out there. As such, it is a great game for beginners to get to grips with if they are looking to hop on a video poker machine. You don’t have to worry too much about the betting aspect, but make sure you have better hands on the pay table.
  2. Low volatility – When playing Jacks or Better, the volatility is pretty low, so you can expect some solid plays, which makes it quite enjoyable and popular.


  1. High paying cards difficult to come by – With jacks or better, the pay game offers low payouts for hands such as a full house, and this is something you ought to be aware of. We have shared our findings in our table lower on this page.
  2. Less jackpot potential – Despite being one of the most popular video poker games, for those who like big wins and more specifically jackpots, Jacks or Better is lacking in this department.

What are the strategy differences between Jacks or Better games?

As far as Jacks or Better strategy goes, there are a few fundamental differences. This will revolve around what to do when you have a poker hand, such as a full house, a straight, or a high card. In some cases, you may want to hold onto three cards or you may wish to discard and draw again. The more experienced you are playing Jacks or Better, then the more likely it will be you have a better poker strategy for a pay game.

Jacks or Better hands

While we touched earlier on some of the Jacks or Better hands, here are some of the best Jacks or Better hands, and we have illustrated these inside a strategy chart.

Royal Flush800
Straight Flush50
4 of a Kind25
Full house9
3 of a kind3
2 pairs2
Jacks or Better1

Remember, you shouldn’t take shortcuts or compromise your Jacks or Better strategy. However, this video poker strategy chart underlines what you need to do to create winning hands.

Jacks or Better odds

A good video poker strategy will be to ensure you are fully aware of the odds for jacks or better. To help, we have outlined the odds of landing certain hands in the game, such as a royal flush or a straight flush. The odds aren’t as short as you might anticipate from playing Jacks or Better.

Royal Flush8000.002%
Straight Flush500.002%
4 of a Kind250.011%
Full house90.236%
3 of a kind31.123%
2 pairs27.445%
Jacks or Better121.459%

Although Jacks or Better is a low volatile game, you will need to be canny when you place a bet and not discard cards too quickly if you want to get the most out of playing it.

Jacks or Better pay table

When you play Jacks or Better, you may draw four of a kind hands as opposed to a full house, and those with an innate skill playing the game will be able to get the most from the pay table. You may be able to play a hand perfectly, and we have represented the payoff for certain hands in the game.

Coins/Hands1 Coin2 Coins3 Coins4 Coins5 Coins
Royal Flush25050075010004000
Straight Flush50100150200250
4 of a Kind255075100125
Full house612182430
3 of a kind3691215
2 pairs246810
Jacks or Better12345

You might choose to sell out some of your hands, although there is a strong chance you will hurt your Jacks or Better strategy, so make sure you are careful when you come to draw or discard hands.

How to calculate house edge Jacks or Better

The expected return or house edge for this poker game can be worked out by multiplying the payout ratio by the probability. We have supplied a full pay version chart to help simplify things for you, so you can improve your chances of best Jacks success.

HandPayoutOddsReturn rate
Royal Flush8000.002%1.981%
Straight Flush500.002%0.619%
4 of a Kind250.011%5.906%
Full house90.236%10.361%
3 of a kind31.123%22.334%
2 pairs27.445%25.856%
Jacks or Better121.459%21.459%

The house edge for Jacks or Better will usually be lessened when placing five credits as Jacks or Better tables will reward players who get a royal flush. In some cases, landing a royal flush will treble the pay ratio.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Tips

To improve your Jacks or Better video poker skills, you should abide by the following tips, as they will stand you in good stead.

  1. Only Play Full Pay game: When you play Jacks or Better, you should target only full pay jacks as the full pay game will give you better returns. Don’t just settle for any Jacks or Better video game as they won’t be as rewarding.
  2. Manage your Bankroll well: As part of adopting a better poker strategy, you should always be mindful of what you spend. You could go through long losing or winning streaks, so make sure you have the finances to help you face things if poker games get too tough.
  3. Play free jacks – It is always worth playing free jacks before you launch yourself into a Jacks or Better video poker game and start competing for real money. You will be able to get a feel for the game and see refine an optimal strategy before you dive into full pay jacks.
  4. Make the most of promotions – Whether you are playing Jacks or Better or another poker game, take advantage of any available promotions or bonuses. By doing so, you will have extra cash to play with and it will make for a better video poker experience.

Jacks or Better common mistakes

Even if you think you have nailed your Jacks or Better strategy, some fall into the same trap when they play.

As such, for a more profitable Jacks or Better video experience, we have highlighted the pitfalls and suggest how they can be avoided.

  1. Chasing a royal flush on the wrong play – Sometimes, players will chase the royal flush at the wrong time instead of keeping hold of the optimal jacks. Also, discarding a paying hand is not a good Jacks or Better strategy, so use a basic strategy chart when playing this video poker game.
  2. Folding paying hands – There will be some players who will be quick to fold hands during a Jacks or Better video poker game, but like you would normally in other poker games, a suited kq could pay dividends, so play your cards right.
  3. Making a bet with fewer than five coins – Poker is about taking risks, but to have the best Jacks or Better experience, don’t wager with less than five coins. If you can’t afford to make a five-coin wager, then find a full pay table where you can make a smaller bet.
  4. Playing too fast – For a better game and a chance to gain a bigger win, slow down while you are playing. Mistakes too often crop up when players are too eager to reveal their hands. Consult a basic strategy chart to ensure a better game in the long term.

Play Jacks or Better online at EnergyCasino

Video poker is inherently fun to play, and that applies to Jacks or Better. If you want to make the most of video poker and full pay titles, then you should have a go and check out the roster of games at EnergyCasino. There are video poker titles to suit players of all abilities, and even ones who want a better optimal strategy. Have a look today and get involved!

⭐ What does jacks or better mean?

Jacks or Better is a popular type of video poker game, and in many ways, it is considered a better game for poker aficionados, as it is of low volatility and easier to understand.

⭐ how to win at jacks or better?

To win at Jacks or Better, you will need to have a better optimal strategy and be careful when you play, so you can play an open ended straight, for example, or use a suited ak and win more money from the pot.

⭐ Is it possible to consistently win at Jacks or Better Video Poker?

It is hard to win consistently when you bet on Jacks or Better, however, if you consult a cheat sheet or keep hold of your high cards better, then the odds of you winning regularly will increase.

⭐ What is the 9 6 Jacks or Better?

Often known as draw poker, 9 6 Jacks or Better is the most common variation of video poker and the pay offs will begin at a pair of jacks. It is also known as 9 6 Jacks or Better as the pay off for a full house equates to nine times the wager, while the pay off for a flush is six times the bet.

⭐ How many hands should I play jacks or better?

Jacks or Better can be quite profitable and if you are a beginner, you should play quite a few hands in order to improve.

⭐ How much money to win at video poker jacks or better?

Jacks or Better might not carry as much money compared to when you play other poker games. That said, if you can grab a royal flush or land optimal jacks, then the payoff will be worthwhile.

⭐ How long to play jacks or better?

Once you have had a go at the free demo mode, you should play Jacks or Better until you hit a losing streak. If you start to chase things when you are on a losing run, this could lead to further problems, so always bet responsibly when you play.

⭐ In jacks or better when is ace queen unsuited better than queen ten suited?

A suited QJ is usually better for most poker hands, especially if there is no penalty card and is deemed the better play.

⭐ What percentage of hands is jacks or better or ace king?

Jacks or Better has the larger probability of chance being hit as it equates to around 21.5% while a royal flush, in contrast, will have less than a 1% chance of being dealt to players.