How to Play Jacks or Better Video Poker

Posted By: Date: 11/06/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Jacks or Better is the classic video poker game upon which most non-wild-card video poker variants are based. You can expect to find Jacks or Better at just about any land-based or online casino. As the name implies, all you need is a Pair of Jacks, or anything better, in order to win.

When playing this popular video poker variant, the trick is to find one that offers 9/6 Full Pay. This refers to the amount paid for a single coin bet when a Full House or Flush hand is achieved. A Full House will pay 9 coins, a Flush 6 coins. If the pay table reflects a lower win ratio, the payout percentage will decrease.

Note that all Microgaming online casinos should offer Jacks or Better Video Poker in a 9/6 Full Pay format. The rules and payouts detailed in this guide refer to those found at all Microgaming online casinos.

Let’s take a look at the basic screen options of Jacks or Better Video Poker.

  • Optional Coin Sizes: $0.25, $0.50, $1, $2, $5
  • Coins per Play: 1 to 5
  • Min / Max Bet: $0.25 / $25
  • Max Payout: 4000 Coins
  • Lowest Winning Hand: Pair of Jacks or Better

How to Play Jacks or Better Video Poker

The first thing to do is select a coin size to wager by pressing the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons. This is the amount each coin you bet will cost you. Next, choose how many coins to bet by pressing the Bet One or Bet Max buttons. Using Bet One allows you to bet any amount of coins you wish, after which you will click Deal to start the game. Clicking Bet Max will instantly start the game with 5 coins wagered.

Five cards are dealt face up on the screen. There’s a good chance one or more card will have a HELD label on it as soon as they are dealt. You are NOT obligated to keep these cards. Microgaming’s video poker software applies instant strategy, choosing the cards that are most probably to produce a winning hand. You may keep or discard any cards you wish by clicking on them to change the status from HELD to un-held, and vice versa.

Once you’ve selected the cards to keep, if any, press Deal. All HELD cards will stay in place, while all others are exchanged for new cards. Your final 5-card hand is revealed and if it ranks high enough for a win, the pay table will light up the winning hand rank and automatic payout. If not, the bet is lost and the game is over.

When you play Jacks or Better at a Microgaming online casino, after winning a hand, you will have the option to make a double-or-nothing bet with your winnings. You can click the Double button to press your luck, or click Collect to keep the current winnings.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Double Feature

If you choose to play the Double feature after a winning hand, a new screen loads depicting 5 cards. The first card is dealt face-up, but the rest are concealed. This is a High-Low game where you must select any one of the hidden cards. If that card ranks higher than the first, exposed card, you double your winnings. If not, the winnings are lost and the screen returns to normal mode.

Any time a player wins the Double feature, they have another opportunity to double those winning again. Select Double to play High-Low again, or press Collect to keep the winnings and return to Jacks or Better Video Poker.

Jacks or Better Video Poker Pay Table

  Bet 1 Bet 2 Bet 3 Bet 4 Bet 5
Royal Flush 250 500 750 1000 4000
Straight Flush 50 100 150 200 250
4 of a Kind (5s-Ks) 25 50 75 100 125
Full House 9 18 27 36 45
Flush 6 12 18 24 32
Straight 4 8 12 16 20
3 of a Kind 3 6 9 12 15
2 Pair 2 4 6 8 10
Jacks or Better 1 2 3 4 5

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