- Software: Microgaming
- Paylines: 20
- Reels: 5
- Min Coins Per Line: 1
- Max Coins Per Line: 20
- Min Coins Size 0.01
- Max Coins Size 0.25
- Jackpot: 4000
- Bonus Game: No
- Progressive: No
- Wild Symbol: No
- Scatter Symbol: No
- Autoplay Option: No
- Multiplier: No
- Free Spins: No
- RTP: 96.92%
Jacks or Better Poker is a rather standard, straightforward poker variation that is designed by Microgaming. It is simple video poker game that anyone can play it, as it pays off on a pair only if that pair is jacks or better, and otherwise resembles any standard version of the game. There are no wild cards, no jokers, no bonus payouts that are out of the ordinary. The maximum jackpot that is paid out in Jacks or Better Poker is 4000 coins, which comes as a result of a Royal Flush (10, J, Q, K and Ace of the same suit).
Jacks or Better Video Poker is played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with no wild cards. The cards are shuffled before each and every deal, and so they come out randomly. The wagering process invokes the use of the plus (+) and minus (-) controls, which will increase or decrease the size of the coins you will use in your betting. When you click “Bet One” you are betting one unit times the coin size, Clicking “Bet Max” gives you the maximum times that coin size. For example, if your coin size is 0.25, the maximum bet you’ll have is 1.25. If it’s 5 units, the max bet will be 25.
The rules for Jacks or Better video poker are the same as for five-card draw poker. Only difference being that there is no raising or bluffing and you’re not really playing “against” other players. You just make a single bet at the beginning and your goal is to have a hand that includes a pair of jacks or better. Otherwise, the house wins.
- To play, you select a number of credits you want to wager from one to five on the hand. The credits can be worth $0.25, $1 or more apiece, depending on the machine.
- The computer deals you five cards and you select which you want to keep and which you want to discard to draw new cards, just as in five-card draw.
- Then you are dealt replacement cards and your final hand decides whether you win or lose, and how much.
- You will win more the better your hand is, so make sure you know the ranking of poker hands.
Like all games you play against the house in a casino, it is nearly impossible to actually win in the long term. However, video poker offers some of the best payouts for a slots-type machine when played well. Also when combined with a good casino bonuses and comp points, you can actually make a good win due to the freebies given out.
Symbols and Features
Symbols on the video poker game are obviously the cards. Following are the hands to understand:
- High: Any card that is a Jack or higher. Low, on the other hand, refers to all cards that are lower in value than a Jack. Examples of high cards include Ace, King, Queen, and Jack, while low cards run from 2 through 10.
- Royal Flush: Refers to five sequential cards of matching suit starting with 10 and ending with Ace. This is the highest paying hand in Jacks or Better.
- Straight Flush: Comprised of five sequential cards of similar suit up to 10 (e.g. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).
- Four of a Kind: Refers to four cards of the same number. For instance, four Kings or four 2s.
- Full House: Consists of a hand with three of a kind plus a pair (e.g. three 7s and two Kings).
- Four to a Royal Flush: This simply means you hold four of the five cards needed to form a Royal Flush. For instance, if you have a 10, Jack, Queen, and King, you only need an Ace to complete the Royal Flush.
- Flush: Contains five cards of the same suit.
- Three of a Kind: A hand that contains three cards of the same number. For example, three 6s or three Jacks.
- Straight: Refers to five cards in sequential order but not necessarily of the same suit.
- Four to a Straight Flush: Simply means you hold four of the five needed cards to complete a Straight Flush.
- Two Pair: Refer to two pairs of cards, each pair containing the same number (e.g. two 4s and two Aces).
- Three to a Royal Flush: You hold three of the necessary cards needed to form a Royal Flush.
- Four to a Flush: Contains four cards of same suit.
- Four to a Straight: Contains four cards in sequential order, but not necessarily of the same suit.
- Three to a Straight Flush: Means you have three cards in sequential order and of the same suit to make a Straight Flush.
- Two to a Royal Flush: Two cards to securing a Royal Flush.
How to Win at Jacks or Better Video Poker
One of the main principles behind most video poker strategies is that you want the machine to deal you a winning hand. If you’re dealt a winning hand, you will very rarely discard any of those cards to draw to something else. The only exception is four cards to a royal flush, and that exception is only there because the payout on that hand is so large compared to the other hands.
In fact, you’ll notice that a lot of the strategy focuses on the royal flush. You’ll only see a royal flush once in every 40,000 or so hands, but the payout makes for a big part of your overall expectation. If you have four cards to a royal flush, you’ll always draw to it. If you have three cards to a royal flush, you’ll always draw to it unless you have a winning combination, in which case you’ll keep the winning cards instead.
- Discard the fifth card whenever you have four cards to a Royal Flush, even if that card gives you a Pair or a Flush.
- Three of a Kind, a Flush, a High Pair, and a Straight all outrank three to a Royal Flush. Play three to Royal Flush when you have lower hands such as a Low Pair or four to a Flush.
- Keep a High Pair, a Straight, and four to a Flush whenever you have two cards to a Royal Flush.
- Do not break up a made Flush or a Straight unless when you need only one card to make a Royal Flush.
- Always keep a High Pair over four to a Flush and four to a Straight.
- Do not break up a Full House, Three of a Kind, Four of a Kind, or Two Pair.
- Keep a High Pair unless you have four cards to a Straight Flush or four cards to a Royal Flush.
- Keep a Low Pair over three cards to a Straight Flush or four cards to a Straight.
Jacks or Better is a very simple but fun game to play. The graphics are clear and crisp and the game play is ultra-smooth. The maximum jackpot is 4000 coins, which you will win if you land a Royal Flush – in other words, a Ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace of the same suit. Even though this is a rather standard version of the game, there is indeed a little “twist” that can be played. After a winning hand, the player can seek to double that win by engaging in a “showdown” with the dealer. There are five cards dealt onto the screen – four of them face-down, which represents a choice for the player, and one card face-up, which is the dealer’s card. The player picks one of the face-down cards and if it is of a higher value than the dealer’s face-down card, the win is doubled. The player can elect to double again, or quit and collect.