Jacks or Better Video Poker

Numerous types of video poker games have evolved over the years.  However, Jacks or Better is still the most popular and many of the other games are actually derivatives of this game.  For instance, Deuces Wild and Jokers Wild are both based on Jacks or Better, with minor additions to game play.  Jacks or Better is usually a full pay game (9/6), with casino games coming in at 8/5, rather than the actual full pay rating. The nine in a full pay game refers to the payout for a full house and the six to a flush payout.

Jacks or Better has been around for a number of years and offers one of the better payouts in video poker, though not above 100% as in Deuces Wild.  Full pay Jacks or Better pays out 99.54%, but requires stringent adherence to a computer developed strategy and a perfect game to achieve.  Regardless, there are numerous reasons to play the game, including the wide diversity of strategy guides and even software programs designed to help players win more frequently.

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Jacks or Better hands all have standard payouts, based on the number of coins played per bet.  For instance, a straight flush pays 50 on 1 credit, but 250 on a 5-credit bet.  Here is a listing of the hands and their various payouts in the game from highest to lowest and for one credit to five credits.  Payouts begin with one pair of jacks or better.

Hand
Coin 1
Coin 2
Coin 3
Coin 4
Coin 5
Royal Flush
250
500
750
1000
4000
Straight Flush
50
100
150
200
250
Four of a Kind
25
50
75
100
125
Full House
9
18
27
36
45
Flush
6
12
18
24
30
Straight
4
8
12
16
20
Three of a Kind
3
6
9
12
15
Two Pair
2
4
6
8
10
Jacks or Better
1
2
3
4
5

Obviously, judging by the list above, playing five coins per bet is the best way to ensure the highest payout.  In addition, a royal flush has a very high payout for five coin bets, perhaps to make up for the relatively high odds of drawing one.  Players should note several differences in the game, as compared to other video poker games.

- A four card flush trumps a four card straight and should be held, in the hopes of drawing another useable card.

- Pay tables change with venue and even by machines within the venue

- Do not hold a single high card if you have a pair

- Always bet the maximum amount (5 coins)

- Stick to your specific strategy (this will change with every pay table)

At its heart, Jacks or Better is a fun game, with the potential to break even most of the time.  If you are gambling in a casino, make sure you know what the house edge is on the game and monitor your bankroll constantly.  If you are at a machine where can you cannot hold out through low points, you should find a machine with a lower cost.  Your payout will be less, but so will your losses.