Jacks or Better is the original and most popular video poker game. This is because players can strategize and use their skill to improve their chances of winning. The average high returns and relatively low variance also make it appealing to beginners and experts alike.
Jacks or Better is based on five-card poker, but it is more streamlined with players making a single bet, and then, as the name alludes to, trying to make a hand with a pair of jacks or better to win. Here are a few tips that can help you along the way.
Play it smart with pay tables
After selecting a full-pay Jacks or Better game from one of the many options at the best NJ online casinos via your PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet, you can start perfecting your strategy using one of the charts that have been curated by expert players.
Using a chart for a (9/6) pay table, you can start practicing how to play by holding and discarding cards based on your hand. You can do this manually by dealing five-card hands and proceeding from there or by getting experience in actual online games. Try to get to a point where you are able to play around 90% to 95% of hands correctly.
The charts will advise you to, for example, draw four cards if you have a weaker hand with only a single high card or draw one card when you have two pairs, but you can make simple mistakes if you try to play too fast.
The 99.54% return rate for Jacks or Better is based on making the best possible play every time, so even one mistake can increase the chances of the house winning. Try to stay calm and collected throughout. This means limiting your playing hours so that you don’t get tired or frustrated, which can lead to you losing focus.
Use maximum coins
You can increase your payout percentage at the start of the game by opting to bet with the maximum amount of five coins. This will also give you a better chance of winning the jackpot if and when you make the best possible hand – a Royal Flush.
You don’t need to opt for high-roll Jacks or Better games to use maximum coins. You can also do this with lower buy-in machines, so use these if you have a smaller bankroll to begin with and proceed from there. Remember, the main thing is to play within your means while having fun.
High cards can help you to make a straight, but when you are dealt a lower pair, it is often better to keep it and discard the other three cards. Chasing draws is not recommended in Jacks or Better unless you have four cards to a Royal Flush. If you are lucky enough to get a high pair, make sure that you don’t break this hand.
With the right strategy, being observant, keeping a cool head and playing within your bankroll, you can increase your chances of winning when playing Jacks or Better.