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Jacks or Better Video Poker Strategy

By Carly C.

Level: Apr 12th 2010
Video poker games are a staple of all of the top online casinos and they are featured in a wide variety since of course there are all types of video poker games, some inspired by table poker and others that are something all of their own. Each video poker game uses slightly different strategies, though most do incorporate regular poker hand rankings.

Jacks or Better Video Poker is one of the most popular forms of video poker, it does use most of the basic strategies of typical video poker games but like the name of the game, the best way to learn a large payout is to get a pair of jacks or higher since it is the best hand.

Some video poker strategies that apply to Jacks or Better are typical of all online video poker games. Players should always have a grasp of the payout percentages of the games that they choose. This helps them to understand which games have the lower house edge when the right strategies are applied and the game is played right.

With Jacks or Better in particular, players need to pay attention that the cards they’re dealt at the beginning, when they receive their first hand it’s important to recognize what they should do next in order to have the best possible outcome. With Jacks or Better, there are 6 primary hands that players can receive that they should hold onto in order to earn the chance of a winning combination.

1. Two pairs or higher - when players receive their hand, they should take a look and see if it earns a payout right away like a pair of Jacks or better. To play, you hang onto the Two Pair or higher before you redraw in order to get the best possible hand and the best odds.

2. Pay pair - pay pairs are two Jacks, Queens, Kings or Aces. In order to play through with this hand, you would use the same playing structure as with two pairs or higher. Though, if you also have two pairs or better, then you want to hang onto those instead.

3. Non pay pair - these hands don’t qualify for a payout right away, only if players draw another card to make two or three-of-a-kind on redraw. But, it is the third best hand because of this potential and players should hold onto their cards for this reason.

4. Low two pay cards - Pairing any of these cards with a Jack, Queen, King or Ace called the pay cards will create a payout opportunity. These should be held onto if players have none of the other combinations above that have a better opportunity for a payout.

5. One pay card or no pay cards in a hand - if a hand only has one pay card, the hand can still be played. If there are none, players should discard their full hand and get a new set at redraw.

Video poker is as popular at online casinos as online slot games but one notable difference between the two gaming categories is that video poker truly is a game of strategy since players can affect the outcome of the game - with slots, there are some that swear by strategies but at the end of the day it’s left to luck.
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