Jacks or Better Strategy Guide

Video poker is game of knowledge, skill and basic mathematics. A Player with simple knowledge of poker or having zero knowledge of the poker can also play with little practice. The same goes for this variation called Jacks or Better.

This can be played in our Nitrobetting BTC casino under the poker games tab. The card combination is the key to be successful in the game. In order to play video poker, you must understand the card combination of the game, mentioned below is the card combinations of Jacks or Better:

Card Combinations

  • Royal Flush: This hand comprises of these cards: A, K, Q, J, 10. Most games don’t require them to be consecutive. All cards must be in the same suit.
  • Straight Flush: Five consecutive cards from the same suit: 3♠, 4♠, 5♠, 6♠, 7♠.
  • Four of a Kind: Nothing complicated here: four cards of the same value. Example: K♦, K♥, K♠, 8♠, K♣.
  • Full House: Full House will be collected, when anyone receive five cards that are comprised of one pair and three of a kind. Example: Q♦, Q♠, 4♣, 4♠, 4♥.
  • Flush: Five cards of the same suit. Example: A♥, 10♥, 3♥, 4♥, 8♥.
  • Straight: Five cards that form a consecutive sequence. The suits can be mixed. Example: 6♠, 7♣, 8♣, 9♦, 10♦.
  • Three of a Kind: Three of a Kind received when a player received three cards of the same value. Example: 8♦, 8♦, 8♦, 5♣, 2♥.
  • Two Pair: Two pairs of two cards of the same value. Example: 9♣, 9♥, 8♥, A♦, A♥.
  • Jacks or Better: The easiest one to collect, this combination includes only one pair of jacks or a higher value. Example: J♣, J♠, 7♦, 6♣, 9♥.

Here is the best strategy for a beginner to understand the Jacks or Better video poker hand holding a Jack, unless the hand is already a winner! – 4 to an open-ended Straight, 4 to a Flush or 3 to a Straight Flush or Royal Flush – reject all cards only keeping the Jack.

  1. Any hand holding only 1 card Jack or above, keep the single high card and reject all other cards and re-draw.
  2. Any hand holding 1 pair lower than Jacks, keep the pair and reject all other cards – unless the hand is 4 to a Straight or 4 to a Flush.
  3. Any hand holding a 2-pair, keep both pair and reject the odd-card.
  4. Any hand holding 3-of-a-kind keep the 3-of-a-kind and reject the other 2 cards.
  5. Any hand holding 4 to a straight, keep all 4 Straight cards and re-draw – unless the Straight draw is NOT open-ended and the hand is holding a Jack).
  6. Any hand holding 4 to a Flush, keep the 4 Flush – unless the hand holds 3 to the Royal in which case you would draw to the Royal Flush.
  7. Any hand holding 4-of-a-kind, hold everything since a 1-card draw will not improve the cards.
  8. Any hand holding 3 to a Royal Flush, reject everything else and go for the Royal – unless the hand is already a Straight Flush.

The most asked questions by video poker players are:

  • When is it best to hold a low pair?
  • When should I hold a high pair?

Let’s take a look at what player should do in different situations.

Low Pair

There are certain situations when it’s better to skip them. This is when a player should keep a low pair:

  • When you have four to a Straight, always keep the pair that you got. Example: 55678. In this case, hold 55 and discard 678.
  • When you have three to a Straight Flush, keep the low pair. Example: 3♥, 4♥, 5♥, 5♠, 9♣. Hold 5♥ and 5♠.
  • When you have a low pair and two cards that could result in a Royal Flush… you should still hold the low pair! Example: 6♠, 6♥, 2♣, K♥, A♥. Hold 6♠ and 6♥ and discard the rest.

High Pair

A high pair consists of two cards of the same value (Jacks or higher). Here are the cases when you have to keep your high poker pair no matter what.

READ MORE: Understanding Poker Hand Rankings

  • If you have four to a Flush and a high pair, hold the pair and draw three other cards. When an identical situation occurs with a low pair in hand, you should break it.
  • When you have four to a Straight, keep your high pair to have a higher chance to win.
  • If you have three to a Royal Flush, it is still better to hold the pair! The odds to get a Royal Flush are not high enough in this case.
  • It’s more beneficial to keep the high pair when you have three to a Straight Flush. Over time, this will produce better results.

Remember, this is just like another sports, more you practice more you master the game. No strategy can be useful without sufficient practice. Be sure to check out more betting guides and tips now and make your winnings even bigger.