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Video poker: Jacks or Better (and Aces and Faces) strategy

Introduction:

Jacks or Better
4 Jacks at Jackpot City
Jacks or Better is not as easy to learn as Blackjack. But today there are many casinos where Blackjack is excluded due to bonus requirements. If this is the case, then it is a good idea to play Jacks or Better because it has a payout of 99.54%. With Jacks or Better you don't win on almost every second hand, like you do in Blackjack. Therefore, it is more risky to play video poker, but on the other hand you also have the chance to win a lot in just one single hand.

You should only play Jacks or Better if it has the following payout, because you are then getting the maximum payout of 99,54%.

Jacks


Explanation:

Name Payout (multiplied by bet) Example
Royal Flush x 800 Royal Flush
Straight Flush x 50 Straight Flush
Four of a Kind x 25 Four of a Kind
Full House x 9 Full House
Flush x 6 Flush
Straight x 4 Straight
Three of a Kind x 3 Three of a Kind
Two Pairs x 2 Two Pairs
Jacks or Better x 1 Jacks or Better


You are only getting the payout of 99.54% in casinos who are using the software of Odds On, Playtech and Microgaming. With Cryptologic casinos, you should play the game "Double Bonus" (99.11% payout, also with this strategy) whereas you should avoid Jacks or Better completely with Boss Media.

Jacks or Better
Video Poker at Platinum Play
You should always choose the option "Bet Max". Thereby, your bet is in fact 5 times higher, but your possible gains accordingly too – and the best is: with a Royal Flush you are getting back your bet 800 times! We recommend a bet of 25 cent – 1$ with the "Bet Max" option, thus a bet of 1,25$-5$ per hand.

We also recommend "Jacks or Better Power Poker" / "Jacks or Better Multihand" / "4-line Jacks or Better" – here you play with 4 lines and you can therefore wager faster.


The simple Jacks or Better strategy:

The objective of the game is to get a pair of Jacks or even better. After you placed your bet with the "Bet Max" option and have received your 5 cards, you should check in the following schedule to find out which cards you should keep.
  1. Direct Royal Flush, Straight Flush or 4 of a kind
  2. 4 to a Royal Flush
  3. Directly Full House, Flush, 3 of a kind or Straight
  4. 4 to a Straight Flush
  5. 2 pairs
  6. A pair of Jacks or Better
  7. 3 to a Royal Flush
  8. 4 to a Flush
  9. Low pair
  10. 4 to an outer Straight
  11. Suited, high cards
  12. 3 to a Straight Flush
  13. Unsuited, high cards (if more than 2, choose the two lowest ones)
  14. Suited TJ TQ or TK
  15. One high card
  16. Rubbish, replace completely
Legend:

Jacks or Better
Super Jackpot at Total Bet Casino
T: 10
J: Jack
Q: Queen
K: King
A: Ace
High card: Jack through Ace


If you want to increase your back payment by 0.08% you will find the optimal Jacks or Better strategy in the following section.




The optimal Jacks or Better strategy:

With the simple strategy you are achieving a payout f 99.46%. If you want to increase your percentage of benefit to 99.54%, you have to include little amendments and modifications to the simple strategy. The numbers in brackets show the expected payout (has to be multiplied by your stakes):
  1. Direct Royal Flush (800)
  2. Direct Straight Flush (50)
  3. Direct Four of a Kind (25)
  4. 4 to a Royal Flush (18.3617)
  5. Direct Full House (9)
  6. Direct Flush (6)
  7. Three of a Kind (4.3025)
  8. Direct Straight (4)
  9. 4 to a Straight Flush (3.5319)
  10. 2 Pair (2.59574)
  11. A pair of Jacks or better (1.5365)
  12. 3 to a Royal Flush (1.2868) A
  13. 4 to a Flush (1.2766)
  14. 4 to an outer Straight with 3 high cards (0,8723) (e.g. 10, Jack, Queen, King)
  15. Low Pair (0.8237)
  16. 4 to an outer Straight with 0-2 high cards (0.6809)
  17. 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 5, 2 high cards (0.6429) (e.g. a ♥9, ♥Jack, ♥King)
  18. 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 4, 1 high card (0.6392) (e.g. ♣8, ♣10, ♣Jack)
  19. 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 3, no high cards (0.6207) (e.g. ♠6, ♠7, ♠8)
  20. Jack and Queen Suited (0.6004) B
  21. 4 to an inner Straight, 4 high cards (0.5957) (e.g.: Jack, Queen, King, Ace)
  22. Suited, high cards, King as the highest (0.5821)
  23. Suited, high cards, Ace as the highest (0.5678)
  24. 4 to an inner Straight, 3 high cards (0.5319)
  25. 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 5, 1 high card (0.5227) C
  26. 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 4, no high card (0.5097)
  27. Unsuited JQK (0.5005)
  28. Unsuited JQ (0.4980)
  29. Suited TJ (0.4968) D
  30. Unsuited high cards, King as highest (0.4862)
  31. Suited TQ (0.4825) E
  32. Unsuited, high cards, Ace as highest (0.4743)
  33. Only J (0.4713)
  34. Suited TK (0.4682) F
  35. Only Q (0.4681)
  36. Only K (0.4649)
  37. Only Ace (0.4640)
  38. 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 5, no high card (0.4431)
  39. Rubbish, replace completely (0.3597)
You are only getting the payout of 99.54% in casinos who are using the software of Odds On, Playtech and Microgaming. With Cryptologic casinos, you should play the game "Double Bonus" (99.11% payout, also with this strategy) whereas you should avoid Jacks or Better completely with Boss Media.

Jacks or Better
Royal Flush at Royal Vegas
You should always choose the option "Bet Max". Thereby, your bet is in fact 5 times higher, but your possible gains accordingly too – and the best is: with a Royal Flush you are getting back your bet 800 times! We recommend a bet of 25 cent – 1$ with the "Bet Max" option, thus a bet of 1,25$-5$ per hand.

We also recommend "Jacks or Better Power Poker" / "Jacks or Better Multihand" / "4-line Jacks or Better" – here you play with 4 lines and you can therefore wager faster.


Legend:

T: 10
J: Jack
Q: Queen
K: King
A: Ace


Rare exceptions:
Jacks or Better
Flush in Video Poker at Grand Hotel
  • With video poker, 4 to a Flush is better than 3 to a Royal Flush if the Royal includes a 10 and Ace, and if the unsuited card is a 10 or a Straight penalty-card.
  • 4 to an inner straight is better than a suited Jack or Queen with 9 or Flush penalty-card.
  • 3 to a Straight Flush, spread 5, with 1 high card against 4 to an inner Straight, with 3 high cards: Play the Straight Flush, if there is no Straight penalty-card.
  • Suited 10 and Jack against unsuited Jack and King: If there is no Flush penalty-card play 10 and Jack.
  • Suited 10 and Queen against unsuited Queen and Ace: If there is no Flush penalty-card play 10 and Queen.
  • Suited 10 and King or only King: Usually, suited 10 and King is better than King alone, but if it is a 9 and there is a Flush penalty-card, then only King.
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